THE FLIP SIDE OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT AND THE LIKE
The things some people who haven't learned to be happy (or content) do sometimes. Tsk, tsk.
One of the managers in our agency is suspended for threee months for a case of sexual harassment. The thing is, having been in his company in numerous executive meetings, I can believe that he can be naughty... but I also cannot believe that he would be reduced to coercing someone into pleasing him. Heck, I can name several other managers who are more lascivious and creepily obscene.
His only fault was, he forgot to draw the line on professional relationships. Or rather, he forgot that he was the girl's boss and shouldn't be dating her.
And it just feels sad that now, his reputation is shot because some woman she hired for her looks, who he also wined and dined and treated like a queen (am sure whatever physical intimacy exchanged was consensual) decided to file a case against him. And the bumbling idiot was man and stupid enough to admit to sooooo many dates and intimacies which he believed to be consensual.
I am not saying he wasn't stupid and in the wrong. But it gets to me that women (you know, same specie as I am) would use and abuse and destroy men. It also strikes me as suspicious that it takes several dates and gifts and holding-hand moments before a woman comes to her senses and say, "Ohmygulay, i am being harassed!"
This reminds me of that girl from UST who filed a case of rape against a guy I know. The guy was shattered by the experience, of course. Not that he isn't an arrogant pr!ck... but I think he did have a point.
How could it have been rape when the girl wasn't inebriated enough, they were in an unlocked room with so many other USTedyantes outside the room partying, and the girl was pumping and grinding on top of him?
I am also reminded of two people in a message board. They met in some EB and the guy offered to give the girl a ride home. The girl offered nookie. And so they had consensual sex. But the thing was, the guy didn't have enough cash that time so the girl had to dish out some dough too.
And then she comes ranting in the message board, saying that the guy was a lousy lay (but do you really expect 100% satisfaction and performance from someone you just picked up somewhere?) and was such a cheapskate. Before anybody could blink fake eyelashes, people were ridiculing the guy for making the girl pay.
And I was like... what's the big fuss? I split the motel bill with boyfriends! Why should you crucify a man who didn't have enough cash? It's not like he insisted and held you at gunppoint!
When I was still working in DOF, and this CPA-lawyer who was 17 years my senior was making the moves on me... I knew sleepless nights and jumpy days.
He started harassing me innocently enough. He held a higher position, of course, but we were of the same batch. I even called him KUYA, out of deference to the balding spot in his head, covered by whisps of coppery hair that failed to stop him from looking older than my Dad. I'd just find it weird that he'd tell me he could see my bra with the blouse-bra am wearing when we're sitting side by side... when we're already about to go home at the end of the day. Duh, things you could have brought to my attention earlier!!!
And then the second batch of new employees came along, which brought with it people my age. I got close with one of them, Mario, and we were kindred spirits indeed (we'd run after each other tickling each other, dodging chairs and cubicles). I didn't know that he started getting jealous of Mario. It only became evident when our other colleagues would notice that he'd spend hours just watching me and Mario work together. And then, sometimes, during lunch, i'd miss Mario and find out later that the CREEP didn't tell him we're having lunch already. And then of course, there was that time when the CREEP cornered Mario at the fire exit... asking him if he was courting me... and even forcing my genius-with-the-piano friend to admit that he was in love with me. After several explanations that we're just friends and that he had a gf, the CREEP would then ask him who it was that i liked.
And of course, he also had to do the same with another male friend, Jess.
And so it became known that I was the love of his life. Some guys in our division would have a field day just teasing us... and then they'd get the CREEP to go to beer gardens with them and treat them to booze while they play sympathetic with his ramblings about how he has never fallen in love before and how he always manages to get what he wants.
And then he started getting real creepy. He'd give me rosaries and stationeries with Bible quotes. He'd give me a Bible for my sister. He'd leave earlier than I do and watch what jeepney i'd ride so he can travel with me. He'd try accompanying me to my destination. He'd ask if I was already going home or not, where I was going, who was I with. He'd steal the picture I gave to my pregnant boss (we realized it was missing from her things and found it in HIS drawer). He'd go over thru Mario's briefcase and 'borrow' my letters to him. Worst of all, he'd download NUDE pictures of pre-pubescent girls and male celebrities (wtf, even I don't care for Brad Pitt naked).
But I guess, the worst thing was... my boss, instead of talking to him about his stalking, unprofessional behavior decided to talk to me. And she discouraged me from hanging out with Mario. She also talked to Mario to stop hanging out with me. And she expressly arranged things so that i'd only go to plant visits with the CREEP. All that to avoid confrontations (I think, she was protecting Mario more than me) and further tension. Even the other people there arranged things so that the other guys from our barkada won't be found in my company. He was that intimidating.
Now, that is sexual harassment. And so, I left.
I know it's probably arrogant of me to say that it's easy to not be a victim of harassment. But really, it's easy. As easy as walking away.
It only becomes hard if the woman, deep within her, believes she deserves the treatment... or that she has no options. Or that nobody will believe her. It also becomes hard when she fails to gather evidence. Or when she doesn't exercise her rights.
I will never accept that a woman who loves sexy outfits is inviting rape, harassment or plain judgment... unless she wears them inappropriately to weddings, places of worship, funerals and really dark alleys. Contrary to what movies depict, a woman need not be wearing a see-thru cotton slip and bathing outside for her to get raped. Children get molested not because they were wearing thongs or plunging outfits. Some guys are just plain perverted and cruel.
But it's also high time women assume some responsibility when they get harassed. Like, if they cannot say NO, they also shouldn't be anywhere near men.
Which is why am thankful that my sister grew up to be more masungit than I am, and yet empowered...
THE FLIP SIDE OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT AND THE LIKE