Just yesterday a colleague told me how uncomfortable she felt when our boss from the HO called her a 'little girl'. Apparently she called up her colleague who was half a decade older than her. And she consoled her saying she was called a 'little girl' too.
(I am not sure why some women confide their worries in me. I don't bother to sound politically correct or protective) I wondered aloud- Why isn't he calling me a little boy!!!
Today mankind is standing at the fork road of history. In terms of progressiveness we have a chance to take a turn and it is left to us. I am talking this in terms of role of women in society and in the society I am in it is very much manifest in religion. It started from form of divorce in Islam to sexual exploitation by a Christian Bishop and now permitting women to enter a Hindu temple in kerala.
India as a society, for all these years, has cunningly dietified women to confine them in the confines of her home.
One greatest tool for gender discrimination is PATRONIZATION. It works better than physical or sexual abuse. It's a very common and accepted practice in our society. It starts off when you label your daughter as a princess and she'll carry the tag to her grave and die as a princess. All through this journey she's normalized to believe that she's weak, unclean, vulnerable and is destined to protect her beauty and chastity.
Workspaces are the trickiest space for a woman to be in. Ever since the liberalization the protective walls around the woman has gone down. She's in a free space to express herself but so does she have to resist and overcome the challenges of sexism and discrimination which are more pronounced. She has to fight from the same platform with men in an environment heavily favouring against the independent spirit.
The work environment today are largely asexual. The work , it's character and nature can be performed by any gender. In this common space sexuality is an invisible player and need not be explicitly expressed. Sexuality may be conveniently used for one's advantage.
Adopting powerful patrons is one such method to steady your ship in rocking water of the corporate world.
Legalizing patronization is akin to legalizing abuse. In the name of protectionism it is not right to curb the right of expression. The onus falls on the girl to protect her beauty and chastity. Haven't we seen the same argument raised as a counter narrative to grossest of rapes.