Updated: Oct 9, 2019
“The media’s the most powerful entity on earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that’s power. Because they control the minds of the masses.” ~ Malcolm X
I’m a fairly big user of social media, so this isn’t a verbal onslaught for the problems of the same. I also am very well aware of the so-called “rights” and “wrongs” of it – the latter first thoughts hitting me that it can be used to provide a facade through the means of a “stageshow” into the reality of your life. This is a personal belief of course; I step back from being judgemental of others on their actions. I also bow my head in defeat as I admit that most of the news that I receive is through social media; and perhaps it is high time to switch over to the the more traditional method – that being newspapers – in receiving the most reliable information. After all, they are required to check their facts.
Frankly, I am writing this post in exasperation in light of a recent event that has occurred within the Kerala state, in pure shock of how our media (I believe) will work. A young actress known as Bhavana, who is portrayed throughout the Malayalam, Telegu and Tamil cinema industry, was kidnapped and assaulted earlier on Friday evening. But this post isn’t about her harassment, the attention need not be further inflicted on her in fact; because I believe there is a regular pattern that will occur out of this experience courtesy of the media. And so my rant commences.
According to a recent article published by Al Jazeera (2016), there are approximately more than 34,000 rape cases across India as of the year of 2015. Reported cases being the key underlining point of this. For those who are well aware of how India is increasingly becoming more unsafe for women across the country, it should be noted that rape doesn’t only happen outside on the streets, but can also occur concealed behind secure doors. The reason I bring up this fact or figure isn’t to further belittle our society from how unprogressive it already is, but its a customary concept that usually what happens when a rape case goes viral across either social media or the news, the media swoops in and has the tendency to escalate the situation from bad to worse.
We have individuals comment on the fact that girls shouldn’t be dressing inappropriately, or stepping out late into the night. Forget the fact that women are your sisters, mothers or daughters – which is so often a tagline to try and convert these perverted mindsets – you have to dress appropriately and stay at home like a “good Indian girl”. What does that actually even mean? The actual fact is that media has highlighted on this concept so much that this is obviously the warned comment; if you’re so brazen then perhaps you deserved it. This is what the media charmingly reports to us, but surely a country that is soaring in its economy should be educated enough to understand that there’s more to a woman than “She probably deserved it”.
Not to mention that according to the same article, rape cases that are reported suggest that almost 96% of the victims are acquainted with their molesters. A note to ponder about.
Furthermore, when the media amplifies on these concepts, how can others not beg to differ? One of the most powerful corporations across our nation; the one that everyone turns to in order to be just “informed”, rather than to be educated. Not that that can occur anyways.
Another article considers the theory that social media is used so largely for information that the groups that come together as a result of these social mediums allows individuals will only come together with those that they agree with (Gregoire, 2016). Details that are irrelevant in the manner that it doesn’t interest them or they disagree with the concepts, are therefore not taken into account; hence this only builds further on conservatism. Therefore with this knowledge its clear why some views are more challenging to alter. In the same manner a collection of people can continue to be misguided about the information that they read, and the cycle continues.
This isn’t a feminist declaration to state that men are immoral and women are always the victims; its a far cry from it. Nor is it one to say that you should avoid social media altogether and move out into the woods. The focus is on the misinformation and molestation that almost comes hand-in-hand via the media; be it the news channels we watch or social media. Neither are used for information that is relevant; a Bollywood breakup is likely to attain more ‘likes’ or ‘shares’ as opposed to real problems across the world. I’m also not stating that I am any saint in my actions, but I am strongly starting to believe that there are several forms of media being used for completely the wrong reasons. You should use it to be notified precisely; not to just assume that everything they say is accurate and play sheep. The News isn’t meant to be entertainment to your eyes, listen clearly to what the problem is.
For God’s sakes, when tomorrow Bhavana’s case or any rape case for that matter is the main feature across the media, scroll on past or switch off the TV. You know that the individual is extensively experiencing emotional trauma, and in all sincerity, you’re just not helping.