Twinkle Khanna aka Mrs Funnybone has never said and failed. In fact, if you’ve been observant, Twinkle, rather shines out on any opportunity, she opines on. Be it her blatantly honest tweets that tickle our funny bones or her devil-may-care attitude with which she says all that she says, Tina surely tells stories better than all her B-town friends, collectively!
Stories that happen to be the pressing problems of our society and the same stories that concern you and me. And if you had any doubts about her being the voice of the unspoken/unheard, I’ll let her recent contribution do the talking.
Twinkle Khanna in her last blog for Times of India, has come out and spoken about TVF and its CEO Arunabh Kumar. Also, the viral fever, India is suffering from- sexual harassment at work. Read it here.
In a corner office with a view sits a loathsome frog, his tongue intermittently darting at all the little file-toting flies. This frog is not interested in turning into a prince — he already believes he is one — and stares bug-eyed at the flies, his toys or his employees whatever moniker fits them best in his mind.
Some of the big frogs caught in a net in recent times are Phaneesh Murthy who had to resign from Infosys after his secretary Reka Maximovitch accused him of sexual harassment, Tarun Tejpal who created a Tehelka with his elevator antics and a man whose picture I had framed and displayed when my son shared a stage with him, RK Pachauri, then director-general of The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), who was later accused of sexually harassing a researcher at the organisation. A few days ago another big frog was added to the list and came in for some virtual dissection — The Viral Fever CEO Arunabh Kumar who is now making people’s temperatures rise in a way he probably never expected.
His innocence or guilt will be revealed with time but a single comment attributed to him, ‘I am a heterosexual single man and when I find a woman sexy, I tell her she is sexy. I compliment women, is that wrong?’ doesn’t just make alarm bells ring but is more akin to the hooting of the siren on top of a politician’s car that speeds through traffic lights and pushes its way through crammed spaces, declaring that here is a privileged someone who believes that the rules are meant for everyone else.
By calling a woman ‘sexy’ in a working environment, you are undermining everything she has worked for, the stereotypes she has had to break, the pride she takes in her abilities, and the inevitable guilt that she feels about not being home with her children, just to be there in that office, trying to make her place in the world.
In fact, contrary to what we’d like to believe, Twinkle too, has encountered the ugly face of sexual harassment. She even wrote about the ‘client’ who almost reduced her to ‘tears’.
“A few years ago, a message on my phone reduced me to tears in the car.
I am a fairly assertive woman and married to a man who onscreen punches holes in walls with his bare fists and yet I haven’t been spared, so I shudder to think about what happens to the vast majority of working women.”
In all hue and cry, Twinkle even has a message for the ‘Frogs Forever Franchise’ and it couldn’t have been more apt. According to her pen,
Dear members of the Frogs Forever Franchise,
We realise that having one X chromosome less probably leads to a diminished brain and raises your testosterone levels to feverish heights but here is some advice. There are bars, clubs, friends’ homes, Tinder, and your first cousin Guddu’s wedding where ideally you should meet women and ask them out. But if your heart beats fiercely at the sight of a particular woman walking down the office corridor, respectfully ask her out for a drink, and if she refuses your polite offer then go and drown your sorrows in that very drink and leave her alone.
Do not stalk her, touch her, send her lewd messages and emails. And as far as compliments go, try telling her about her great presentation skills, her way with numbers, her astute negotiations. ‘Sexy’ is an acceptable compliment within a work environment only if she is a stripper and you are her pimp trying to boost her confidence before she takes the stage.
Oh, Twinkle, is there any way we can thank you enough? But from one woman to another, THANK YOU, from the bottom of my heart.
Read the entire blog post here.
The blog has been shortened for readability.