The value of ‘no’

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | MAGANDEEP SINGH
Published Oct 21, 2017, 12:25 am IST
Updated Oct 21, 2017, 12:25 am IST
Back home an ugly spat between two film stars has occupied much headline space.
Still from Pink
 Still from Pink

If we can get young male adults to understand the depth and immovable strength of the word ‘no’, it might be a great way to curtail future messes.

If the recent spate of uprisings against Harvey Weinstein have caused quite an emotional stir. While most people sort of expect the glamour industry to have its share of the underbelly, it hardly gets exposed. This one, nonetheless, is out in the open and is earning the producer no fans for sure.

 

Back home an ugly spat between two film stars has occupied much headline space. Whether Hrithik Roshan and Kangana Ranaut dated or not, they sure as hell are embroiled in a row that is more common among married-and-now-split couples.

And we now also have a bar in Pune named High Spirits, which has risen to infamy on the back of allegations by many women who said they felt objectified (if not outright harassed) at the bar and even went as far as to say that the bar management (the owner included) sort of exemplified and encouraged this raucous behaviour.

 

The truth is certainly somewhere out there. For the rest of us, our lot is to sit back and read about all sorts without reading too much into it. Of all the things I trust least nowadays, popular media comes right behind the government.

But one can’t ignore that there is a deep-rooted problem. Since last couple of days, #MeToo is popping up on my social media feed, and each appearance makes me feel sicklier inside, almost making me want to stand atop a building and apologise for those who do the wrong. It maybe far from enough to undo the damage done but it’s a start.

 

Meanwhile, for the younger of our species and gender, I think we need to start teaching them young. Not a lot just the meaning of one basic word — No. If we can get young male adults to understand the depth and immovable strength of the word ‘no’, it might be a great way to try an curb future messes. It doesn’t mean that all boys will get it but if we persist, surely they will understand some part of the idea of free will and respecting another person’s decision and space.

Hey, it’s a long shot but someone has to try. Maybe we could do with some positive reinforcement. Like dog collars which buzz when s/he strays too close to the perimeter, or like the Swear Jar at home where a lot of kids have put a portion of their pocket money if found using foul language; we need a similar device to instill the idea and power of a solid ‘No’. 

 

Kids need to learn that just because it’s a short simple monosyllabic word doesn’t mean it can be treated lightly or overridden. Men need to be taught this even more so but I guess it could be a faster process if we first get the young ones and hope that the older ones see the wrong in their ways through the eyes of the very children they nurture.

For now, the situation is grim, the clouds loom dark and dreary and not only on account of all the crop burning and fire cracker defiance. 
— The writer is a lover of wine, song and everything fine

 

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