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For the mind, words matter

As I am trying to write this, I am forced to overhear a conversation from next table. Not because I am straining my ears to eavesdrop, but because talking loudly is a social virtue, especially of the successful middle-aged men commonly found in clubs of Ahmedabad.

The theme is not unique and hence not worth pondering over, but the flow is, as they have just traversed the linguistic landscape from casual banter to polite discussion and are slowly warming towards introducing their sisters and mothers to the table in a manner that my literal autistic brain finds highly disturbing.

As the only way I can escape visualising innocent women being subjected to horrors of incestuous interactions, I am diverting my mind to innards of their brains in action at this point and writing this.

Sentence-forming in brain is a synchronised act of two regions, in which one is supplier of words and other a wordsmith that forges sentences using syntax. But brain disallows these two regions to own the conversation, as a censorship board is set up in prefrontal cortex that checks sentences for social appropriateness.

Even though it slows down sentence forming, brain knows that it is important to pass each line through a social quality check.

While the conversation next door is completely innocent, it is a metaphor of the issues raging across media. Most sexual crimes are normal sexual behaviours that violate social code because these behaviours have escaped scrutiny and check of inhibitions residing in every brain. So, understanding why inhibitions of educated and articulated men next-table are switched off holds a key to something as deviant as a rape.

It is easy to see that most behavioural inhibitions are social, and hence, it is the perception of self within a social order that decides if a person will succumb to social inhibitions or will feel immune to them.

My neighbours are unaware that they abusing mainly because as middle-aged successful professionals their brains have a self-perception of being high above in social order to be inhibited.

Any socially deviant behaviour – be it a rape or molestation – to execute it, the brain needs to sense that it is immune to social order. Some pathologically disturbed brains manage it internally by being agnostic to existence of society or megalomania or even as rebound to extremely low self-esteem, but a perfectly normal brain too can execute uninhibited behaviour if it senses that above condition is satisfied.

While I don’t want to link extreme crimes like rape with the mild inhibition shift I sense on next table, it is surely linked to the raging issue of #metoo.

One of the reasons why females are getting subjected to uninhibited sexual behaviour from men could be that inhibitions are going out of fashion. If we look around, from advertisements to movies to the heroes that we pick, uninhibitedness is the virtue of the modern era.

The psychological reason behind popularity of “befikre” behaviour is simple. Men are designed to seek higher social status. As succumbing to inhibitions is a clear indicator of lower social status, if opportunity exists, a male brain is bound to choose uninhibited behaviour as a statement communicating his higher social status.

If this phenomenon is accepted or encouraged by women, it is bound to see exponential growth.

If women want to restore social order, the choice is clear. They need to show preference for inhibited behaviour. Prudes need to come back into fashion. It may make life less happening, as inhibitions are boring, but it will be surely a world with less #metoo.

#uninhibitedbehaviour #inhibitions #useofsexualabuses #malebehaviour #prude #befikre #rape #molestation #sexualharassment

I am happy to admit that I have managed surviving till now with minimum effort as all my intellect has be used to avoid doing anything meaningful. As I needed to while all the free time I generated in course of being lazy, science has been my favorite muse that I have enjoyed company of. As an effort to kill time (in a way, to get even with it) one fine day I decided to write a science column, more for my personal amusement than to attract readers. After getting educated about the attention span of modern readers from my editor, it became more like a challenge to tackle esoteric subjects in 600 words that I have managed to remain interested in for more than a year now. I do not want to add my worldly profile here as these are ideas that need to be considered only on the merits they carry and not as an opinion of a certain human being.

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