The article is titled, “How Monica Dogra asked for money on the net and became a joke”, and I recognize shaming culture when I see it.

I might not want to contribute money to Ms. Dogra’s project and I might even disagree with her idea of what she wants to achieve with this project. I might also believe that there are better ways and methods of helping the LGBT community. I might even think that this idea that Ms. Dogra has, of raising Rs. 50 Lakhs is the stupidest idea ever – a joke – and that the project deserves to fail. But I do not say, “Monica Dogra deserves to fail.” or “Monica Dogra is a joke.” Ms. Dogra might not be any good at music either – I don’t know – who am I to judge? I don’t have stage fright but I can’t sing and dance in front of a crowd or crowd surf – that takes courage – especially in a country like India.

What I see is a girl trying to do something new with whatever resources and ideas she has. I also see a number of people deciding not to put their money into the project, which is fair enough – they aren’t convinced or they don’t care. But I also see a number of people trying to shame her for expressing her beliefs and opinions via this project. ( I had seen Monica’s Facebook update about the nasty comments just last night and I was appalled. I thought it would go away but it has further blown up and created conversation around it. I just wish the conversation didn’t involve people trying to shame her – but this is the Internet and I’m wishing for too much clearly. )

Attacking her by saying, “She sticks bindis on her face”, is shaming her for her choice of appearance. How is this relevant to critiquing her project or her music?

Attacking her for her choice of social media status updates is also unnecessary – unfollow her.

Writing an article about expecting someone to be decent and honest while trying to shame them – how is that going to work? Sounds a lot like bullying someone to try and get them to respect you. If this “asking for money” was indeed a silly idea and it found no supporters, the idea would not be funded and Ms. Dogra would have to consider what worked, what didn’t work and what changes to make if there’s going to be a next time. An idea and an experiment failing in itself is a hard blow. There is no need to exacerbate it further by proclaiming that the person who tried it is now a “joke”.

The article has a disgusting title. If I was to follow the writer’s example, I would be qualifying the writer as disgusting. THAT is shaming-culture.

( I don’t know Monica having never met her in-person. But I have photographed her at a music concert some years ago. I had sent her a friend request on Facebook after I blogged the photographs and she accepted that friend request. This is my extent of “knowing” her. I also do not claim to know the “music scene” in India. I don’t claim to know much of anything about anything. But I recognize shaming culture. You can’t un-see it once you start seeing it. Amanda Palmer’s been through something similar. Monica, if you’re reading this, ROCK ON. I’d love to see you succeed. And any girls who are following this story, yes it’s scary but it is better to give it a shot than to regret not trying.  )


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