Whenever actor-poet Shrutee Choudhary revisits the days when she chose to speak up against her harasser, she can hear a tired sigh emanating from the depths of her soul. It says: “I tried.” Trauma shows up at unexpected times. It did when a seven-member jury in the US directed Amber Heard to pay $10.35 damages to her ex-husband Johnny Depp for defaming him, discounting her claim that he had abused her during their marriage. In October 2018, Choudhary became flummoxed after a couple of cases surfaced against the co-founder of the company she was working for. It was during the #MeToo movement when a flurry of social media posts by women in the media and creative industries had slapped men in positions of power with charges of sexual abuse and assault. Their stories triggered the cold harsh truth of gender inequities in workplaces.
When Choudhary read the accounts of other women against her superior, she noticed a familiar but ‘terrifying’ pattern, one that she had personally experienced: “I was in a state of shock, trying to process everything. At the same time, I witnessed those other anonymous confessions being questioned; their authenticity was up for a toss simply because it is our innate culture as a society not to believe women,” she tells Outlook.