Opinion | Speak Your Mind

Focus: Sexism in today’s world

Is it still a problem?

  • Compiled by Huda Tabrez Community Web Editor
  • Published: 15:50 December 28, 2012
  • Gulf News

  • Image Credit:
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11:08 Gulf News: In society, men are not being held accountable for treating women as objects or worse.

11:12 Salim Mohammad: No, I don’t agree. Both genders are equally responsible for what they do. The actual story is not always obvious or not what you read in the media. But yes, most of the time, it is easier to question and target one gender and say that it is her or his fault.

11:13 Apoorva Arya: Men are almost never held responsible for treating women as an object of use, mainly due to the stereotype that men are stronger than women, which leads to the practice of sexism in our society.

11:14 Akshaya Parthasarathy: In the recent cases of public protests in New Delhi against a gang rape case, a college student was shown holding a sign, “Don’t tell me what to wear, tell your sons how to behave”. I guess that shows the injustice in society. The mindset is such that even if a woman is treated badly within her household it is seen as a family problem.

11:17 Salim Mohammad: The lady in the report was sacked due to being a so-called distraction (“Employers can fire workers they find too sexy”, Gulf News, December 23). But is this ruling a solution for such problems? If something similar happened outside the office, what is the solution? I am not saying that men are always wrong, but there have been cases where women share the equal responsibility of what happens. So, if you can abide by a good character and be decent, everything should go well.

11:18 Madhu Madan: The bitter fact is that our society is still soaked in sexism. Today, it is just as prominent as it used to be. Women are still the unfortunate victims of sexism, being denied a job opportunity or equal pay because of their gender or because they are considered too fragile or emotional for the position. In some cases, women are not considered as smart as men, which is also completely unfair. Why cant we have gender equality in its true sense? If men have the right to look good, why don’t women? If a woman is indecently dressed she should be given a warning and made aware of the company policy. If she still does not dress properly, then her boss has every right to fire her. Simply firing a female employee because she is attractive is unfair and another way of harassment. Would anyone think of firing a male employee simply because he is too dashing and handsome? Respect women.

11:23 Shivshankar K.T.: Now, the question is not whether we are seeped in sexism but how to tackle those who are indulging in such heinous crimes. We need to have a fast track court to take decisions on such incidents, otherwise the whole episode will be forgotten and this will allow culprits to find loopholes to get out of the situation. This is very important to infuse confidence in people. Secondly, we need to have stringent laws against the perpetuators. Death sentence is the ideal one to force people to abstain from such acts.

11:23 Akshaya Parthasarathy: In the above-mentioned court case, it’s obvious it was an issue between the dentist and his wife, which cost the employee her job. I think everyone would’ve been better off with a dress code. It seems as if one’s eligibility for landing a job is based on how a person looks.

11:23 Touseef Ashfaq: If the way a person dresses is a problem to your business, then, by all means, termination is an option. But if you can’t provide justification for firing a person, that person should keep their job.

11.30 Gulf News: A woman is a woman’s worst enemy.

11:32 Apoorva Arya: We cannot say that the wife’s reaction was unexpected. After seeing those text messages, she felt insecure. But not blaming the doctor just because she is related to him was a mistake. In most cases of infidelity, women choose to blame other women because they wouldn’t want to break relations with their husbands. A woman is indeed a woman’s worst enemy — it is part of human nature.

11:33 Akshaya Parthasarathy: I guess she was doing what any other wife would have done - she stood by her husband although her insecurity blinded her from the truth. This case has now becoming a laughable matter due to the conclusion it has come to.

11:34 Madhu Madan: Yes, unfortunately, in such cases women tend to blame other women, which is not right. They are in a relationship, which they don’t want to break because of another woman.

11:35 Shivshankar K.T.: In this case, the doctor’s wife is not solving her problem by terminating Mellissa.

11:37 Apoorva Arya: That is exactly the point. Today, the world runs on what the society thinks, which is why women want to cling on to their husbands, even if they treat them disrespectfully, or aren’t committed. And this decision is absolutely wrong.

11:42 Gulf News: Most parents are failing to instill respectful behaviour in their sons and choose to instill fear in their daughters.

11:44 Shivshankar K.T.: This is a kind of discrimination and we all do that when we become overprotective as far as our girls are concerned. We should not do this as this will take away whatever little confidence they have.

11:44 Madhu Madan: Why are only girls taught the right code of conduct, moral values and decency? Why not teach the boys, too, to behave decently and respect a woman’s dignity?

11:44 Apoorva Arya: I absolutely agree. As many women activists say, we need feminism in our world because we are taught how to prevent being sexually harassed, while the men are not taught that they must not sexually harass women. When such a mindset is inculcated in women, they often become victims to accidents they could have avoided. A girl child, from the very beginning, should be taught to stand up for herself and her rights and dignity.

11:46 Akshaya Parthasarathy: We cannot fully blame parents. Maybe they are treating their children equally at home, but once they go outside in the real world the children are exposed to such behaviour and are influenced.

11:47 Salim Mohammad: Yes, parents are the first school where we learn how to live in society. Even in our religion the importance of respect for the opposite gender has been taught. After a certain age, though, I think a person can automatically identify what is right and wrong and behave accordingly. The mentality of some parents differs in the way they bring up their daughters compared to sons. Some are too strict, some are liberal and some just don’t care. Finally, it depends upon the individual and what responsibility he or she holds. On other hand, in today’s world you should teach girls a bit on kung fu and karate. Also, self-esteem and self-protection should be taught in the right manner.

11:47 Madhu Madan: We need to accept that this world is not ideal and even in the best and most secure places you will come across beastly men or rapists. Parents should make their girls aware from a young age to stay alert, teach the do’s and don’ts and what to do if some untoward incident happens. Why don’t we encourage judo or karate skills for girls? They should be equipped with such self defence skills.

— Compiled by Huda Tabrez/Community Web Editor

Gulf News asked: How bad is the problem of sexism in today’s world?

Very obvious 63%

It is an underlying issue 29%

Women are treated equally 8%

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