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It's a Rough World Out There for Women

At every turn, they are expected to fall in line and obey

Published: 04th December 2014 06:03 AM  |   Last Updated: 04th December 2014 06:03 AM   |  A+A-

obama

QUEEN'S ROAD: It hasn’t been a good week for women on television. The inescapable wrath of the public eye has pulled up an actress, an anchor and the First Children of the USA for being too dumb, too provocative and too classless respectively.

Take the case of Aayenah Pahuja, the 24-year-old TV anchor, who represented Doordarshan at the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) held in Goa. Evidently nervous and inexperienced, she called the Governor of Goa as the Governor of India, and went on to make embarrassing ‘statements’ about various things. The video of her at the venue spread on the Internet like wildfire and the commenters on social media have shown no mercy on the young journalist. Right from calling her ‘dumb’ to wondering if the company hired her for her breasts, they left no stone unturned in kicking her when she was down.

The cyber-bullying apparently threw Aayenah into depression and suicidal tendencies, while she had already lost her contract with Doordarshan. She further released a video, in which she explained what went wrong during the shooting at the IFFI and requested people to go easy on such mistakes in the future.

While it is important for a national TV anchor to get her facts straight, it is worth considering that everybody has bad days at work. Are we really so concerned about the quality of television coverage that we are willing to drive a youngster to her breaking point?

When class comes into play

Elizabeth Lauten, communications director for representative Stephen Fincher of Tennessee, resigned from her post following the hue and cry caused by the open letter she wrote to Malia and Sasha Obama. In the letter, the former had expressed displeasure at the way the daughters of the President of the USA were dressed at the turkey pardoning ceremony, and had asked them to ‘show some class.’ Oblivious to the fact that she was talking about children who were 13 and 16 years old, Lauten had said that they were dressed for ‘a spot in the bar.’

The Congressional staffer was harshly criticised for her comments and was accused of being racially stereotypical. A popular blogger wrote, “Black children don’t get to be children. They are treated as adults looking for trouble.”

Lauten profusely apologised for her words and said that prayers and talking to her parents have made her realise that one shouldn’t publicly humiliate children. Needless to say, such words would have been uncalled for even if Malia and Sasha had been grown women in tank tops and shorts.

 

A slap to ‘get her in line’

At this point, that actor Gauhar Khan was slapped by a 24-year-old Muslim man for wearing skimpy clothes is still trending. Apart from stirring up a communal debate, the issue has brought to light the shocking thought process of some men in the country. In a statement given to the Mumbai police, the accused Akil Malik has said, “These days, boys who are minors are also committing rape and molestation and many of them keep obscene photographs of actresses in their pockets. If actresses stop wearing short clothes, crime will decrease and lead to a better society.”

Sources say that the accused had molested the actor and gotten into an argument before slapping her. He had also used the popular ‘being a Muslim woman’ phrase to justify his action. Apparently, it is alright to trespass into a shooting spot, harass and hit a woman in the face to get her to obey patriarchal rules set several centuries ago.



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