What actions should HR and business leaders take to curb mental harassment at work? Share your thoughts.
Change happens in small measures but every little change adds up! This writer's article on feminism got her a surprising response.
Change happens in small measures but every little change adds up! This author’s article on feminism got her a surprising response.
Something incredible happened today! A man chanced upon my article on the Myths of Feminism and after reading it, he dropped a message in my inbox. He mentioned that he was someone who used to quite often mock the concept of feminism and though he did not intend malice, he enjoyed flouting his feminist friends.
However, he admitted that he felt guilty after reading my article and realized the damage he was causing by countervailing the efforts of those contributing towards the movement. He also confessed that his own understanding of feminism was flawed and now he has resolved to actively advocate for this cause. After having come across derisive comments about feminists splashed all over social media every other day, I had to read this reader’s message several times to ensure I was not hallucinating.
No prizes for guessing that I am absolutely ecstatic after reading his note to me. Through the power of my pen, I had set out to do my bit to bring about a change, albeit a small one at my level and this incident reaffirms my belief that I am on the right track. For someone who has been told innumerable times by many that “Nothing will change” as an outcome of my endeavour, this feels like a vindication of sorts.
This incident actually made me traverse back in time. It has been more than 4 years since I actively began to get involved in volunteering with NGOs. I can vividly recollect some of the things I have been hearing ever since.
“Anu, I am proud of you. But, will doing all this really change anything? Trafficking will continue to happen. Nothing will change till the mindset of people changes”.
“Why will someone change their views just because you or for that matter anyone else is asking them to? Do sensitization workshops really work?”
“Oh! It is wonderful to read what you write but those who really need to change will not change just by reading an article.”
So in a nutshell, “Whatever we do, nothing will change till the mindset of people changes.”
And then we are also cynical about the positive transformation of this ‘mindset’. Why? Humans are meant to evolve and I know a good number of people who have changed their thought process and outlook with time, including myself.
Let’s take the example of the recent #MeToo campaign which had taken social media by storm and rightly so. While many of us came out in support of the campaign, there were some who expressed their concern about whether this would just end here, which I agree is a valid one. But, what irked me in all this was reading the posts which totally undermined the value of the movement with a complete disregard for the intention and rationale behind it.
Did they not realize how this makes a noise about the magnitude of the problem? Did they not appreciate that coming out in the open and talking about what they went through could mean the world to many survivors? Just the feeling that one is not alone can be a huge comfort and source of strength for the survivors of sexual assault and abuse.
The problem is that social media is often thought of as a futile platform/forum to talk about issues which need other ways to reach out to the uneducated, rural sector. Though of course, the real change needs to happen on the ground and we do not need armchair activists alone, we also need to acknowledge that social media is a powerful tool when used wisely to spread awareness and initiate dialogue about these burning topics. Every social vice is prevalent in cities as well in the minds of those with degrees and plush jobs. If you really think otherwise, I would simply say it’s time to emerge from that bubble you are living in.
If I talk about India, we know that more than half of our problems are because of our mindset, approach and attitude. If we can be more respectful and mindful of others, we would be in a much better situation than we are in today. But does that mean we sit and do nothing and wait for the circumstances to change on their own? How do you think the mindsets will change? Till we keep believing that nothing will change, evidently nothing will change. Something like the way an entire country thinks cannot change all of a sudden.
History is proof that revolutions do not happen overnight. It all starts with either miniscule or huge changes and the sum total of all these together bring about a revolution, an awakening. It is an iterative process. It works like a chain reaction. We may not be fortunate to witness it but the generations to come will surely reap the fruits of our hard work, just like the way we are benefiting from the inexorable efforts of those who wanted to give us a better world.
Remember that even if you are debating with a friend on a subject that matters, you ARE bringing about a change. If you are standing up for your spouse against an injustice meted out to him/her by your family, you ARE bringing about a change. If you are helping with the education of a child, you ARE bringing about a change. If you are bringing up a child to become a responsible and sensitive citizen of the country, you ARE bringing about a change. A writer writes, a filmmaker makes movies, an artist sketches or paints – we all do what we can and every contribution is significant. Not all of us can be a Mother Teresa or Sunitha Krishnan. But, all of us can be conducive in our capacities to our society’s uprising and the world needs everyone’s involvement.
I strongly believe that we are all the potential change agents of society and the only difference between the changemakers and others is empathy and an inner belief and hope. Our empathy translates into the way we live our life and then consciously or unwittingly, with every little action, with every word, we are taking that one essential step towards a more equal, inclusive, civil and sensitive planet. Undoubtedly, there will be times when you will lose hope. I do too at so many instances. But, the burning flame within you will reignite the hope in your heart every time you think it has died down.
“I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples. Forget about changing the world. The world will change by itself. Start with yourself and then change the world one person at a time, one thought at a time.” – Mother Teresa
Top image via Unsplash
First published here.
Multiple award winning blogger, influencer, author, multi-faceted entrepreneur, creative writing mentor, choreographer, social activist and a wanderer at heart read more...
Women's Web is an open platform that publishes a diversity of views, individual posts do not necessarily represent the platform's views and opinions at all times.
Stay updated with our Weekly Newsletter or Daily Summary - or both!
I wanted to scream with excitement that my daughter chose to write about her ambition and aspirations over everything else first. To me, this was one of those parenting 'win' moments.
My daughter turned eight years old in January, and among the various gifts she received from friends and family was an absolutely beautiful personal journal for self-growth. A few days ago, she was exploring the pages when she found a section for writing a letter to her future self. She found this intriguing and began jotting down her thoughts animatedly.
My curiosity piqued and she could sense it immediately. She assured me that she would show me the letter soon, and lo behold, she kept her word.
I glanced at her words, expecting to see a mention of her parents in the first sentence. But, to my utter delight, the first thing she had written about was her AMBITION. Yes, the caps here are intentional because I want to scream with excitement that my daughter chose to write about her ambition and aspirations over everything else first. To me, this was one of those parenting ‘win’ moments.
Uorfi Javed has been making waves through social media, and is often the target of trolls. So who and what exactly is this intriguing young woman?
Uorfi Javed (no relation to Javed Akhtar) is a name that crops up in my news feeds every now and again. It is usually because she got trolled for being in some or other ‘daring’ outfit and then posting those images on social media. If I were asked, I would not be able to name a single other reason why she is famous. I am told that she is an actor but I would have no frankly no clue about her body of work (pun wholly unintended).
So is Urfi Javed (or Uorfi Javed as she prefers) famous only for being famous? How does she impact the cause of feminism by permitting herself to be objectified, trolled, reviled?
Please enter your email address