Sorry to disappoint you, but Dunk is not about the #Metoo Movement – well, not really! False allegations be damned, look at what else the drama highlights! Dunk gives us many FIRSTS despite what the critics say
But any drama that sets itself out for a beating is and must initiate dialogue. Sometimes, it is a natural by-product of the story line itself, sometimes, the conversation goes where the makers hadn’t expected, or predicted it to go, and often enough, the audience decides what is, and what is not significantly highlighted in the drama.
Before we unbox our boxing gloves and take sides (some have already), let’s recap what we know so far, and why DUNK must be credited for starting conversations, even though it’s just 3 episodes into the saga.
Dunk is about harassment
That’s a given. Dunk is about sexual harassment and how our institutions, private and public must deal with it if a complaint arises. Dunk has chosen a setting that heavily resonates with the youth. An educational institution where cases of harassment have been witnessed often enough.
Dunk is about false allegations
The drama is showing us how hard it is to prove a case of harassment. How it might always be a he says, she says and his word against hers conundrum. In doing this, we must be attentive to the subtle signals and hopefully, pattern them into our lives. E.g. Insist on leaving the door open when in a meeting with your teacher or student, reduce instances where you might be vulnerable – it never fails to be extra cautious.
Dunk is about sexual harassment inquiry committees
How do we deal with harassment allegations fairly, a relatively new experience for many scholars of learning, who might know how to execute discipline in the classroom, but not trained on harassment resolution.
Dunk is about understanding the privacy of the person who has accused and the one who accused.
Much as we would love to spill the beans on our harasser, he or she is innocent until proven guilty.
In this spirit, it is perhaps incumbent upon concerned authorities to keep the dealings under strict confidentiality rather than opening them up to a media circus. This is, after all, unfair for both parties and their families.
Dunk is making us think if we should punish the family of the perpetrator
Innocent until proven guilty might be easier said than done. Would you send your child to the home of a friend who’s father or mother have named in a harassment case? Would you distance your relations with the family? Dunk is showing us the family fallout as the Professor’s daughter is subjected to discrimination in school as a direct result of media reports about her father. What would you do in this case?
Dunk is showing us the significance of communication between a couple
It is very easy to believe what the world is saying about your spouse if they say it loud enough. It is very hard to trust and believe in his/her word even though you desperately want to. There is a fine line between ignorance and blind trust, but, should you trust your instincts and believe or, pay heed to the (very public) allegations and resort to suspicion and insecurity? Dunk is asking the questions, and we must seek answers.
Dunk is showing how social media harassment is rampant (and how we often sweep it under the carpet)
Dunk connects with the youth in ways that resonate with their environment. In an age where digital messages are received, sent and deleted at the speed of lightning, sexual harassment through sexting is another area which is left widely unaddressed. The emotional & psychological discomfort felt by the receiver and the assumed power of the sender has often led people to block harassers, who then show up with changed ids, continuing to harass and bully the receiver who often fails to report them (too terrorised or ashamed of publicity). The female teacher who received Haider’s messages was courageous enough to report him, but did not publicly name or shame him, or attempt to contact him directly to ask his intentions.
Is Dunk threatening the #Metoo Movement Or showing us another side to the issue?
Is Dunk showing us that harassment has more than one face? And this is the primary main bone of contention – #MeToo movement supporters have been highly critical of the possible tangent taken by the storyline. Is the story about false allegations, is Professor Humayun innocent, will we ever know? And more importantly, did we need this story right now? Did we need it in a society where women are harassed in most public arenas, be it work, school, or within the safety of their homes.
Do we need to see the other side of the picture? Is the #Metoo movement under threat? It’s too close to call right now, for the next episode is hanging by a thread. What will Amal say? We can (sort of) predict her story, but can we predict the committee’s stance? Is this a simple case of harassment or false allegations? Certainly not an open & shut case – so let’s be responsible till we know enough (as we should be in a real life case).
After all, Art is as much about the artist as the one who appreciates it. You’ve had your chance, now let the audience decide where they take your story .. and if, it’s really about the #metoo movement or something else entirely?