Jasmine Forrest | Contributing writer | Wednesday, 9 August 2017

The Cinderellas Stomping Out Victim-Blaming With Their Glass Slippers

This Is Why Women In India Are Posting Selfies Of Themselves Outside After Midnight

The Debrief: Women in india are posting with the hashtag #aintnocinderella in an effort to tackle victim blaming

Women in India are taking to Twitter and Instagram to upload pictures of themselves taken out of their houses after midnight. Why, you might ask? It’s all in a bid to protest against a male political party leader who victim-blamed a young woman being stalked by two men on the fact she was “roaming at night”. 

Varnika Kundu, a DJ from north Indian town Chandigarh, was driving home around midnight on Friday evening when she was chased by two men in a car. Varnika shared her terrifying ordeal in a Facebook post which stated that she was ‘almost kidnapped’ and proceeded to thank the police for enabling her to escape physically unharmed after arriving so quickly at the scene. According to the post, during the chase, the ‘stalking’ males quickly got out of their vehicle and chased her car by foot and upon catching her up, aggressively ‘tried to open the door handle’. Thankfully, this was when the police arrived and the two men were arrested and were identified as being from influential families with ‘political connections’. One of the males was Vikas Barala, the son of the leader of India’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Subhash Barala. 

Shortly after authorities were informed of the stalking and attempted attack, Ramveer Bhatti, the vice president of the BJP made a comment that (understandably) riled up the women of India. “The girl should not have gone out at 12 in the night.’, he said of Varnika and continuing to place the blame upon everybody else but the two dangerous males, Bhatti commented “parents must take care of their children. They shouldn’t allow them to roam at night. Children should come home on time, why stay out at night?”

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Actress and head of the opposition Congress party’s social media, Divya Spandana had an interesting response to the vice presidents ‘victim-blaming’. She posted a selfie to her Twitter, in which she appears in the dark and out of the house at midnight (the time which Bhatti claimed it was ‘too late’ for Varnika to be out) accompanied with the hashtag, #AintNoCinderella. 

The campaign spread like wildfire and soon hundreds of women were posting midnight selfies over their social media accounts aiming to challenge the victim-blaming and regressive patriarchal views like Bhatti’s. Many of the #AintNoCinderella images were accompanied by inspirational comments and speeches from women standing up for the cause and striving to make a difference. 

 

 

One woman captioned her Cinderella selfie with a stern message for the politician – and all victim-blamers - “We, women believe in breaking glass ceilings not fitting into glass slippers”, whilst another wrote, “Dear Regressive India, We ain’t damsels in distress.”  

 

The number of women uniting for this campaign is continuing to grow, with each refusing to be intimidated by the big bad political wolves shaming them. Journalist Palak Sharma told the BBC of the Cinderella campaign, 'Nothing is going to stop us, no amount of naysayers can frighten us.’

The selfie is officially taking on regressive India, and we hope it wins.  

Images courtesy of @Palaksharmanews

Like this? You might be interested in:

Another Day, Another Victim-Blaming Story 

Let's Explain Once And For All, Why We Should Be Blaming Perpetrators, Not Victims, For Rape And Sexual Assault 

Female Indian Students Invent Anti-Rape Jeans 

Follow Jasmine on Twitter: @Jasminexfx

 

Tags: Politics, Instagram, Feminism, India, Twitter