Imagine that you are sitting at your desk at work and a male co-worker walks by and .. asks to see your feet. Imagine that in your first week on a new job, you attend a regional staff training and nobody knows you except the people in your local office. Imagine on that day, that out of a huddle of men emerges one in particular who breaks rank and malfunctions to clown status (animation and all) to ask you who you are. Imagine your
response is..."Nobody." Imagine that he reports you for disrespecting him, before you can even process that he was in a leadership position and on the program at the training event. Imagine that another co-worker who's married and walks around with a bible, and marks on the In-Out Message White Board that he's "Praying" during lunch. Imagine that person, sits in the doorway of the lunch area at a round table with his bible open. Now, I challenge you to imagine that same man.. walking up into your personal comfort zone at your desk, strikes a pose, licks then glosses his lips and asks... "You scared of me?" Or that same man, when he eavesdrops on your conversation that your office chair hurts your back, gets close enough to you and whispers, "My daddy would say, if you don't want your back to hurt, stay off of it." And he walks away laughing like a dirty old man. Imagine a host of other opportunities he takes, to insult you daily with winks, smacking kisses, lewd comments and gestures, that no one else can hear or see, and calls you to thank you for being there (on your job)... Imagine this fool, despite being repeatedly asked to "knock it off," or being told.."who do you think you are?" ignoring your attempts to spare him his job, when you corner him in the break room and demand that he stops once and for all. Imagine that he replies, "You're one of those women who can't take a compliment.. " or "I smile at you, or talk to you, and you think I want you." Imagine, that the next two days, he apologizes every chance he gets and says he doesn't want to jeopardize your working relationship, and that he'll never do it again... Imagine after that, you forgive him and move on.
Imagine, 2 or 3 weeks later, it starts all over again.
This story is true. There's more to it, from the telling of others in the workplace and friends and family about it, to telling a senior manager, to a taddy-assed informal complaint to HR that's found unsubstantiated and gets dismissed.
Quite frankly, I was appalled with that place of employment from the get go, for reasons mentioned above, among others. The leadership there, at this North Texas office of this government division contractor got substantially tucked behind a pair of chicken breasts and this guys rubber balls. A woman in charge, who turned out to get demoted, and rumor has it, she stayed for some strange reason along with everybody else except the strongest who decided to quit because we refused the drama and power trip.
You see, this guy didn't respect me, and neither did the woman running the place. The boss, to say the least, was very uninspiring after only a few weeks of trying to learn new things from her. HE... needed to be noticed. And alls he had was his penis. And nobody could see it, and nobody cared. So he did what he could to be noticed by me. As he insulted other women behind their backs but in my presence, as well. Telling did no good. It only fueled my anger.
How dare I, think so much of my amazing self to believe that all of these phallocentric situations at this one place of employment was about men, one, or all, being attracted to me. WAITWUT? For the record, sexual harassment isn't about sex. Just like rape isn't. Philip and Twillow could not want to have my back in this matter. So I wasn't going to define my purpose as working for them anymore. Their dis-allowance of my truth to feel believed and supported, let alone, be believed and supported, amongst other things, was intolerable. So I quit.
Another thing, any man who thinks he can stand out by trying to stand on his penis, lacks real manhood and self confidence, and spiritual and physical attraction. Mistreating women this way is laughable at first. Until he won't stop. As women, we need to get over trying to preserve his fear of "no." I actually thought, when this all began to happen to me, that I would get him in trouble by reporting him, he could lose his job. He was good at his job. What the f?! The last laugh was on me, they probably think. He still works there. Not that I care.
Telling isn't the cure. There must be something more we can do. There must be something more we can do to teach them how to treat us.
Anyone can teach you about love... but I can make you good at it!
| This original photo & commentary by Jackie D. Rockwell |All Rights Reserved © 2016 |