What actions should HR and business leaders take to curb mental harassment at work? Share your thoughts.
Women are harassed day in and day out in all walks of their lives. This is the reality of our lives.
I never wanted to write about #MeToo. Sometimes, it never made sense to me that literally, every woman in the world had faced some form of sexual abuse – from her childhood to adulthood, to postmenopausal years and more. I always thought men are equally abused sexually and that they are victims too!
It is not common for a girl to experience someone groping or touching the breast, touching her thighs or getting a pat on her back, or even those ugly sexual gestures! Of course, the impact of sexual abuse varies with every girl and woman. I had so many other big worries to face and tackle during my teen and early adulthood that the impact was less and fortunately, it wasn’t a big deal. However, frequent or periodic exposure to abuse rewinds and plays all those incidents in my mind. I still can’t forget how my next-door neighbour and a family friend behaved! Such strong memory is bad!
I am a writer and proud to be! But as a freelance writer, it is a big deal to be on top of your game. However, workplace sexual abuse is too hard to cope with, manage and overcome! The funniest thing is, I work as a freelance, home is my workplace and I have no physical workplace.
The biggest shock that came during the initial years of my career was writing about health supplements including hormonal supplements and aphrodisiacs. During those initial conversations about my knowledge and experience in writing health content, the client suddenly started asking inappropriate questions where I failed to understand the intention.
Giving written projects and paying for the work done appears as a big FAVOR. Another client time travelled to an age where the barter system existed. It was literally a deal. Talk and act dirty, I’ll assign all my projects and pay more than the industry rates!
Then comes the biggest humiliation of my whole career! Last year, I joined a promising company (I don’t want to get into the details). It’s just a month, and I was blasted by the head of the organisation that I want to be in touch, talk and be in a good relationship with the top users! I was like WTF! I used to get calls to my number during wee hours. There were some users (just you don’t even know if such people existed) demanding to take up video calls via WhatsApp and more. Don’t ask me why joined in such a setup – I joined because I was unaware of all these! I was bashed like anything in a meeting. I don’t have daily conversations with the top users and it took many days to feel light.
And the reason that made me write all this stuff is that I never shared something that happened a few days ago.
I always had the dream to work in mainstream media. Being a freelancer, the chances are very less. Fortunately, I managed to work as a freelance writer in the mainstream media. I am a part of a team (of freelance writers), managed by a very senior writer and editor (by age and experience, literally of my father’s age and he has a daughter about 5 or 6 years younger than my age). His editing skills amazed me and minor tweaks elevated the content. It is quite a learning for me that I never had any mentor or anyone to learn from. I conveyed it to him and shared it is a great learning experience. Unfortunately, the project dropped due to some issues in the top management. The editor was actively finding other projects to work and assign to the team members.
He pinged me and asked If I can do a voice over for a video. I said YES! And he sent me a video of a girl masturbating. I was like WOW! I never expected from someone whom I thought was a guru!
A few days back, one of my fellow translators shared that people always think of a woman wrong who works from home. I have never faced it so far, but the truth has just been exposed. It is easy for a man or society to judge women that they can do anything to earn! Cancerous thought it is! At least the whole world is now working from home for the past few months, the perception has changed.
I personally know people who write erotic and adult stories, gigolos, female sex workers, and even who do sex chats and calls. Some do it for their livelihood, some for fun and some with no choice. No Judgement. But what lacks is CONSENT that is being taken for granted.
A couple of months ago, I drafted about workplace sexual abuse, for a Government agency. It was quite comprehensive. One thing which was repeated in the report is “The intent of the abuser or the abusing nature or act is not important, but the impact on the one who gets abused!’
I write it now because I want to get this out of my head! Writing is alchemy. I always thought I am an introvert but not! I draw boundaries, I am tough at times and act strange or rude just enough to save myself from the consequences of being a woman!
Image source: Image from Pexels
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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?
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