Saturday, November 15, 2014

Right or wrong?

There is no right or wrong. But can anyone be so unassuming that anything goes? Everyone operates and approaches a task from his or her point of view and the role he or she assumes whether by choice or due to his or her job specifications or the circumstances that he or she is in. More often than not we respond or execute a task in a pragmatic manner. When it feels right and things work, we will continue to operate in that manner. A mother  usually cooks something wholesome for the family but a cook who does it as a living may not think about cooking something healthy as he or she just wants to serve something that is delicious and enticing to the customers. Is it his or her moral duty to see that the food he or she is serving is healthy for human consumption? The restaurateur’s objective is to make money and ensure that his or her restaurant is sustainable and not about sustainable living for the world. It is up to the individual to decide for himself or herself what he or she wants to consume.

When I first started practising law and doing civil litigation , I loved the challenge in getting a point across to the judge particularly when I found that my client had been wronged or there has been clearly misapplication of  the laws regardless of whether my client  is an individual, a landowner , a bank or a company. No matter how technical or tedious the legal points may be , it has always been interesting to find the cases and  authorities  to support my clients’ contentions.  After years of practice, I see that there are always doubts about what the clients tell us and it is a matter of perspective and perceptions but as a lawyer it is a matter of interpretation of the laws to suit our clients’ needs. Throughout the years I see that the banking documents run into voluminous pages as the banks and financial institutions have relentlessly and constantly worked on their clauses so as to make it impossible for the borrowers and consumers to succeed in court  should a dispute arises. It is a lawyer’s role to see that a particular client’s interest is well represented and safeguarded. The lawyer’s job is to act on  client’s instructions within the legal parameters and we must not think about the interest of the other contracting party. It is also our job to uphold our client’s rights and defend our client’s interest in court and winning the case  is what matters most.

In ‘It’s a Man’s World’ the novel written by Polly Courtney ,  Alexa Harris is asked to head up lads’ magazine , Banter.  Alexa is brainy and ambitious and always loves a challenge. She is subjected misogyny in the testosterone- fuelled office. When she introduces the My Girfriend mobile app for the lads’ magazine where one can upload nude pictures , she finds herself the target for the women’s rights activists who has  found the app to be pornographic and must be banned as it  perpetuates the notion that women are objects and one particular feminist persistently tracks her down to bring across the message that the lads’ magazines promote violence against women.  Georgie , the antagonist in the story tells  Alexa  that what the magazine has done is  brought sexual images and language into the mainstream and Alexa tries to argue that sex is everywhere and it is not the fault of the magazine. Alexa is so bent on achieving the sales target so that the magazine will stay afloat that she refuses to see the social harm the lads magazine may cause due to lack of control and the mobile uploads.

Shanghai 2011
At the work place, there are also women  who will dress  and behave  in a way to please the male bosses to  get ahead. The personal assistant in Banter , Sienna  is such a girl though she has writing talents. 

Alexa continued to drink her beer, feeling it mix with the tequila inside her and thinking about Riz’s words . He was right . There wasn’t a single move that the PA made that didn’t have a motive. She kept Derek sweet because she wanted to work her way into an editorial post. She played the dumb blonde because she wanted the team to see her as compliant and sexy – the perfect Banter girl. An outsider might say that she was the victim of sexual harassment at work, but in fact, it was the other way round. It was her male colleagues who were being played.
Tokyo Dec'06

‘She’s just biding her time,’ Riz said quietly.
‘What d’you mean?”
‘ She wants to do more editorial – not just the shitty problems letters she does for Neil. She’s looking around, I bet.’
Alexa looked at him. ‘Do you think?’
He nodded.

Tokyo  Dec' 06

Alexa’s mother and good friend, Leonie would never approve of what she is  doing at Banters. Alexa is forced to look at who she has become and the price she has to pay to get ahead.  There are interesting insights in the novel ‘ It’s a Man’s World’ .          

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