Working women, the Weaker Sex? Try me – Shayantani Sharma

shayantani 4On climbing the ladder of success – lad by lad!

Nah! Enough of this convoluted, type casted rubbish about women journalists being subjected to work place sexual oppression by powerful Editors – bosses, ruling by sexually explicit innuendo’s bordering on a heady mix of senility, sinister misuse of position and an absurd desire to Viagra-ise their flagging masculinity via the terminally abused office of internship. Yes, there are the scum of the Earth, excuse of men who try to paw you into submission. There are the ones that even seek to draw hapless women into a false region of camaraderie only to bare their fangs, aka the dirty old wolves of fairy tales. There are also the ones who have generally made it into a habit of violating your private space at every pretext – from cracking their “innocent” sexually bolstered PJ’s, to marking you in their chain mails about Playboy bunnies, through to complementing you (accompanied by suggestive winks that are deliberately exaggerated) for the new hair cut / ear rings / dress / perfume… any damn thing.

Yes it is all there. And yes, most of us working women have been there (endured), handled that (socked ‘em where it hurts, in the balls). Why do you “guys” think all of us, working women (journalists more so) are your typically coy, Indian-bride-in-soap opera types, ready to walk into the pyre of “agni pariksha”, just because the rules that “you” set require such a course to ensure “your” continued well being and help maintain the status quo of “samaaj”?

Buddy, we are here because we are capable, because of our competence and it has nothing to do with us being women. Till the other day you and your chauvinistic ilk had directed your snide comments when we took to wearing the pants (convenience to us, despicable desire to “ape men”, to you) or blew the smoke or tippled on the spirit water. What you guys never saw, was that we were literally more equal – we took the pressures of deadlines and tricky reporting and mainstream journalism with élan and “you” (stressed out faggots) could no longer keep us confined to the beauty, children or the cookery sections. You saw only the pants, and it suits us (no pun intended) purr-fectly!

Today, I see (with repulsion of the sheer disgust type) many of you shedding crocodile tears. Some of you castrated morons are even trying to use the Tahelka blip to play your dirty politics. While the majority of you, using your same dirty minds, mouths and groping hands are shamelessly trying to cast us as the “wronged”; and are seeking in the process to elevate your despicable selves to some higher perceived ground of morality. Spare us your posturing. We, and as I say this, you can “read my lips”, do not need your sympathy, leave alone your hand-holding. We belong to the “here and now” and we have come thus far thanks to innumerable sacrifices of our mothers and sisters for eons at an end. We are here not because of some Manna from the Heavens or by some divine ordinance – we are here because we have slogged, sweated and earned our place in your male dominated, unequal Sun.

BTW, that does not mean that I have become some sexless amoeba or ceased to be a woman. Yes, I wear the pants and yes, I also do make up. I am proud of my body – for I have worked upon, maintained and even improved upon the one that God was so kind to bestow me with. I like the appreciative gaze that it attracts, I revel in the company of men who know how to hold a conversation, crave the touch of men I consider special and even am attracted towards the few who spray that special Perfum de L’amour my way!

Now, if you, who claim to be the “metro-sexual, multi tasking modern man” straight out from the pages of GQ have a problem with my sexuality and competence in my chosen field of excellence, then the problem is yours and yours alone my friend. And, the faster you learn to co-exist (?) in today’s world, the better.

I am, by no stretches of the imagination (your dirty fantasies included) denying the fact that there are the “stupid bimbo’s” among the ranks. Yes, there are women who infest afternoon television serials and play helpless to seize their trophies of tinsel. There are even the ones who are there in job situations by virtue of being women and women alone. They are there and will continue to be there – just like the scars on the moon: to be the exceptions to the Rule, not the other way around. All I am saying is that you won’t find them in the “war room” and journalism, if anything, is no better than a war 24 X 7. So, if you are a dirty old editor and still want to sing “lift kara de” (again, no pun intended), try me buddy: try me instead.

To end on a lighter note, I was once asked by a colleague (not the lecherous kind, but a jolly guy full of happy banter) as to why men don’t look women in the eyes when they talk. The answer too was given by him – “because women don’t have eyes on their breasts”! Yes, it is a typically man joke – their inability being sought to be passed off as our physical deformity and all that, still the reason I am saying this is simple. It’s a dog eat dog world out there and we women have not only entered it on our own wishes but will continue to triumph by the dint of our abilities (that does not include bitching). The faster you “top dogs” accept it the better for all of us (and them).

Next time you talk to a woman, I hope you know where to look – from where we stand, guys with their eyes fixed on our breasts come across as weaklings unable to even “look up” to us!

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