Women In India Are Posting Pictures Of Themselves Out Late To Combat Victim-Blaming

They want everyone to know they #AintNoCinderella.

Far too often, when women are harassed or assaulted, people point to things such as their choice of clothing, how much they've had to drink, or their decision to stay out late — when the only people who should be blamed are the perpetrators.

Many women in India are fed up with this victim-blaming mentality, and they're fighting it by posting photos with an empowering new Twitter hashtag.

According to Buzzfeed, it all started last week when 29-year-old Varnika Kundu accused two men of stalking and attempting to kidnap her in Chandigarh, India. In a viral Facebook post about the incident, Kundu said it happened shortly after midnight.

One of the men Kundu accused is Vikas Barala, son of Subhash Barala, president of the Haryana BJP (an Indian political party). The already controversial case caused even more outrage on Monday, when Haryana BJP Vice President Ramveer Bhatti chastised Kurdu for her decision to stay out late.

"The girl should not have gone out at 12 in the night. Why was she driving so late in the night? The atmosphere is not right. We need to take care of ourselves," Bhatti reportedly told CNN-News18.

The comments angered many Indian women, who took to Twitter to declare they #AintNoCinderella, and don't have to be home by midnight.

Overnight, women used the hashtag to proudly post selfies and group photos of themselves out and about late at night. Some pointed to a quote from Gandhi, who famously said, "The day a woman can walk freely on the roads at night, that day we can say that India has achieved independence."

According to India's NDTV, the hashtag includes snaps from politicians Sharmistha Mukherjee and Divya Spandana (who is also an actress, and goes by the stage name Ramya). As Mukherjee wrote with her selfie, "If I'm out at 12am, it DOES NOT mean I'm to be raped, molested, chased. My dignity is my right 24X7."

Varnika Kundu herself also responded to Bhatti's remarks, telling NDTV, "It is none of his business, it is my business and my family's what I do and where...If it wasn't for men like these, I wouldn't be unsafe going out... whether it was 12 am or 2 am or 4 am."

See some of our favorite tweets from the #AintNoCinderella hashtag below:

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