#CelebrateingtheRainbow at the workplace – share your stories of Pride!
A change of environment, and even more importantly, being in a professional space where the same alleged bullies cannot affect her career, made Priyanka feel psychologically safe to speak her truth.
Priyanka Chopra finally revealed why she spoke up now, which is more than a decade, on the deliberate attempt to ban her from Bollywood.
She shared how she felt confident and safe for the first time to speak about her experience, which she called tumultuous. While she’s forgiven and moved on a long time ago, it’s only now that she’s able to be open about it.
Her telltale interview also reminded me of the incident where a teacher at St. Xavier’s University was forced to resign for posting her swimsuit pictures on her private Instagram account. A student’s father complained about the immodest nature of the pictures which weren’t befitting a teacher.
Both Priyanka Chopra and the teacher faced slut shaming and moral policing. They were both targeted not because they lacked professional competence, but because of what they did in their personal lives.
The decision to sack the teacher was 100% unfair because she followed all the college rules within the campus during her work hours. Instead of educating the boy and his father about respecting a woman’s privacy and her boundaries, the school partook in further strengthening the bias against women at the workplace. By holding something the teacher did in her personal life against her at the workplace is gender discrimination and bias.
I remember my brief teaching stint where the compulsory dress code for the women were sarees. It was grossly unfair because the men’s dress code was western formals. I tried requesting the management if we could wear shalwar-kameez, if not western formals, but in vain. The general perception was that a woman in saree commanded the most respect from the students. Instead of teaching our students to respect women and their individual choices, we’re grooming them from childhood to box women as ‘good’ and ‘bad’, leaving no space for grey nuances.
This was the cross that the teacher in Kolkata carried outside work as well—the unrealistic expectation to play 24*7 the part of the good perfect woman, who’s respect-worthy.
What is so bad about a young woman wearing a swimsuit, clicking a picture in it, and sharing it on her private Instagram account with a select trusted few? What is bad even if it were a public account?
Why is the boy, his father, and the school management that breached and violated her privacy correct for being culpable in forcing her to quit her job?
Why aren’t men subjected to the same judgement for not upholding the workplace conduct outside office hours and premises? Don’t we know of men who get drunk, boisterous, and obnoxious outside of work? Haven’t we seen enough examples of men who walk around topless and in barely nothing attire during vacations? How come the management is benevolent on men sparing them the moral judgement and letting them off because “boys will be boys.”
As for Priyanka Chopra’s case, it reveals how Bollywood might make progressive movies, but it’s entrenched in misogyny. It’s ironic how Karan Johar, who allegedly might have had something to do with PC’s Bollywood ban, made Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna, his fervent ode to forbidden love and extra-marital affairs. KJo’s stance in PC’s case shows how even in the elite circles of Bollywood, the ‘other woman’ is the perpetual vamp, even if it takes two to Chaiyya Chaiyya.
It’s bad enough that women face bias at the workplace for professional reasons. We have to work twice or harder to be in the same spot as men, yet with less than half their salary. It’s worse when you’re penalized for your choices and conduct outside work, even if you’re on your top game at work.
Note how in Priyanka Chopra’s case, a change of environment, and even more importantly, being in a space professionally where the same alleged bullies cannot affect her career, made her feel psychologically safe to speak her truth.
Workplace bullying is real. The more people talk about it, the more likely the abusers can reflect and probably change for the better. The more likely these sticky conversations can forge an equitable workplace.
Image source: YouTube
Tina Sequeira is an award-winning writer and marketer. Visit her website to know more: www.thetinaedit.com
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Can you believe this bloke compelled me to wear only saris - full time at home- till the eighth month of my pregnancy?! The excessive heat coupled with humidity made my life miserable.
Recently when I browsed an interesting post by a fellow author on this very forum I had a sense of déjà vu. She describes the absolutely unnecessary hullabaloo over ladies donning nighties and /or dupatta –less suits.
I wish to narrate how I was in dire straits so far wearing a ‘nightie’ was concerned.
I lived in my ultra orthodox sasural under constant surveillance of two moral guardians (read Taliban) in the shape of the husband’s mom and dad. The mom was unschooled and dim-witted while the dad was a medical practitioner. But he out-Heroded the Herod in orthodoxy.
My supervisor introduced me as a valuable member of the team, emphasizing my skills and contributions rather than focusing on my gender identity. This simple act set the tone for my experience in the workplace.
As a transwoman navigating the corporate world, I had encountered my fair share of discrimination and challenges. Transitioning without the support of my parents and having limited friendships in my personal life made the journey difficult and lonely. However, when I stepped into the office, something remarkable happened, I left behind the stress and negativity, embracing a space where I could truly be myself.
Joining the marketing team as a graphic designer, I was initially apprehensive about how my colleagues would react to my gender identity. But to my surprise, the atmosphere was welcoming and respectful from day one. My supervisor, Sarah, introduced me as a valuable member of the team, emphasizing my skills and contributions rather than focusing on my gender identity. This simple act set the tone for my experience in the workplace.
As I settled into my role, I discovered that my colleagues went out of their way to make me feel comfortable and included. They consistently used my correct name and pronouns, creating an environment where I could be authentically me. Being an introvert, making friends wasn’t always easy for me, but within this workplace, I found a supportive community that embraced me for who I truly am. The workplace became a haven where I could escape the stresses of my personal life and focus on my professional growth.
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