In the Post #MeToo World, How Do We Build Safe, Equal Workplaces?

Social Commentary

In the Post #MeToo World, How Do We Build Safe, Equal Workplaces?

Illustration: Arati Gujar


K Pachauri, Rajat Kapoor, Tarun Tejpal, and Phaneesh Murthy between them share one Nobel Prize, two national awards, one trailblazing news magazine, and highly coveted stakes in at least one billion dollar company. Yet, these four minds, who, for most part of their careers, represented the sharpest thinking in their respective domains, will now only be remembered for how they either mistreated women at their workplaces, or sought to capitalise the high grounds of their work for sexual favors.

What’s been made clear from the stories borne by the #MeToo movement is that the men who behaved inappropriately have usually done it at places where they exercised a degree of control. More incidents, for example, have been reported from the closed-off cabins and cubicles of offices, rather than public spaces like a club, gym, or a parent-teacher meeting. All of which point to a deliberate, machine-like leverage exercised by predators to harass women on territories where they clearly held the upper hand. This gives rise to the hypothesis that somehow the heady forces of intellect and power conquered the better judgements of these perpetrators.