Tuesday, April 25, 2006

He looked at her, with some amount of apprehension. “What about dinner tonight?”

She hesitates. Then, haltingly, she replies: “Actually, you see, I have to attend a friend's wedding today, so….”

He finds her resistance even more alluring. Quietly, he says: “No problem! By the way, you are looking great.” He knows he has to be patient. He doesn’t mind. This one is special.

A few days later he calls her and tells her that he has fixed everything. The others are also coming for the party. It won’t be very late, he promises.

She dresses carefully for the party. In spite of the others, his eyes never leave her. She can’t help blushing.

She enjoys the party and now, it’s time to leave. He offers to drop her...

Next day, she resigns.

Sexual harassment at work is a reality that every working woman has to live with. There are policies against such behaviour in most organisations. But who has the guts to complain, when the deciding authorities are also the guilty ones? You can take them to court, but again, money and power are on their side. And after the publicity, where will you find a new employer?


At 7:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where did this come from?!!?? Women in the U.S. thrive on this multi-billion dollar industry. Who wants another employer when you've made more than what you could earn in a lifetime in one fell swoop? Let's make that 'stoop'!;)

At 8:06 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is intriguing. What constitutes sexual harassment? I know the law has a long list. But is it just that? Or is it something else? I have never faced anything of the sort that you have mentioned, MoM, at work. But something happened recently that made me extremely uncomfortable. At a meeting, I was commented upon in a slightly gender-insensitive manner. You know what I mean -- a slightly derogatory remark towards women, in that almost unnoticeable manner, cloaked in an embarrassing laugh that men bond over.

So, what was that? Sexual harassment or just insensitivity? I'm a bit foxed.

At 10:05 PM, Blogger Mind over Matter said...

Anon 1: My mistake, should have specified that I was talking about India. Here, the law is not so stringent and the judiciary moves at the pace of a stone age tortoise. So here, women don't make even a few pennies out of such suits - in fact, more often than not, they lose money. They either have to give in to the demands or face discrimination and humiliation at work.

However, even in the US, where women are making all that money, the feeling of humiliation cannot be done away with. No millions can make a woman forget the discomfort and sometimes total panic of facing unwanted overtures.

At 10:13 PM, Blogger Mind over Matter said...

Anon 2: Yes, it's a good question. If you go by some policies, then even telling a woman (or man for that matter)that s/he looks great can be regarded as sexual harrassment.

What I'm talking about is verbal and physical harrassment, where a woman faces sexual comments, demands to sleep with the boss and such things. And believe me, these things happen, very regularly, especially in the media and publishing industries. I have personally faced something like this and when I refused to give in, my career in that particular company, in spite of good performance, was stunted intentionally.

As for your other question, I guess it's a borderline case . However, these days, both the sexes make sexist remarks about the other sex and revel in their own superiority. I don't think you should take that too hard.

At 2:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There's only one side of the sex. harr. coin we're considering here. Your post assumes that justice is denied, or that those responsible for meting out justice are always hand in glove with the accused (or even guilty).

What our Anon. friend perhaps wants to point out is that a lot of women in the US use SH purely as a weapon for revenge, or instrument to make loads of quick money, without ever being humiliated, blah.

You might have been speaking from experience (personal or someone else's) and I fully empathize with how you feel about the issue. But I would urge you to consider the whole issue.

Anon. bless your anonimity, you've made a brilliant comment.

At 2:35 AM, Blogger Mind over Matter said...

Agreed that women in the US use SH as a means to make a quick buck (or loads of it). That is definitely the other side of the coin. My post aimed at dealing with a certain aspect of SH which is as much of a reality as the million-dollar compensations that some women get. Of course there are other aspects to this story, but I wouldn't want to touch upon them, since I don't have enough knowledge in those areas. For instance, in India too, there are women who have taken advantage of the amorous overtures of their bosses by securing plum posts and monetary benefits. But, I repeat, I'm not qualified to write about the psyche of those women.

I feel Anon is guilty of ridiculing women by suggesting that 'all' women would rather make money out of SH suits instead of seeking honest employment.

At 4:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

what the fuck

At 11:23 PM, Blogger Mind over Matter said...

Same to you anon!


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