Will MeToo Make Workplaces Cleaner and Safer for Women?
As #MeToo revelations have become the new normal the outcomes the campaigners seek appear to remain elusive.
Notwithstanding all-round protests, Kavenaugh and President Trump have clinched what they were after. Cristiano Ronaldo remains in the reckoning for the Ballon d’Or 2018 award despite serious rape charges against him. An alleged victim of his misdemeanour has revived a gag settlement reached between the two several years ago. If he had paid a few hundred thousand pounds back then to silence her, his claims of innocence seem hollow.
Likes of Weinstein and Cosby Everywhere
India is hogging all current hot news in the #MeToo stakes – as if its rape infamy is not enough! The floodgates are open and no man in any position of influence appears to be above blame. The likes of Harvey Weinstein and Bill Cosby are everywhere, not just in the lecherous higher echelons of society – West or East!
Even a minister in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Government, MJ Akbar, is on the mat with allegations of sexual harassment from several women during his journalistic days. His party has no dearth of scandalous leaders – some of them even took out rallies in support of party sympathisers charged with the rape and murder of an eight-year-old child in Kashmir earlier this year.
The BJP Government has been keeping silent for the last few days and at the time of writing this Mr Akbar remains a minister. Some of the party leaders have even resorted to victim shaming, a demeaning recourse to escape flak for any male transgressions.
Harassment of women is endemic across all fields – Politics, Cinema, Media, Sports and, worse, Religion. The corporate world is not immune to it either.
Yet, it will be removed from reality if the blame is put entirely on just the offending male breed.
Authority (abuse of position), ambition (the drive to succeed as seen through flirtations), masculine power and feminine charms (deployed for striking business deals or for personal glory) all play up in the libido game.
Trading Charms for Growth
The political incorrectness notwithstanding, it is not hard to find compliant, consensual women ready to trade their charms for career growth. It is they who give smutty male leaders a sense of false entitlement, making them target even the unwilling.
The world knows all corporate talk of business ethics is often an exercise in convenient deception. The real victims are those who keep clear of devious means, sacrificing professional gains for moral fulfilment.
It is refreshing to see victims of male debauchery come out in the open to take on the high and mighty unmindful of the stigma they will be slapped with. This has the potential to lead to a cleaner work environment free of vulgar corporate machinations and predatory elements.
G Joslin Vethakumar