Men wary of women colleagues due to #MeToo
“There are a lot of men who don’t know how to navigate a post-#MeToo world.” – Jillian Kilfoil
Women and men worry that the climate that is making women to speak up about the sexual harassment at the workplace could backfire. This in turn by make some men wary of female colleagues after #MeToo. The outcry about the misbehavior, sexual harassment and misconduct may result in the unintended consequence of holding women back.
Men are being wary of women due to the popularity of #MeToo. There is a feeling of a wall that was not present previously, that is suddenly because men don’t know what’s appropriate anymore. It is disconcerting.
After #MeToo at the workplace:
Men are wary in the workplace about their female counterparts. They are being more careful, more formal in their relationships with co-workers. What has happened about the controversy is pervasive. Every day there is a new accusation and threat.
Men are now avoiding one-on-one social occasions that were normal in the past. The avoidance issue is the biggest concern. The marginalization of women in the business world is at least as big a problem as harassment.
Men are more likely to shy away from mentoring women in the post #MeToo workplace. It’s definitely not the right reaction and it is hurtful for the advancement of women. Almost half of the male managers are uncomfortable either mentoring, working alone or socializing with women in the workplace in the post #MeToo world.
Results of #MeToo Movement
A study was conducted across Bengaluru and other 4 metros. Nearly 80% of men now are overly cautious in their interactions with women colleague in the wake of the #MeToo movement.
58% of female respondents say that the support of non-government organizations to help the #MeToo victims at homes.
It is learned that the abusers are not powerful men alone. Even after the movement, the victims are not safe.
Sandalwood actor Sruthi Hariharan, who has accused popular South Indian actor Arjun Sarja of sexual harassment, has moved the Karnataka High Court requesting it to quash a case registered against her with the Cyber Crime police.
When Sruthi Hariharan spoke openly about the sexual harassment she had faced at the hand of Arjun Sarja during the shooting and rehearsal of kannada film Vismaya, a controversy had erupted surrounding the allegations.
The accused Arjun had denied the allegations. In turn he had filed a complaint with the Cyber Crime Police in Bengaluru, accusing Sruti of creating fake social media accounts to deliberately troll and target him.
The actor has alleged that the complaint was filed against her as a move to legally intimate her into withdrawing her sexual harassment complaint.
Sruthi Hariharan has sought for quashing of the FIR, including the proceedings initiated before a city court based on the said FIR. She has also denied the allegations made in the complaint.
On October 25, Shiva Arjun, manager of Arjun Sarja, had filed a complaint with the cyber crime police, saying that Sarja’s social media accounts were hacked and misused by Sruthi Hariharan and a few others.
The cyber crime police had registered the case under various sections of the Indian Penal Code and also under the Information Technology Act.
The High Court may take up the application for hearing either tomorrow or day after tomorrow.
Hundreds of supporters of actor Arjun Sarja gathered at the Cubbon Park Police station on 05.11.2018 as he appeared for questioning by the police over allegations of sexual harassment by co-actor Sruthi Hariharan.
Ms.Hariharan has posted about the incident online as part of the #MeToo movement, and on October 27 filed a police complaint.
According to the police, the actor cooperated with the investigation and denied allegations that he had harassed Ms. Hariharan on 4 occasions during the filming of Vismaya between November 2015 and July 2016.
According to the Cubbon Park Police, Arjun was asked over 50 questions by investigating officer Annayya Reddy regarding the incidents described by Sruthi in her complaint. Based on the statements given by Sruthi Hariharan and her makeup artiste Kiran and also the assistant director, Arjun was questioned about the series of events.
Arjun Sarja denied all accusations allegedly and stated that the allegations were made to malign his reputation.
Several of Arjun Sarja’s fans had gathered outside Cubon Park Police Station. The police had a tough time containing the crowds gathered and managing traffic congestion on Kasturba Road.
Police officials say that the director of the film Vismaya, Arun Vaidhyanath supported Arjun and stated that he had not witnessed any such incident during the shoot of the film.
The Karnataka High Court on November 2nd gave a big relief to actor Arjun Sarja who was under threat of arrest.
Following a complaint by actress Shruti Hariharan, Cubbon Park police filed an FIR against Arjun Sarja and facing the threat of arrest. But the High Court Single Bench headed by Justice PS Dinesh Kumar heard the petition filed by Arjun Sarja seeking dismissal of the FIR against him and said that the investigation could be conducted against the actor. But he should not be arrested, the Court said.
During the hearing, senior counsel BV Acharya said that in order to get publicity by participating in the ‘Me Too’ campaign, actress Shruthi Hariharan has misused the name of Arjun Sarja. Moreover, there was a big difference between the post shared in the facebook and the complaint given to the police.
This has given a big relief to the actor. Against the FIR, Arjun Sarja has filed the petition before the High Court. After hearing the case on 2nd November, the Single Judge Bench of the High Court posted the further hearing to November 14.
Arjun Sarja alleged that the case and complaint was a classic case of austere abuse of law and launching of malicious and vile attacks on an innocent man who has thrived hard for 36 years to stand out with the portrait of gentleman.
Thousands of Google employees around the world briefly walked off their jobs on 1st November to protest the company’s response to sexual harassment and demanded that the world’s largest search engine address rising concerns about workplace inequality.
The employees demanded several key changes in how sexual misconduct allegations to be dealt with at the firm, including a call to end forced arbitration – a move which would make it possible for victims to sue. Forced arbitration, a common contract clause for Silicon Valley workers, demands any disputes are dealt with internally rather than through other methods such as the courts.
Staff involved in walkout left notes on their desks telling colleagues that they are not at the desk because they are walking out with other Googlers and contractors to protest sexual harassment, misconduct, lack of transparency, and a workplace culture that’s not working for everyone.
They have also made formal demands to Google’s management. The protests took place in waves, beginning in Asia and then streaming across Europe and North America, with the final wave occurring at Google’s headquarters in Mountain View, California.
Organizers and other employees said Google executives, like leaders at the dozens of companies affected by the #metoo movement, have been slow to address numerous structural issues such as unchecked power of male executives.
Organizers read a handful of anonymous stories about harassment from Google employees and listed the group’s demands into a microphone. When asked how many people had their own stories of harassment that hadn’t been told, a number of attendees raised their hands.
About 150 employees from Google’s Hyderabad, Gurgaon and Mumbai offices participated in the walkout in India.
Arjun Sarja accused Sruthi Harihran of misusing the #MeToo movement and said the allegations leveled against him have caused a lot of embarrassment to him and his family.
Arjun Sarja, who has been accused of sexual harassment by actress Sruthi Hariharan, moved the high court on 30th November seeking the quashing of an FIR registered against him on October 27. The Cubbon park police had registered an FIR based on Sruti Hariharan’s complaint under sections 354 (Assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty, 354A (Sexual Harassment), and 509 (Word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman).
Sruthi’s allegations created a furore in the Kannada film industry with people working in the industry divided over the issue. Sruthi was accused of seeking publicity and raking up a non-issue to smear Arjun’s reputation. She was also accused by Prashant Sambargi, Arjun’s media manager of carrying out an organized campaign against him. On the basis of these abuse and criticism, Sruthi stood her ground and proceeded to file an FIR against Prashant Sambargi for threatening her and against Arjun himself.
An FIR has been lodged against Shruthi Hariharan with the Cyber Crime Police by Kannada actor Arjun Sarja.
Prior to the Case lodge, both the parties met at the Kannada Film Chamber of Commerce. The big names from Kannada film industry known as Sandalwood tried to resolve the matter but failed to come to any conclusions after 2 hours. Arjun said in the meeting that there will not be any compromise from his side. He is proceeding with filing a case against Shruti because everybody, even the king, is under the law.
Shruthi Hariharan had leveled charges of sexual harassment against Arjun Sarja in a long Facebook post.
Sruthi Hariharan had alleged that Arjun Sarja had behaved inappropriately with her during the filming of a song some years ago. Arjun Sarja has denied the allgation.e
The matter is far from over as the Kannada film industry still stands divided on it. Both actors have received support and criticism from the industry and online. According to Shruti, a defamation case is a civil case and the only counter that she would need to file is a criminal case under the Sexual Harassment Act. Watch this space for more updates
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Read related to this story: https://www.bangalorean.com/blog/arjun-sarja-questioned-in-metoo-row/