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Business Tit-Bits

CORPORATE #METOO

As the #MeToo movement progresses and more and more revelations come out in the open, it is exposing the flaws in the movement, which make it controversial, to the patent benefit of those very delinquents against whom it is directed. It is another thing when many women come out in the open against a particular individual, as we are seeing in the case of M J Akbar, the veteran journalist, when despite not meeting the norms of conventional evidence it gives a feeling that the accusations are correct, but it is just another when a single woman is pitted against a single man, in respect of an event that is alleged to have taken place decades ago and has faded in distant memory. Moreover, the very fact that such revelations have been very selective and subjective and have spared many so far, erodes the movement’s credibility, as in the case of a Bollywood megastar, who has a legendary status in this matter, but has been wholly untouched by any me too allegations so far. What happened to women without their consent and at times taking advantage of their situation is certainly a crime, but sadly when it is reduced to a tamasha of her word against his, not only is the victim exposed, but the dominant male also gets away with the crime. With disclosures being selective, bypassing the top dogs and sometimes bordering on personal vendetta, the credibility and concern of me too, has been eroded in the public perception.

 

The #MeToo movement may have had its origins in Hollywood/Bollywood, but that does not mean that other swathes of society are squeaky clean. Such instances abound in Wall Street and also in the corporate world. But the movement is not quite benefitting the interests of women, in the corporate world. It has always been known that the share of women power incorporates has been disproportionately low and with the threat of me too at the doorstep, the big boys who dominate the corporate world are only closing more and more doors for women.

 

This has been at display in Wall Street, whereas Bloomberg reports, it is becoming a case of ‘avoid women at all cost’. It perhaps gained prominence/recognition with the statement of the US Vice President Michael Pence, who said that he avoids dining alone with any woman, other than his wife. Senior executives are spooked by me too movement and are protecting themselves by, no more dinners with female colleagues, no one to one meetings with them, no sitting next to each other on flights and hotel bookings in different hotels, but certainly not on the same floor, in the same hotel. An unreasonable political correctness has been imposed on men, who are reacting, merely to protect themselves.

 

This is resulting in gender discrimination/segregation, to the prejudice of women and the # me too movement itself. It is often remarked that women have had scarce opportunities in the corporate world, but with the me too allegations looming large, men have a legitimate reason to close doors and make such opportunities even more scarce. The movement did raise a correct issue, both legally/morally/socially, but its result seems to be anti women, particularly in the corporate world.

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