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I went through a rather nerve racking experience today and realised the importance of communicating with one’s elders and friends.Being an audit assistant, visiting client places becomes part of my job description. It’s all about interacting with people to get your work done. It had been a couple of months since I had worked on this particular client. And then, out of the blue, I receive this mail from a clerk who works there. He had stated that he wanted to speak to me personally, asked for my contact details and had mentioned it was about a marriage proposal. It would be an understatement to say that I was freaked. I had never encountered such a thing ever.
And going by what I see around me, girls generally tend to ignore such creeps. That, or worse, respond to them. I did not want to do anything foolish. I find that ignoring them only encourages them. The first thing that popped into my head is to make sure that one of my colleagues was also aware of this situation. Once I had shared this with my friend, I proceeded to write to my higher authorities. This is probably the best thing to do. Sexual harassment has to be nipped in the bud and to do it single handedly is quite a task. I’d rather not stay quiet or keep issues like these to myself. Approaching someone with authority and responsibilty will ensure action against the offenders. This could be your parents or your boss. And my boss did take this matter up with the creep in question. After denying sending such emails, he eventually broke down and apologised. I could not be more happy about the promptness and seriousness with which the matter was dealt. As later was told to me, “90% of guys are too afraid. Show them their place and they won’t pursue you.”
The major flaw in a modern day woman is basically lack of courage. Or at least, all of the ones I’ve met seem to hesitate. If there is one thing to remember, it’s just that these guys’ only motive is to make us feel low. We should give no room for that. Even as I did consider ignoring that mail, I thought about my responsibilty to hollaback. I had to stand up for what I believed in. It gave me the courage to tackle the issue head on. And when we get bold, it scares these people away because we’ve just shown them that we aren’t afraid. Fear is the only weakness. Don’t be too afraid. Fight back. And most importantly, never be too shy to approach people who can help you.
Note: While this issue isn’t strictly connected to street harassment, we thought it was important to post, given that D had taken the effort to email us. We do hope that this post will be of use to women experience sexual harassment in the workplace- Team Hollaback! Chennai
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