Profile pictures go black as city catches up with ‘Female Blackout Project’

In the wake of the Kathua rape and murder of an 8-year-old girl, there has been an outpouring of anger and protests for crimes against women in the country – and now social media is taking a strong stance.
Representative Image
Representative Image

Chennai

A new movement called the Female Blackout Project is trending across the country, including Chennai, with thousands of students, women activists as well as young professionals changing their profile picture to a black square on Facebook. 
“It is a movement to show what the world might be without women. Your profile photo should just be a black square so that men wonder where women are. Pass it only to women. It is for a project against woman abuse,” stated the viral message that is prevalent in women’s WhatsApp groups across India this week. 
Lalitha Srini, an architect in the city has had a black square as her display on Facebook and Twitter since Monday. 
“This is not just for the Kathua victim, but for the thousands of reported and unreported cases that occur in India every month. It’s shameful that we need an incident like this to wake up to the occurrence of such crimes – our silent protest on social media is to show men that the world would be bleak and dark without our gender – and that’s what would happen if these crimes don’t stop.” 
It wasn’t just the women, though. Several men were among those taking a stand as well. Software engineer S. Raghul also blacked out his picture, posting, “Without women, all our lives would break down categorically. Can you imagine your life without a mother, sister or a wife? I know the fight is initiated by the women, but we are going to join the crusade.” 
Tamil actress Puvisha Manoharan, who has been actively supporting the cause, also said, “Blackout is about remembering the things we tend to forget and to show the support of the pain. Through silence and colour, we hope this movement will give voice to our grief.”

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