A Curious Mind W(o/a)nders

Friday, February 24, 2006

Respect the Opposite Sex


Many of the companies which come to campus for these Pre-placement talks have lady presenters (HR or otherwise) who hold the centrestage while other presenters (might/might not) pop in and out according to the profiles being offered.
And invariably, there would be some guy around me passing a lewd comment. Infuriates me no end and there is little I am able to do to immediately express it given the setting.

The typical justification is that it's "normal" and you're not "man enough" if such thoughts don't arise spontaneously in you and it's just natural to express it. And mind you, this is coming not from illiterate fools but the creme-de-lemme of our system.

Utterly, completely ridiculous.
She is on that stage for a purpose, and that purpose is not even remotely related to being the object of those comments. Get that basic fact right.

A key feature of human evolution has been our ability of understanding the fellow human being, and the respect arising out of that understanding. That's how we've thrived in collective units - as social beings. True, we've struggled both at the individual level and the societal level to develop this sort of understanding, and given the diversity of human nature, this struggle is natural. Yet the key has been to try and evolve the understanding before disengagement might happen. And once the understanding is in place. respect flows out naturally; by respect I do not mean an agreement or becoming the best of pals etc., it is just an equilibrium state decision where all involved defer to the freedom of the other naturally without violating their own freedom and without the impostion of an external will.

By passing that lewd comment, you're showing a complete lack of (plus desire for) understanding, and infringing on her freedom. By disrespecting her, you're disrespecting yourself and the civilisation which has given rise to you.

Individual choice, you've said to justify it. That means you don't understand the meaning of individual choice. At the cost of repeating myself, a necessary pre-requisite for free exercise of individual choice is understanding. Otherwise all the rapists and murderers in the world would be happily justified!
And this extends to all scenarios. By pointing out the folly of gender-based commenting I'm trying to highlight a rampant example of a larger malaise.

As another example of what I 'm trying to say (in a different context), just check this inane locust-commenting on Jaya's blog ( IV III II I ), a perfect case of stubborn insistence on not understanding despite repeatedly being shown the light of logic. Her patience must be praised.

Apurva's post explains the context, and just check the comment spamming that post has been subjected to!


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