Dirty politics

Mar 13, 2017
IMAGINE a situation where you harbour a strong dislike for one of your colleagues. You might try to undercut them through passive-aggressive office politics, or you might try to highlight their shortcomings in front of other colleagues. What most will never think to do is abuse their family in public.
This isn’t because it’s an unnatural or unprecedented action. We learn and regurgitate all kinds of crass behaviour in everyday life. What stops us from acting out our most base and primal emotions are two connected things — a general sense of context-specific propriety (i.e. how to act in particular settings), and a general fear of reprisal from superiors or peers.
If our sense of entitlement is unencumbered by both of these, we’ll be far more primal in our public interactions.
The framework of entitlement goes a long way in explaining the lurid, misogynistic words of a PML-N MNA.
The framework of entitlement goes a long way in explaining both the lurid, misogynistic words of a PML-N MNA from Sheikhupura and the non-apology that came more than 24 hours later. The person in question knows full well that the immediate cost of abusing a colleague is minimal. At the time of writing at least, the party had said nothing substantial on the issue. There was no immediate reprimand from the top leadership. He bears no occupational cost of his words as a legislator, and since his voters in Sheikhupura city evaluate him on a different criterion altogether, they will not punish him for what he said in Islamabad.
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Dawn, March 13, 2017

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