The four letter word
The daughter asks the mother, what is sex ? The mother is glad, the question has finally come. She takes the opportunity for a lengthy explanation. Mom, the girl interrupts, what do I write in this form , which says, name, age, sex.
An adult fills a form and writes “occasionally” against the column, sex.
Sex being a taboo topic, why cannot we have the word ‘gender” in these forms ?
And why is Sex such a ‘ learn it yourself” subject ? It is a sacred act for creation, we celebrate a pregnancy and birth and consider it a sin to talk about the process.
As a kid we learn about all our body parts, head, eyes, nose, hands, stomach, legs and some code or silly name for the penis or vagina. Why ?
We grow up with distorted knowledge and thoughts about the subject which influences the behaviour of humans in the society.
There is lot of protest when some one suggests sex education in schools. Sex is not just fornication, it is a subject that can be taught chapter wise at different stages in life
Every body needs sex in life, it needs respect.
As grown ups we should not forget what we learnt as kids like pussy means a cat, bitch is a female dog, dick is a name of a cartoon film, nuts are fruits, ass is an animal, cock is a male bird, ball is a round toy, lubricant is an oil and oral is poetry recitation.
The unhealthy approach and learning creates rapists and sexual harassers in the society.
Sex is not a four letter word, it has just three.
Behind closed cubicles
I was a member of an independent committee for prevention of sexual harassment as a fact finder, in a reputed company. Once people had the freedom to complain their grievance, under strict confidentiality, lots of them surfaced. Until then the cases were handled by the manager and the HR, which eventually used to end up, hushed , with the fear of reputation losses and hassles. Most of them were genuine, a few were imaginations and one of them, revenge.
In Viji Hari’s book, BCC, Behind Closed Cubicles, She says Workplace Sexual harassment is a behaviour defined as unwelcome and sexual in nature. It is a subjective experience (varying for every individual) and it is the IMPACT and not the INTENT that make it an offence
Vice chancellors, judges,Doctors, CEOs, campus hires, personnel at all levels and ranks across the industries and institutions , from factories, to hospitals to ITs to courts to colleges have appeared in the list of harassers. Viji explains different situations, each chapter covers a unique case, showing the intent and impact.
The book made me look back into the situations I have been to help others with good intention, I dread, what if one of them was misinterpreted. Please read the book and you will recognise all of us are walking on a thin rope with good intentions unaware of the impact, till it happens.
BCC is good hand book and a guide for the employees, employers and the management to bring about awareness of the rights and policies on workplace sexual harassment.
Her advise to :
Beware of your rights and company policies. Victims are not at fault and need not be afraid to speak up
As per the Act, the employer needs to have a policy, create awareness among employees and create a complaints committee to handle employee complaints.
Know your rights and how to handle each situations smartly
Having a strong 3rd party external NGO members, help the organisation avoid an embarrassing situation of the event blowing up and going out to the media
Word, gesture or act intended to insult the mockery of any woman is a punishable offense, fine or jail.
A training to all participants at the time of joining, as a preventive measure.
On 9th December, the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013 was introduced by Supreme Court.
Companies should comply with the act, introduce the policies and make it mandatory every one in the organisation is aware of them
I recommend this book, like me you will read it in one sitting. Log in to Amazon.com, get it, read it, it is a good one for keeps.