Saturday, July 19, 2008

When the line is Crossed...!

Nobody wants to go through life being anti social(ok some people cant help it but that doesnt mean they necessarily choose to be that way) so we strive to be friendly and approachable to a certain extent. Many of us will smile when smiled at....laugh when someone says something funny....joke along when others are joking. Its social human interaction and its what we need to learn to do as children so that we can be considered "normal" socialized adults.

Its rather hard sometimes to know though where to draw the line from just being crossing over into sexual harrasment territory....from either side of that line...the one who does it...and the one who is a victim of it.

I started working at my job last year in Jan...I was nervous and scared...just getting out of a very long very abusive marriage. It was my first in many areas of my life...first real job in Bahrain in 20 years...first time in my life being single and making all my own decisions etc(married when I was 18) and first time that I was in the company of other men basically as my office is 99% men and I had just spent 20 years enjoying the company of women almost exclusively. My only real contact with men was to say hello etc to maybe the husband of one of my friends or talking to a doctor etc. Nothing too socialable...nothing at all personal. In other words...I was stunted a great deal in my social interaction abilities with the opposite sex...but how hard could it be...really?

Everything started out well...all the men were very nice...very friendly and helpful in getting me situated and up to speed about my new job and what it entailed. Even though I felt nervous starting and performing a new job adequately...I wasnt all that nervous about being around men almost exclusively. Im a nice person...Im fairly easy to get along with for the most hard could it be?

Within a short time though I realized that one man in particular was a little more friendly than the rest. He took time out to give me directions with work...he talked with me about things other than work...but nothing really personal....and he liked making jokes etc. They were fairly funny so I laughed along. Im known for my sense of humor...and laughing is a great stress reliever...right? Eventually though it became clear that he had other things on his mind...and the office that was once a fun and relaxing place to became a minefield that had to be walked through carefully on a daily basis....and how hard could that be?

The man in question is the second in command at my office...and he holds a place of great respect among the other men who work in and outside of the office. I noticed right away that they treat him with a deference mostly held only for royalty etc. I wont give his nationality but I wil say that he held a unique position that is not commonly held among men from his country...and all the rest of the men who are from his country that worked there look up to him a great deal and respect him without exception. I would assume they see him as the one that made it big while they are all just common labourers...he is their hero is my least by the way they openly grovel for him and jump when he commands it.

Now I have never been and will never be someone that promotes segregation. I believe men and women are meant to be together in all aspects of life...we share the planet...we share living and we share dying...why cant we share an office space without all that sexual mess getting throw into the mix? Why cant men behave themselves when its clear that the lady in question doesnt want their attention? Why cant married men remember they are married even when the wife in question isnt around to remind him? Why cant men allow you to be a women alongside them...without constantly making it clear that they know you have breasts and an ass and that little place between your thighs(considering women all ready know what their bodies consist of...why do men feel the need to constantly remind us of what God created us with)...and how, as men, they should have a right to talk about it...touch it...and do more than that if given the chance...even if the chance isnt given willingly? In other words...why do men have to constantly be on the hunt for the next sexual conquest...and more importantly....why when men behave like animals around women...why are women blamed for the behavoir men do to them? Why do men see themselves as keepers of morality...when it comes to women...but not to themselves?

I have been made miserable by a man that has no right to do or say the things he has been doing and saying to me. I have considered quitting my job because he has decided my body and my personal space is his right to invade...merely because he is a man. I...believing I would not be believed if I complained about him (I considered the fact that Im no spring chicken and my "hot" days of youth are long behind who would believe me) kept quiet about it to others...all though I let him know time and again that his behavoir was unwanted and not tolerated. I threatened to break his finger if he touched me again...he just laughed and walked away. How do you deal with a man that doesnt see you as having any sort of power over him...or even over yourself? Im guessing things would have gone on much the same way until he made a mistake that got the ball rolling as they say...and he has only himself to blame for this...karma and all that is a good thing Im guessing for some of us. He decided to call my best friend and make slanderous accusations about me to her. For what reasons I have no idea but I have the feeling he fancied her..she had been to my office many times and he made it clear that he liked possibly he was thinking that by showing I was attracted to him...she would "want a piece of that action too" to speak....but I dont know really why men do some of the things they do. If your a man...let me know...clear up some of the confusion. So he involves her in this little sordid game...and it was at that moment that I found my balls in other words. How dare he say those disgusting things to dare he hurt her and make her feel that the precious person she saw in me was just a facade and I was just like everyone else...easy and not particular about my choices in life. I saw red...and the they history. (Many would ask why I didnt cry out before...if your the victim of child abuse...then domestic abuse all your life...there would be no need to ask this question. I have done a lot of growing this past 2 years since becoming single etc...but there is a long road ahead still....I have many self esteem issues to overcome...and men like him seem to home in on these failings and use them to his benefit. Once again...why?)

I marched into his office and he was rather surprised to see me all fired up I believe. I shouted at him that if he ever touched me again I wouldnt break his finger...Id break his f*****g nose...then I would make a formal complaint to the head boss...and then we would see who walked away laughing.

He apologized but I should have known it wasnt like him dont give up so they? The next night the phone calls her for some reason...not me. More slander against me...I still dont understand why they were calling her..telling her these things. Im not married.I could play around if I wanted...even with a married man if I chose...even if its not a moral thing to who cares what I do...its up to me right? You would think so anyways.

Long story short...he played his hand and he lost. I complained to the head office...he is being dealt with now...I hope its something adequate for the damage he did to me...and to my friendship with my best friend. She didnt believe him or the mysterious phonecaller....but she was hurt a great deal to think that men were using me in this way...were able to easily slander me and make my life hell for no reason other than they could. What I want to know is...why could they. Why do men trash the women that dont want them...why do women trash the women that are subject to the immoral actions of men? Why are the victims of sexual harrassment quite often seen as "deserving of what they get" merely because they are an office..or somewhere where as women..."they have no right to be"(many still believe women should remain in the home and raise kids and get the husbands dinner on the table on time)?

I wont find out what is done to him...about him...until later this week....but I do feel sorry for his wife(yes he has one)...she is the one that no doubt knows all about his immoral behavoirs...and suffers this in her way. For sure Im not the first...and can I believe I will be the last? At least I walk away from him satisfied he will get what he deserved because of what he did to me...but she suffers still.


Abu Dhabi/UAE Daily Photo said...

Good for you for standing up to him! I think a lot of men in the region look at divorcees as defintely wanting sex/not getting sex/knowing what to do in bed/etc. Sad, isn't it?

Anonymous said...

Bravo to you. It takes a lot of courage to report someone for sexual harrassment anywhere but especially the M.E.

I went through something similar with a man (ie: he trashed me because I didn't want him) He basically called all of my family members and told them disgusting things about me. I chose to do nothing mainly because I was so afraid he'd start with my friends as well and by the time he was done the whole world would know.

Maybe men do these types of things because we (women) let them? I basically allowed my reputation to get completely trashed in the eyes of my family because I was afraid of the further consequences of actually standing up to him.

coolred38 said...

Thanks guys...I want to understand what men are thinking when they decide that their pride and ego are more important than a womans reputation...why do they feel that what they want is the most important thing in the world...and if they dont get out!

Anonymous said...

Good for you for having the strength. We, as women, never seem to have our fill of these situations. It's extremely unfortunate that men like this never learn and his punishment won't really do justice to his crime.
Stay strong, stay safe.

Nzingha said...

Your trying to understand why people victimize others, something that simply doesn't make sense. But good for you for finally standing up to him. I do find myself wondering why your friend would even entertain him. Does she work in the same place?

Fatemeh said...

I'm really sorry that this happened to you, but I take comfort in your strength to stand up to him. Barikallah.

Aafke said...

Well done!
To answer your question about men: ''Because (most) men are selfish pathetic stupid b****rds with too much power they do not have the greatness of mind to deal with correctly.''