(For Soundcloud, on International Women’s Day, March 8, 2013)
Let me introduce myself as a journalist-publisher of online magazines that are about books, entrepreneurship, business, and spirituality. My previous job was as a staffer in a print newspaper, where I learnt, over 16 years, many things that continue to be useful in my current work. I owe a big thanks to all those men and women, in the various departments of the newspaper, across ranks, ranging from directors to drivers, cooks to copy-editors.
Through Sound Cloud here is a big ‘thank you’ to all of them, in the absence of any formal farewell when I quit the newspaper less than a year ago.
My forced exit was abrupt because of a whistle-blowing exercise I had done through group email within the newspaper. My mail spoke of gender and racial prejudice within the organisation. As someone low down in the hierarchy, I had voiced, in my mail, that such prejudice at the very top level was against the culture of the organisation.
What was the result? The boss was very upset, obviously, because it was his henchman whose name I had mentioned in my mail, as the culprit. Apart from unjustly demanding of me to apologise in writing to that henchman, which I didn’t, the boss went one dangerous step further: He asked me something very inhuman and immoral: “Why should you be agitated? You are not a woman!”
It was a closed-door meeting, one on one, and there was very little I could do or say in defence, except to get out after scribbling a request for leave, citing health reasons. He was furious that I was giving him a leave letter instead of a written apology, but I was already heading to the gate, with a valuable sound clip…