Last few hours have been major hours for discovery of the many interpretations for a stark simple word ‘privacy’ for me.
Privacy seems to be to too very important to all of us that we think we cannot do without it. Our privacy is also very much vulnerable these days and is threatened. More so is the case of art and artists, if I am to go by the words of a(a) (vocal) artist (as I would like to put it simply). By privacy in this context I understand, what the artist means is the space the creative community from the art world deserves where there can be no jurisdiction or judgment or censorship. Absolutely no infringement in this very little private space of artists which is deemed essential for enabling the creative process.
In broader perspective, to use the artist’s own words, isn’t privacy an experience like none other for all of us? Privacy is also intimacy, discovery, security, happiness and lack of fear and total freedom for me and others. Privacy translates as liberty, dignity and choice for us women who are much exposed here online. We are judged for just being ourselves (behind closed doors) not because we throw the doors open, but because some men forcefully pry our doors open. I wonder how many men out there will be sensitive to how I feel about this very personal matter called my privacy.
Sometimes it angers me, it confuses me, bothers me and finally saddens me, but I come to terms with it all eventually. Like the author-singer avers, privacy has not got anything to with secrecy at all. It is not any place or something physical. Privacy is something soooo sacred, that when you learn it is compromised you feel slighted, stained. How much ever I think of dismissing such thoughts that is how I feel: of being sullied. You feel as if someone has physically touched you. Sometimes it even makes me cry.
Am I extraordinarily sensitive and over re-active or is this normal, the way I feel.
I am glad, I ironically found my voice in the writer-turned-vocalist who precisely put into words what I have been thinking about privacy but could not exactly lay down it all in proper form.
For all my concerns of privacy, I found another verbal attack in social media this morning that justified encroachment of online privacy of others. The new age author (as they all are) termed it his freedom and sense of liberty and he was not answerable to very fragile sensibilities of certain individuals who complained about it (in a different context). After all, these moaners were ‘advertising’ themselves (on online platform) when they could have been quiet not drawing attention. Our guy says he just could not deny himself his dose of adrenaline rush online to which he was entitled to! In short I understand, to maintain our privacy we have to stay offline. What a careless approach to a very sensitive issue.
I am at such a loss of words on learning the various interpretations of something very precious called ‘privacy’ but I thought I would share one more post on it to let know of my stance in the matter. I am not eloquent like these guys: just sharing a piece of my mind here. Finally it is upto the men to do what they please. But they have to remember, India and America are not one and the same. What is readily acceptable in western society cannot pass in sensitive Indian society. Many of us ladies would not even want our families to discover our wild side and we let our hair down only when we are in each other’s company within closed doors wherefrom men are one hundred percent kept away. It is realizing that someone may have access to the key of such an ‘insulated’ iron door that tears us apart.
I am questioning myself of late, so should I cut down my exploits with my buddies because now so many pairs of eyes are watching. Should we ladies stop being ourselves in our whatsapp groups. Should we cease sharing adult content or whatever. Or in other words should we stop being adventurous. Should we snuff out the spark in us, the warmth and glow of which we share with a limited understanding sharing, caring circle. How do we ladies share our stuff with each other. How do we exchange notes. Should we pretend to be who we are not to our own family and friends to maintain our ‘image’ that is so carefully cultivated. After all we were only using Whatsapp and such apps in closed circles. We are very tight and intimate bunch. We are not splashing our pictures and news to all and sundry in social media like Facebook. Limited info we do share in public space, but rest of whatever we do is for our own sweet private viewing pleasure only. I am in fix.
It makes me very anxious at times to just think that the privacy of many of us ladies gets compromised so easily online. Intimate family moments are now under public glare. Girls cannot giggle without the world hearing our guffaws. I may expect the offenders to feel a bit apologetic at least. It won’t serve any purpose but it can make us women feel less guilty about exhibiting ourselves. Whereas one seems to define how privacy is so very important to him and his artiste community, the other is keen on justifying encroachment of online privacy. There seems to be not an iota of regret for invasion of others’ private territory.
Navigating the online space with the knowledge that we are forever open to the scrutiny of men is foreboding. I don’t mind the ladies looking. Some do I know but that doesn’t disconcert me. It is the men who are a big bother. Earlier it used to give me sleepless nights, but nowadays I think ‘what the hell.’
Recently I penned a few brief lines comparing women to volcano and not the usual femme flowers. A girl in the group remarked that she could not imagine the timid me coming out so expressive and fierce. So that is how most who have not discovered me online view me. To them I am that shy, soft flower still. So vulnerable and quiet. Nobody knows of the burning passion within me or the vocal me except for a handful of friends. It takes ages sculpting an image for ourselves that we present to the outer world. Isn’t it a work-in-progress for a lifetime. And it is only matter of minutes for someone insensitive to break it all to smithereens…
Virtual reality is here to stay I know. I have resigned myself to the brutal practicality. I would like to close the post with assertion that MY PRIVACY IS MY PRIVILEGE. None has the legal authority or licence to trespass into my much cherished and protected, intimate and personal and private turf with his so-called ‘right to nonsense.’