I had an arranged marriage a little more than seven years back. One good thing about arranged marriages is that you have a lot to talk about, because you don’t know much of each other. She worked in the media and me in a business and technology consulting company. She always had many stories to tell and I had none, and that was not because I did not want to give away a lot, but because my workplace was as boring as hell, and hers was just the opposite.
From her I came to know about how women get subjected to sexual harassment, sometimes subtly, at times blatantly. I listened to her stories, at times with disbelief, though they were more than true incidents, and wondered if that is how it is, why wouldn’t there be more noise about such issues in public forums?
I was intrigued. I spoke to many people – friends, acquaintances, also strangers to understand whether it is a phenomenon typical to glamour industry. What I came to learn is – NO, it’s not. The menace is prevalent at all places, however, in global brand companies where the HR policies are stricter and implementation records are higher the tendency is forced to remain under some control. Unfortunately in India, most industries associated with glamour do not fall under that category, though things are fast changing.
But will the mindset of the organizations and people working in them change with the changing time and corporatization?
Chances are less, but as long as there is a genuine fear of retribution, crime should remain in control. With economic globalization that is exactly what we hope to achieve.
But there are two things women must do to make it a success: to start exposing the perpetrators in the open and to stop taking advantage of that ‘indecent proposal’. Yes, there are some who don’t mind taking advantage of the benefits of a little compromise or a casting couch opportunity. And that makes the task of a larger, uncompromising, dignified woman population lose out on the bigger battle.
So, dear woman, not for God or heaven or anybody’s sake, but for the sake of your yourself, your little sister or baby daughter, please do not remain in fear to raise your voice, and do not think of arm-twisting the situation in your favour by complying with that little compromise – because that little compromise will keep us pushing back, and the wall is never too far.
Read Rinita Bose’s story of trying to make it BIG in this world without much support system and battling over Sexual Harassment she faces in her way in Fragrance of Rose.