Our childhood has been interspersed with certain biases and binaries based on our nationality, religion, caste, etc., primarily GENDER. The binaries have been internalised in all of us so seamlessly that we have lost their mere visibility amongst the accepted order of things. The talk that was organised by the administration on 16th July, 2019 aimed at obviating those binaries and sensitising us about gender.
The talk began with Ms. Renuka Mukadam, an independent Consultant on POSH (Prevention of Sexual Harassment) explaining the difference between sex and gender; the former being inherently biological and the latter social. The crux of the harassment that usually happens has our understanding of healthy flirting and harassment not being in place. While it is easier to get enticed amongst the stress and peer pressure, the students need to filter and look through the wrong. In order to facilitate this, she elucidated on the signs of harassment and what to do if the students catch ourselves under any unfortunate circumstance pertaining to harassment.
She also took specific instances from the accepted ideologies which were as basic as association with certain colours, e.g., pink with women and blue with men to the idea of being able to ‘choose’ whatever students want for themselves. While it is easier to implicate men of being the dominant sex and exploiting the other sex, we often forget to implore the context from which certain behaviours and actions come from.
The talk was complemented by beautiful and informative videos. The visual aid helped students to understand the topic in a detailed and a nuanced manner.
For any college to prosper, it is important to ensure that the students feel secure and be emotionally stable. The college has stringent guidelines when it comes to sexual harassment. The college has constituted its own internal complaints committee with representation from students from both years who involve with the administration to register any complaint, investigate and take appropriate action. The administration makes sure that the committee is easily accessible and hence the contact information is available on the website and spread far and wide through offline means. Ms. Renuka Mukadam is also an external member of the Internal Complaints Committee.
The first step to curtail any wrong is voicing discontent. The prerogative lies on the students to make sure that they do not accept any wrong that is happening to them or the people around them.