One of my favorite stories is Monkey’s Paw. Most of you would have read the story. For those who have not, the brief story is as follows:
The story revolves a couple Mr. and Mrs. White, who have almost everything a normal couple would have. They are introduced to a mummified Monkey’s Paw who has the ability to grant three wishes, but with hellish consequences. They are warned to get rid of the paw, but despite the warnings of the hellish consequences, Mr. White wishes for an amount to make final mortgage payment of their house. The next day, their son dies in an accident and the couple gets exactly the same amount to enable them to make the final mortgage payment of their house. Subsequently Mrs. White wishes the son to be brought back from death and on seeing the mutilated face and ghostly features of the son from the window Mr. White makes final wish that he remains dead.
The story actually warns us against unbridled greed. It also tells us to realize what is most important in life. It questions our moral values. In the story the Whites had a pretty normal life, bordering on good. They had all their basic needs met. They just had a little mortgage left on the house, but wanting to pre-pone the repayment they lost their son. When they wished for money or subsequently the life back in their dead son, they had no inkling of the nightmares that awaited them. Their old age is filled with uncertainty as they lost the only earning member of the family. Akin to killing the goose that lays golden eggs in the greed to have more, but with even more horrific consequences.
Now coming to the whole #MeToo movement and the hellish consequences it would have for the femdom. The feminist movement started as a revolution for equality. But as every revolution has a tendency to descend into tyranny, feminism became a movement for female dominance. Forgotten were the laws of equality, fair chance and equal responsibilities. Feminazies started asking for compensation for deeds done by our ancestors and wanted the current generation of men to be tried for those atrocities committed by them. Trying to bring the dead back to resurrection. The consequences can only be bad.
In the beginning of the month I was in Bangalore, where I visited couple of old friends of mine, my mentor and few other renowned professionals. As they knew that I work for men’s rights so #MeToo also cropped up in our conversations. The fear was palpable. One of the top executives I met in Bangalore swore that he won’t hire any female employee anymore, but is frightened how to sack the existing ones. Another friend who is 5-6 years senior to me and was a staunch promoter of feminism and female equality till I met him a couple of years back, was grief stricken as one of his close friends was facing inquiry under POSH. With choicest expletives, he went on a long tirade against feminists, whereas my mentor was dismissive of the complete movement as that of fox saying grapes are sour.
I was reminded of a presentation I had given to one of the market associations in Delhi about Prevention of Women from Sexual Harassment at Workplace. The whole body unanimously said, if such laws exist and can be misused, it is better not to hire women.
And then there was this report from Wall Street Journal. Bloomberg very mildly put the same in four basic tenants or strategies by Wall Street for making “life even harder for women”:
- No dinners with female colleagues.
- Don’t sit next to them on flights
- Book hotel rooms on different floors
- Avoid one to one meetings
But the challenges for women is lot more deeper than these cosmetic steps men are taking to avoid being caught in #MeToo wave. Bloomberg rightly quoted in the end and I am reproducing the same verbatim here:
In this charged environment, the question is how the response to #MeToo might actually end up hurting women’s progress. Given the male dominance in Wall Street’s top jobs, one of the most pressing consequences for women is the loss of male mentors who can help them climb the ladder.
“There aren’t enough women in senior positions to bring along the next generation all by themselves,” said Lisa Kaufman, chief executive officer of LaSalle Securities. “Advancement typically requires that someone at a senior level knows your work, gives you opportunities and is willing to champion you within the firm. It’s hard for a relationship like that to develop if the senior person is unwilling to spend one-on-one time with a more junior person.”
And the article concludes that the Wall Street is soon going to be an all men’s club once again.
#MeToo started as a movement against female harassment. But public naming and shaming; which has curtailed many careers in India and abroad and more so when these women use shoot and scoot strategies and back out from lodging a formal complaint has brought the spell of Monkey’s Paw on the whole feminist movement.
Few things happened this month which could put things in better perspective. Shruti Hariharan, a south Indian movie star lamented that the offers for work has dried up since she tagged someone in #MeToo. On the other hand Sonu Nigam exonerated his peer Anu Malik asking for proof. Anu Malik on his own ventured into Marathi Music Industry, showing that offers to him has not dried up despite being named in #MeToo charade. A Genpect employee committed suicide and the lady in question and the whole ICC possibly would face a probe as to why he was suspended from his job pending inquiry, despite the Sexual Harassment at Workplace Act not warranting any such action. And 10 years after the incident, Tanushree Dutta who was on a holiday in India is back in USA after filing a police complaint. A whole political party is backing Nana Patekar in his fightback.
Things are changing in political arena too. Farooq Abdullah had to eat crow for stating that he is scared to hire female secretaries, but now Trump openly says that #MeToo makes him fear more for his sons than his daughters. Back home, Manohar Lal Khattar in a public rally tore into rape allegations stating that most of them are false. Two Member of Parliament attended seminar for National Commission for Men in Delhi and these men are not backing down from their stated position anymore.
The proverbial hellish consequence of the loose-cannon accusations on which the feminists are gloating would translate into fewer opportunities for women in workplaces. So when there won’t be any females at work place there won’t be any sexual harassment of women at workplace.
And where would all these educated women go? They would have to work in unorganized sectors where there is even less protection provided by law. Where the men are not so renowned that they fear a media backlash and where these women would have to face much more mortifying experience than a glare or two against whom they have any recourse. It is no secret that there is no dearth of failed or out of work actresses working in sex trade.
Sexual Harassment at Workplace Act provides for an equal punishment for false complaint, the movement is ready to get the same repealed and if that happens then it would be the final nail in the coffin for jobs for women in any organized sector. It would be the resurrection of dead son of Whites in the story and the feminists may have to demand a recall of legislation completely to bring women back in jobs.
It is for the intelligent women to rise and caution women against using #MeToo spell as a vendetta tool and a mean to settle personal scores.