03 August, 2021

Sexism And The Workplace Wars

A spate of activism against sexual harassment shows up grey areas in a dark offence

Sexism And The Workplace Wars

THE scribble screamed the humiliation again: "You keep taking calls. Are you a call girl?" It was a note from her boss, the chief of bureau. The same who pinned images of semi-clad women to his chair and cracked lewd jokes. He had gifted Prithi with a book of dirty limericks too.

Ordered her into his cabin, marked out a particularly obscene piece and insisted she recite it for him. The taut nerves had finally found their way to the management for redressal. A reprimand later, he continued and continues to be the chief of bureau of the same prestigious publication. Meanwhile, her only succour perhaps, is that she gets to tell her story to author Ammu Joseph for the latter's forthcoming book Travails of Women Journalists.

Savita Rani's frustrations find no such vent. Even if she had an attentive audience, her story is a difficult one to tell. Her experiences have taught her that it is difficult to regiment relationships in the workplace according to the narrow definitions that are crammed into law books. That public sanction sees...

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