After smoking and drinking, women are now breaking into newer male bastions. These days, you often find young girls, especially collegiate, hurling abuses of the kind that you would have conventionally heard from men only. Interestingly, these girls come from well-off, educated homes, associated with “sophisticated gentry.”
By Baishali Adak
After smoking and drinking, women are now breaking into newer male bastions. These days, you often find young girls, especially collegiate, hurling abuses of the kind that you would have conventionally heard from men only.
Interestingly, these girls come from well-off, educated homes, associated with “sophisticated gentry.” These range from the relatively milder reference to one’s brother-in-law (saala), up to casting aspersions about sleeping with one’s mother or sister.
It isn’t as though the abuse is part of an occasional outburst or result of frustration but instead is increasingly becoming the ‘in thing.’ They are also all working individuals and in diverse fields. Metrolife spoke to some compulsive abusers to find out why abuse makes them feel better.
Tanya Pandit, a 23-year-old media professional, is a typical case. She is educated, otherwise considerate and very jovial but fails to complete a single sentence without swearing. In fact, verbal abuse is part of her daily lingo. Where did she acquire this habit from? “I have always had a large friend circle including lots of guys. I picked up swearing from them. Initially, it was fun, gave a high and made conversations easier! In fact, my friends and I invent new expletives everyday and it’s all in good humor.”
She hastily adds that she never uses invectives when angry. “You know, many a time, when conversations become serious, saying something like that actually cracks everyone up and lightens situations.”
On the other hand, Sujata Sengupta, a 24-year-old event management professional, cites a completely different reason. “I know so many girls who were very mild-mannered but started abusing after they began to travel in buses and other public transport and encountered eve-teasing. These lecherous guys don’t understand any other language but that of abuse and many of them back off when called names.”
She thoughtfully adds, “Have you ever wondered why all Hindi abuses involve only women? We should have a few targeting men too. After all they should also get a taste of their own medicine.”
Then there is Kanika Agarwal, a 24-year-old corporate communications professional, who started abusing after encountering a particularly difficult boss. “All the credit for my abusing goes to my former boss. I couldn’t tell her on her face what I felt about her, so I started abusing behind her back and it became a habit. Believe me, in some organizations if you don’t abuse, people tend to think that you don’t exist. Every ‘F’ word equals frustration.”
However, being abusive doesn’t mean one is comfortable with it also. Kanika for one, is trying hard to get rid of her habit, lest people draw a negative impression of her.
Clinical psychologist at VIMHANS, Dr. Pulkit Sharma encourages this attempt to rid oneself of such a habit. “This is a result of the times we live in. Many of our TV actors flaunt an aggressive personality and take pride in being abusive. No doubt, the youth finds it ‘cool, hip and happening’. But behind this tough exterior, lie latent personality problems like less patience, short-temper and depression. As you go on abusing, it can make you more hyper and violent.”
He advises, “Consciously, try and stop abusing. If a person is being difficult, counter him or her with reason. You will see a difference in how people view you and how you view yourself. Do this. It is a change worth making.”