1. I will not make excuses for a colleague when he/she looks at me or touches me inapproproately, even if he/she is my boss, no matter how much older he /she is. I will let them know that it is not ok.
2. I will not give my son and daughter different curfew times, the world is as safe as we make it. (I have to take this oppurtunity to thank my parents for bringing us both up as children, not as a girl and a boy. We had to be back home the same time, infact my brother was allowed out longer if I was there, as I was older and more responsible. We both were not allowed to ride two wheelers, were taught to drive the car when we were 18, and were given pocket money on an age basis. Thank you amma and appa, for never making me feel like a ‘girl’, never making me feel like there were things that he could do, that I could not.)
3. I will not use the word girl in a derogatory sense. He is such a “girl” /”chick” is not an acceptable insult, neither is don’t cry like a girl. Crying is as natural as laughing, and being a girl is as natural as being a boy. The same thing applies to the male and female genitals, body parts are not curse words.
4. I will not label a woman a whore or slut based on my quick judgement. I will not make quick judgements based on her methods of celebration, clothing or her sexual preferences.
5. I will look at a woman’s face when I talk to her.
6. If I find a woman attractive, I will compliment her in a civilized manner, hooting, cat-calling and singing lines from film songs will not be accepted as appreciation. I will not make a woman feel uncomfortable about being attractive.
7. I will not objectify women, and use them to sell everything from bathroom tiles to cars. (In my first job, as a fresh architect, I accompanied my boss to an inside-outside exhibition. We were greeeted by a giant hoarding, of a naked woman hugging a tile, in such a way that just her breasts and genitals were covered, and my boss said ” who is going to look at the tile ? “. True words, even I, as a woman was not looking at the tile, what were they selling then ?)
8. I will not make silly rules, or enforce that my children have friends only of the same sex. This will only make them look at the opposite sex as something alien. I will teach them to be friends with people, regardless of their sex. I will not tolerate schools and colleges that enforce such sexual divisions. Unfortunately, in Chennai there is a whole chain of schools and colleges, that proudly claim that boys and girls will not be allowed to talk to each other, sit next to each other or interact in any way. The classrooms, and buses have a dividing railing, and the campus is devoid of trees which they believe encourages boys and girls to fall in love. Even more unfortunately there are parents who prefer these institutions for their children, and are proud that their child is in an environment where they will be unable to interact with the opposite sex. I worry for the young adults, who are conditoned to such warped notions.
9. I will not make somebody conscious of their body, tell them to “sit properly” and make a big hullabulla about things like a peeking bra strap. I will not be ashamed of my body, I will sing, dance and enjoy it.
10. I will be part of the change for a better society, a safer city, I will not be a silent observer.