The sexual allegations against TVF’s CEO Arunabh Kumar has led many women to talk about harassment at workplace.
As the investigations are on and people are contemplating about his role in these allegations, Twinkle Khanna has opined on this issue in her blog. She shares her dark past where she was also a victim of sexual harassment and after failing to raise her voice against this, she ended up being a part of the statistic – 38% of women who faced sexual harassment at work, according to a survey done by the Indian National Bar association.
Twinkle Khanna also told us what is erroneous with Arunabh Kumar’s statement “I compliment women when I find them sexy.”
In her last blog with Times of India, Twinkle presents her views about this sad reality which sadly looms over almost every organisation.
Here’s her post:
“In a corner office with a view sits a loathsome frog, his tongue intermittently darting at all the little file-toting flies. This frog is not interested in turning into a prince — he already believes he is one — and stares bug-eyed at the flies, his toys or his employees whatever moniker fits them best in his mind.
Some of the big frogs caught in a net in recent times are Phaneesh Murthy who had to resign from Infosys after his secretary Reka Maximovitch accused him of sexual harassment, Tarun Tejpal who created a Tehelka with his elevator antics and a man whose picture I had framed and displayed when my son shared a stage with him, RK Pachauri, then director general of The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), who was later accused of sexually harassing a researcher at the organisation.
A few days ago another big frog was added to the list and came in for some virtual dissection — The Viral Fever CEO Arunabh Kumar who is now making people’s temperatures rise in a way he probably never expected.”
She fearlessly reasoned why calling a woman “sexy” in a work environment is unacceptable on every level.
“By calling a woman ‘sexy’ in a working environment, you are undermining everything she has worked for, the stereotypes she has had to break, the pride she takes in her abilities, and the inevitable guilt that she feels about not being home with her children, just to be there in that office, trying to make her place in the world.”
Mrs FunnyBones also took this opportunity to reveal how she has also been a victim of this sexual harassment, despite having a successful Bollywood star as a husband.
“Have any frogs tried to catch me between their webbed feet? Unfortunately, the answer is yes. A few years ago, a message on my phone reduced me to tears in the car. I had reached breaking point after months of suggestive messages from a wealthy, powerful client that I had been pretending not to understand because all I wanted to do was to complete the project in a professional manner. And so I ended up as a statistic — the 38% of women who faced sexual harassment at work, according to a survey done by the Indian National Bar association.
I am a fairly assertive woman, and married to a man who onscreen punches holes in walls with his bare fists and yet I haven’t been spared, so I shudder to think about what happens to the vast majority of working women.”
Finally, she addressed the members of this “Frog Community” and explained how they should approach a lady in a workplace for drinks.
“So dear members of the Frogs Forever Franchise we realise that having one X chromosome less probably leads to a diminished brain and raises your testosterone levels to feverish heights but here is some advice. There are bars, clubs, friends’ homes, Tinder, and your first cousin Guddu’s wedding where ideally you should meet women and ask them out. But if your heart beats fiercely at the sight of a particular woman walking down the office corridor, respectfully ask her out for a drink, and if she refuses your polite offer then go and drown your sorrows in that very drink and leave her alone.
Do not stalk her, touch her, send her lewd messages and emails. And as far as compliments go, try telling her about her great presentation skills, her way with numbers, her astute negotiations. ‘Sexy’ is an acceptable compliment within a work environment only if she is a stripper and you are her pimp trying to boost her confidence before she takes the stage.
Telling a woman she is sexy in the bedroom is fine, telling her the same thing in the boardroom simply deplorable. So think before you croak or it may just be your turn to be doused in formaldehyde and dissected next.”
Twinkle Khanna’s spot-on message goes out to everyone working in an environment like this. It’s time we raise our voices against this behaviour.
(Originally published in the Times of India)
Featured Image Source