Ever since the #MeToo movement gained momentum, there is an apparent change in the work environment at several establishments in Pune.
Despite most working men in the city voicing their support for this movement, there is a noticeably reduced interaction level between the men and their women co-workers, said several professional who spoke to Pune365.
Rohit Mishra, Senior software professional says, “After the Metoo campaign, I have restricted my interaction and discussion with women colleagues.
The conversation is limited and related to work, no after work parties and no office parties.
I thought it best to keep a distance from the women in office, as there is always the danger of some comment or a perfectly normal handshake or friendly hug being misinterpreted.”
With all these hashtags trending on social media, it is difficult to interact normally at work. Even a regular call to chase some office work may be misunderstood as being a woman targeted order.
Am definitely more conscious in the company of girls now, I try to avoid conversation with women, especially when I am alone, says Ayaan Joshi, a marketing executive.
If there is a necessity to communicate with female colleagues, I ensure it is face-to-face and in the presence of a third person.
Our corporate office has also made it clear that no conversation will take place behind closed doors in the office and there will always be an HR or senior person in the room witnessing the conversation, Ayaan added.
After the MeToo campaign, I have become quite cautious when talking to women. It is better to be safe than sorry, says Zeeshan Sayed, Journalist.
I support the campaign thoroughly, but I urge women not to trivialise the matter.
One never knows when a harmless chat, or a naughty joke shared with the opposite sex can land you in trouble. I have a lot of women friends who enjoy jokes even if they are a dirty indulge in it too, but, now I have to be careful about every word I utter.
I also have to ensure that I do not have any physical contact with women, unintentional or otherwise..
Even a good touch or an unintentional one could land me in trouble, Zeeshan added.
I have been in working for the past 20 years and over time, I have realised that an individual should always be careful while he is with a woman and be aware of what he says and does around her, says Ranjit Nath, IT professional.
A twenty-two-year-old Prashant says, I no longer feel comfortable joking around my female friends because am now unsure about what could make them uncomfortable.
While talking to women now, I only feel safe when the talk is purely related to work.
Prashant further adds, “We live in an era where we are supposedly free and open to talk about anything and everything, yet, it is not often that we understand what makes a woman uncomfortable and when.”
I personally feel, women should now spell out what makes them uncomfortable to that the men are also aware and do not cross the line intentionally or otherwise.
#All views expressed in this article are those of the individual respondents ( some names changed on request) and Pune365 does not necessarily subscribe to them.
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