We live in a society where patriarchy is the norm and being born a woman can, sometimes, become a punishment. And I’m not just talking about India; this is how things have been in many countries. Even though women have come a long way, teared down many patriarchal borders, flouted senseless patriarchal rules and emerged stronger, many other things are yet to change.
Sheena Irani, a single mother, was working as an editor, presenter, and producer at Iran’s state run Press TV since 2007. After having endured years of unspoken harassment by the director, Hamid Reza Emadi, and the station’s studio manager, Payam Afshar, she finally decided to do give it back to them.
When the harassment just didn’t stop, she decided that she’d had enough. She took matters into her own hands and posted voice recordings and text messages from the director on the Facebook page of Rooz Online.
The transcript of one of the conversations show how the director made lewd statements to Sheena.
Shirani: I’m angry with you.
He sent her inappropriate and flirtatious messages which she saved and posted on her Facebook.
After the screenshots and recordings were posted online, it caught media’s attention and the director sent Sheena messages asking her to take the incriminating evidences down.
But later, he chose to call the photos and the phone conversations fake and fabricated.
Unfortunately, fearing for her son’s and her own life, she fled the country. Both Emadi and Afshar have been suspended. However, she received flak from many of her co-workers for making Emadi’s incessant advances to her, public.
What century are we living in? Despite standing up and fighting against harassment, it is Sheena who has had to go through the embarrassment and go into hiding.