STOP using Linkedin like a Dating Site!

Now that we are all taking about “workplace harassment”, I couldn’t help but bring this up.

It has been almost a decade I made a profile on Linkedin, with a sheer intention to highlight my professional abilities & skills to be able to reach out to professionals across industries.
Like me there a million women who use this tool to be found by their dream organizations and also stay on the same page as their industry counterparts across the world.
Linkedin is a purely a professional site, its design & features try to not make it like any other casual site such as facebook or instagram.

Despite this understanding there has been not one month in this decade that I have not received a message which is breaking into my personal space, making me uncomfortable & screaming “CREEPY” from men. Messages range from requests to giveaway my number so that ” They could call or whatsapp” or telling me how beautiful my photo looks.
 Ladies, how many of you are in the same boat??
Sometimes there were messages asking me to meet up since this man was in town, REALLY??
 Most of these men use recruitment or networking as their shield.
 And yes stalking follows soon after with repeating “Hi’s and hello’s”. Personal questions like are you married or Available, where do you live? Lets meet for some coffee? Your DP is so sexy!!!!
Sometimes a persistent one will do anything to get your number and will make that call to tell you how you are so pretty for your age and blah, blah, blah (You get the drift).
If you are an ex-colleague I understand or if I know you through somebody fair enough but if you are someone I have just connected with, and have no valid reason to catch up with, not right!
Before you make these bold moves,YOU NEED TO ASK ME FOR MY PERMISSION, RIGHT?!
If a woman allows you to get close, fair enough but if she said No, treat it as a final “NO”.
To such men, LinkedIn becomes a platter of desirable women to stalk,or harass, apart from their very own offices and despite being “Happily”married in many cases.

I have learned how to deal with this in my own ways, but what about women who have not?
What is so difficult for these men to understand?
I am a professional and here on this site for a purpose, if you want to date me find me on Tinder or somewhere else; if you don’t find me there, it probably means I am not looking for the same thing as you! What they don’t seem to understand is also a single screenshot of your creepy messages, could be posted on LinkedIn  or shared with the police and it can ruin all you future career prospects, along with your charming reputation.
Sometimes I feel, what a woman puts on her resume or skill-set, it all  boils down how desirable is she?

Every professional has a right to be able to display what they have to offer professionally and likewise there is logical protocol to reach out to one. If you have a job offer please declare it or send a JD, being too secretive about everything about a job you are offering makes you look less professional and more creepy.
Networking! yes, it is the buzz, but you’d know better how to do that correctly, pushing for a coffee date, hmm not happening!
Over the years I have met some great professionals on this platform and have interacted with them often, I have learnt a lot and wish to do this always. Can we all try and keep the sanctity of this platform? 

MEN, this is what  I have to say to you – Not all men are like this, I know that well , but there are plenty such creeps out there. This Could be your colleague or friend or almost anyone from your team you know. If you thing this practice is incorrect, please intervene, teach the others a word or two about maintaining a professional decorum. Teach these boys to download the real dating sites and not waste their time & effort ruining their professional image.

WOMEN, this is what  I have to say to you – Speak up, don’t hesitate even for a minute to report such matters to LinkedIn, in the person’s organization and the cops eventually. Most of the men are encouraged because they know the woman won’t react much no matter how low he stoops.You must give the man a chance to back off, but if you feel, its high time, do what your gut tells you! 

LEADERS, this is what  I have to say to you – As leaders you must make sure everyone under your team or the brand name of your organisation understands the implications of such inapproriate acts. Educate them, make them understand , make them aware. After all, this is the least you can do build equality in the professional world!

Why are Men & women not equal in India?

May be I am feminist, may be not, I don’t care. 
If voicing my opinion will drive the point home & help create a better tomorrow, I am ready to do it every single day of my life!
Almost all of us are fed up & frustrated listening about crimes against women committed every min in India. But what we don’t see often are the roots of all this, lies in where such mentality arises from.
This man-woman inequality issue is way deep rooted and may take centuries to get out of our society. It is rooted in almost every boy from the time he is a 3 year old, and it is a fault of women themselves who allow them to think that they are superior to all women no matter what age or status they are at. 

It is the fault of all mothers, sisters, wives, daughters, girl friends, who have encouraged this mindset. Just the reactions have different levels, some men will just display that dominating behavior for some issues like ‘don’t wear this’ or ‘don’t go there’ & some for almost everything to take complete control and if this control boundary is violated the punishment is severe varying from a mere yell in public to burning one alive!
Unless all the women in this country unite to correct the base of this problem we will never overcome it!

All the women need to come together & pledge to educate and set boundaries to men and women around them about what does equality actually mean!
It will only make a difference when all of us come together to change this society, this country we live in!  

Here is what women can do for other women to help bring in this positive change:

  • Encourage the WOMEN around you to have a voice. Whether at home or work, encourage them to share their opinions & ideas. let them have a voice.
  • Stop pulling each other down, that bitch at work might be battling a 100 issues to get to work and kick ass at it, so its good for you if you know one such woman, don’t indulge in back biting or discouraging her, instead create a support system where in she doesn’t have to be a bitch to survive.
  • Positive feminism is the key: Educate one another, bring in positive feminism and not an angry, aggressive constantly argumentative one. A lot can be done without fighting always and by just conveying a point politely, addressing an issue gracefully. Teach young girls to be assertive and aware. Feminism doesn’t have to only be about brash words, screaming slogans and road rallies.
  • Make men a part of this: Not all men are the same, there are many who agree with this need of equality. Instead of cornering them with accusations of how men treat women, Rope them in. They can help change other men as well. So stop shutting them down saying “You don’t know a thing a about feminism”. Instead make them aware, educate them and encourage them to help spread this forward. Be it your father, brother , son or a friend. Talk to them.
  • All the ladies need to step up and participate in this if you want any change! It can’t be done by someone else it is your job too. Get up and participate, in your style.

Hope this inspires you to bring in some positive changes towards equality in India.