After the advent of the #MeToo movement in the west, it travelled down to India to unfurl horrifying episodes of women being subjected to sexual harassment. Be it indecent behaviour, unwanted remarks or insensitive comments, women have been under them for a while now.
History repeated itself again at the Times LitFest in Delhi, during a panel discussion on the #MeToo movement.
In between an argument on sexual harassment of women, political writer and journalist Talveen Singh made an inappropriate jibe by calling Faye D’souza ‘dressed like a man’. Here’s the video:
Senior Journalist Tavleen Singh tells @fayedsouza that she is 'dressed like a man'!
Listen in to Faye Dsouza's reply to her! pic.twitter.com/zdMpkGkYFw
— Mirror Now (@MirrorNow) December 1, 2018
The statement, not just perturb D’souza but also agitated the crowd present at the venue.
Singh tried to downplay the comment by tagging it as a ‘joke’. Barkha Dutt too supported D’souza by admitting that the comment was ‘insensitive’ and ‘not funny’. Later, Singh tweeted about the incident claiming that it isn’t possible to make jokes in front of feminists. Whatever that means!
Social media didn’t hold back while condemning Singh for her statement.
I sincerely request journalists and organisations to boycott @tavleen_singh and not give her a platform to air her delusional, bigoted and sexist remarks anymore. She's not worth it and we all know on whose payroll she is
— Neerja Gogoi (@NeerjaGogoi) December 1, 2018
You aren't the first one to come up with the women-cant-take-a-joke defense for sexism.
Your joke wasn’t funny. It was offensive. The defensiveness & the apology that wasn’t really an apology is just making this worse.
— Vidya (@VidyaKrishnan) December 2, 2018
It's not a joke when only you find it funny. It's definitely not a joke when you have to explain it so much.
— Rohini Mohan (@rohini_mohan) December 2, 2018
That indeed was funny… No, not Tavleen Singh's comment on Faye being dressed like a man…
What is funny is that Tavleen thought it was a joke 😆😆🤣🤣 https://t.co/2A8mBT3mtp
— Gp Capt Christopher (Retd) (@bcchristopher) December 3, 2018
Tavleen was joking? I had no idea pic.twitter.com/c9jChbnr33
— Old Monk (@0ldm0nk84) December 2, 2018
While the majority of people took the statement as offensive and condemned it, there were few who also supported Tavleen Singh.
She made issue out of proportion.She should have carried on with subject but she got up and childishly talking about herself
— Rakesh Mishra (@RakeshMmishra) December 3, 2018
D’souza has been openly vocal about issues pertaining to women in the past as well. She was strongly applauded by the public present at the venue at her response on the statement. Clearly, the road to feminism or should we say, common-sense is a bumpy ride.