One woman colleague of mine recently threatened me of filing sexual harassment complaint. Even though she was joking and it was only when we were discussing feminism in a lighter mood she said that but this light remark enlightened me of another dimension of women’s value in today’s life.
We were discussing about my human rights blog and she was objecting saying I portray all women as criminals and she wanted to say “Not all women are the same”. I gave her a open challenge to prove herself on any of my articles and suggested that we could have discussion on my blog instead of an open discussion on the floor.
She married recently and denied introducing her husband to me because “he would immediately give her divorce, if I was introduced to her husband”. I told her that if she is the so called good woman, she needn’t have to be afraid of me or my blog as my blog is only against feminists who are criminals and want to claim all advantage simply based on their gender. When she could not prove herself initially she told that she wanted to kill me and then told she would file harassment case against me, because as she said “my blog was harassing her”.
I used to consider her as a good friend of mine. Like her there were many other women colleagues who were close to me till such time they knew that my blog existed. All of them started thinking that because of my bad relation with ONE woman I am fighting against all women. I thought of asking them – “would you say the same thing to a rape victim who wants to HangTheRapist?”
What none of those women understood that one did not need to get raped to protest against rape. If it did, then no man would ever come forward in support of HangTheRapist campaign.
Today men have gone to the extent of suggesting chopping off genitals of the rapist and in one case in India they did so simply based on rape attempt (and NOT actual rape). This proves that men want to show that they are not criminals and they don’t support a crime like rape. There are many men who openly give statements shaming their manhood. On the contrary, women when they can’t win simple argument want to file sexual harassment complaint or at least threaten to file one. Even if we consider this incident as a joke and probably she didn’t mean what she said but we would never see any man joking and telling a woman colleague of raping her? You can imagine if anyone ever did that then what would have been the reaction from others?
One of my friends from Hyderabad narrated a similar story. While travelling in his car he overheard a woman telling her boyfriend that she wanted to file sexual harassment complaint against her male boss and resign, as he was overloading her with work and she was getting late every day. These complaints are in fact very easy nowadays and the results are known to everyone. The guy loses his job instantly and the woman gets a pay raise and probably easier assignments or promotion.
When any woman files such false cases or takes benefit of such situation she actually proclaims that she gets more benefits because she has a vagina and she does not care about anything else. In a way such women prove only one point, women need to be valued for their vagina and not for their merits or behaviour.
When any woman does that she makes it hard for men to distinguish between good and bad women. This distinction becomes harder when other women do not protest against such false cases or do not demand any outrageous punishment for such criminals. All such mute women prove that women need to be valued only for their sexuality and nothing else.
This is applicable for any woman who enjoys any benefit given to her only for being a woman. For instance, reserved seat in bus or in trains, legal provisions for women, reserved seats in educational institutions or grace marks in IIT or IIM for being a woman. In none of such cases a woman’s merit is considered but only consideration made is of her gender.
In other words women are reduced to their genitals with each of these benefits provided to them. Those who provide these benefits and those who enjoy these benefits do not want to recognize themselves as humans, because if they did they would have protested this kind of gender bias in the first place and India’s political history would have been written in a different way.
Personally I am not against reservation for women if that helps them in coming to the mainstream of population, makes their daily commute easier and helps them to participate in workforce. But in all such cases we see that eligible and worthy men are deprived off and women are given such benefits simply based on their gender and that causes more harm to female gender than anything else.
I will explain this in this paragraph. When IIM Kolkata gave five grace marks to women candidates to ensure more women get into IIM and gender ratio in IIMs improves, this was projected as women empowerment. There is no denying the fact that securing a place in IIM is extremely prestigious matter and there is a cutthroat competition for that. IIMs are Centres of Excellence and not just any other educational institute.
Five additional marks make huge difference in IIM entrance. In normal scenario some worthy candidates who could have been selected on merit were denied a seat simply because of their genitals. And any such benefit extended to women thus reduces their identity only to their genitals and nothing else.
Thus any such benefit should be extremely outrageous for any self-respecting human being. However, no one of them ever protested against such facilities. Rather women enjoyed them and still claimed that they were oppressed. Women not protesting against these only confirmed that they liked all such facilities given to them based on only their gender, even though the money came from the taxpayer’s kitty, more than 80% of whom were men.
The main argument in such reservations and benefits has always been the Article 15 (3) of Indian constitution that empowers the state to make such provisions. This article was added later in our constitution to eliminate gender bias against women existed pre-1950s. At that time women did not have access to public property and institutions this special provision was made to eliminate any bias existed in the society then. Vote bank politics however has reduced women’s worth to their gender and not to their merit.
Let me explain this in detail with CAT grace marks example. Consider a situation where an overall score of 80 would secure a place for a candidate in any IIM. A hardworking girl secures the score 81 and gracefully enters an IIM. But there may be another girl who would secure the same seat for 75. We know that in an exam like CAT the difference between candidates is always miniscule but the woman who should have been valued for her merit was reduced to the same grade with one who is valued for her gender.
Same way consider a hard working woman, working 15 hours a day and earning her rightful income competing neck-to-neck with others and another who extorts money from other male colleagues in the name of sexual harassment and gets promotion.
These are the examples that show us why Indian women are losing their value every day. They lose their value every time a woman take advantage of their gender and these women DO NOT distinguish themselves from those taking advantage of their gender. These silent women make it impossible for men to distinguish between good, bad and evil women and thus all women are belittled only to their gender.
It is high time that Indian women understand what is reducing their worth and stand up for their true worth rather than celebrating every free benefit given to them. Feminism will never teach them their true worth, humanism will. The need of the hour for Indian women is thus to be humans first and then women.
By: Partha Sadhukhan