Priyanka’s Interview Exposes How Women Can Lose Jobs Due To Workplace Bullying

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.

PC’s revelation is a reminder of how prevalent workplace bullying is

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.

We have no business policing women at work for what they do in their personal life

This was the cross that the teacher in Kolkata carried outside work as wellthe 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?

Never miss real stories from India's women.

Register Now

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

Liked this post?

Join the 100000 women at Women's Web who get our weekly mailer and never miss out on our events, contests & best reads - you can also start sharing your own ideas and experiences with thousands of other women here!


About the Author

Tina Sequeira

Author, poet, and marketer, know more about Tina Sequeira here: read more...

115 Posts | 560,787 Views

Stay updated with our Weekly Newsletter or Daily Summary - or both!

All Categories