Earlier this week, the hastag #AintNoCinderella went viral in India following an incident of a young woman being harassed and then victim shamed. Varnika Kundu went out on the town on Friday night, August 4. At the end of the night, she was harassed by two young men who then followed her when she fled in her car, attempting to make her stop and trying to enter her car several times. She wrote about the harrowing experience in a public Facebook post, thanking the police who helped save her from being kidnapped and urged women to be vigilant against attacks. One local politician victim-blamed her by stating that she should not have been out late at night.
Public outcry against misogyny and classism was immediate, and only increased in fervor once it became clear that one of the two young men allegedly involved was the son of another local politician.
The viral hashtag #AintNoCinderella, often accompanied by selfies of young women in clubbing outfits, has become a rallying cry by young Indian women to exercise their basic human right to safety no matter what time of day. Every tweet is a micro-effort to battle violence against women, and the overall effect is bringing to light the persistent issues of classism and sexism in a country that had elected and reelected a female head of state in 1966 and 1980.
- Varnika Kundu FB post: https://www.facebook.com/VarnikaKundu/posts/10155759250396282
- LeMonde: “#AintNoCinderella: une aggression ordinaire en Inde racontee en ligne” http://www.lemonde.fr/asie-pacifique/video/2017/08/09/aintnocinderella-l-agression-d-une-jeune-indienne-declenche-une-vague-d-indignation-sur-les-reseaux-sociaux_5170647_3216.html
- BBC: “Ain’t No Cinderella: Why Indian Women are Posting Midnight Photos” http://www.bbc.com/news/40872788