An open letter about harassment by a girl who worked with TVF has been making rounds since almost two days now. The article was posted by an anonymous profile on medium.com named as ‘Indian Fowler’ pointing straight at Arunabh Kumar, the founder and CEO of the company. But, after this ‘anonymous’ user, shared her own experience, many more girls bravely spoke about their own share of experiences of molestation and harassment with the same guy!
I don’t want to talk about Arunabh, or these allegations that are being put on him, nor I would voice my opinion on things such as gender equality, feminism, workplace harassment or sexual abuse; I would rather talk about this girl, Alisha – a small town 24 year old girl, who has worked in her hometown for a while now and wishes to move to Delhi to make it big in journalism. Just like every other girl who has her dreams, she also wishes to work in the city which can give her more opportunities – to gain new experiences, to explore a new city and majorly, to explore herself.
After a lot of convincing to her parents, she finally reached Delhi for her interview in one of the biggest media houses. She cracked the interview, but while going back to her friend’s place (alone) she got pretty scared! It had rained few minutes back and it was almost dark. She took an auto, after making up her mind that yes, now that she wants to make this city her own, why not just do this. She was scared a little, kept Google Maps navigation open in her phone, and the auto driver took a wrong turn, but maybe it was just her doubt! This one turn changed her decision and she made up her mind to never move to Delhi on her own.
WHY? Not because the auto driver was corrupt, but because one suspicious action, made her think of all the negative things she could think of! Not because Delhi isn’t safe, but because one ‘gaze’ changed her mind, and all those sexual harassment cases and rapes she had heard of came into her mind all of a sudden. It is not just about things being wrong, but about faith. Why are girls still scared of moving out, why do they get chills down their spine when they think of moving out to another city all by themselves, because somewhere in the country, something wrong is happening with a young girl like her!
Wasn’t it the gaze that made her go against her own dreams? The same gaze from your boss at work can also be equally upsetting, isn’t it? Is there any difference between the look that the autowallah gave to the girl in Delhi from the look that your boss gave to your “assets”? And the answer is no. It is not just a touch, but even a small gaze might make the girl uncomfortable, being well aware of the world we live in.
So this same girl Alisha, hadn’t really been very close to men, in general. And, no male had ever touched her in a way that made her uncomfortable. Maybe, she just wasn’t very okay with the concept of friendly touch. While she was working in a growing news channel of her hometown, she was supposed to work under a male boss. This man used to smoke, he got overly dependent on her, and used to touch her in a very casual manner, but this casual touch wasn’t very casual for her. What made her so uncomfortable with this touch? Her upbringing, her family, her friends… everything.
We can’t just say that females aren’t safe in their workplace, because in this century, so many women are working in a full-time job. So, do they all face such consequences at work? I hope not! So what is it that makes a man get attracted to a woman at the workplace? It is pretty normal, isn’t it? But, what’s wrong is, getting sexually attracted to a woman, and forcing her into something without her consent.
Leaving that aside, there are instances when men try to touch a female with a wrong intention, and men need to understand that this touch isn’t friendly, and might be irritating the girl. It is just not okay to touch a girl around her waist, or around her bust, even by chance. It is pretty easy to make out for a man when his touch is making the girl ‘uncomfortable’, and that must bring an end to it, isn’t it?
We all have heard of this right? What is a good touch and what’s bad touch, why a man is not supposed to make a girl uncomfortable, with his touch, gaze or even with his words. We all live in the time where women are not behind men, be it any field. Then why do we need to tell a guy how he is supposed to behave with a girl. Why isn’t every guy aware of the fact that a girl’s consent is important for every action you take. We all have heard and read about such stuff, but still we need to say these because the need is still very much alive! Tragic, no?