Do not ask for sex as refusal may offend!

TRIGGER WARNING – SEXUAL HARRASSMENT

Had a massage this week, which was well deserved after a seemingly very long school holiday break. As I sat and waited I noticed this sign on the wall.

I read it about a dozen times because I could not quite understand its intention. I know that this establishment does not do “happy endings”, but DO NOT ASK FOR SEX AS REFUSAL MAY OFFEND?

Which to me means that they are more concerned about offending someone than actually being sexually harassed. And this did not sit well with me. Maybe the sign should read something like “Sexual Harassment will be reported to the Police.”

The topic of sexual harassment is HUGE this week with Hollywood Heavyweight Harvey Weinstein finally being exposed after decades of sexually harassing and allegedly raping women in the film business. As news unfolded over the week, I knew that this was going to be the tip of the iceberg. I expect this story has only just begun. Weinstein has apparently left the United States a la Roman Polanski style. He makes my skin crawl.

Did you know that one in five Australian women are sexually harassed in the workplace? That means that there is a whole lot of fellas out there who thinks that it is perfectly acceptable to do any of the following. (taken from the Australian Human Rights Commission)

  • staring or leering
  • unnecessary familiarity, such as deliberately brushing up against you or unwelcome touching
  • suggestive comments or jokes
  • insults or taunts of a sexual nature
  • intrusive questions or statements about your private life
  • displaying posters, magazines or screen savers of a sexual nature
  • sending sexually explicit emails or text messages
  • inappropriate advances on social networking sites
  • accessing sexually explicit internet sites
  • requests for sex or repeated unwanted requests to go out on dates
  • behaviour that may also be considered to be an offence under criminal law, such as physical assault, indecent exposure, sexual assault, stalking or obscene communications.

And those numbers are just the ones that are reported. Many do not report it due to the fear of consequences of doing so.

Recently, after the death of Hugh Hefner, I read some particular hideous accounts of what really went down at the Playboy Mansion. Please only read this if you have a strong constitution. The man who boasted to be a champion of women and the leader of the Sexual Revolution was really just a fucked up, dirty pervert who saw women as objects, to de discarded when no longer needed.

But what to do about it?

If it is happening to you, report it. If it is happening to a woman that you work with, support her and urge her to report it. Stand up to it.

For further information about Sexual Harassment and how to report it, please click here.

Have you witnessed sexual harassment of any kind?

Has it ever happened to you?

  • MsLeila

    Amen to this; however, standing up and reporting it isn’t easy. A much older coworker who sat at the next desk would come to work drunk (this was well-established), move his chair and stare at me through the perplex cubicle. When I was moved to another project, he would call me at my new desk. When I reported it, I was branded a liar and my contract wasn’t renewed. It’s apparently easier to get rid of the accuser than the accused.

  • Woogster I think a lot of it falls on the shoulders of us normal, everyday blokes who allow racist, sexist, homophobic banter and jokes, to proliferate in the workplace, at the pub, and on the sporting sidelines.

    The thought of sexual harassment has never really been uppermost in my mind to be honest, but now that my daughter is in high school, my perspective has changed.

    I don’t want my daughter sitting in a massage place, having to look at a sign that jokes about having sex with the owners.

    I know it’s not ideal, but if I didn’t have a daughter, that sign would be funny. But when I do have one…

    • Julie Harris

      Write Hand Man this is not meant to shame you. But just trying to understand. This is what I don’t understand about your comment and many other men who say the same thing. Why wouldn’t you understand it before you had your daughter, presumably you had a wife and maybe even a sister. I just need to understand to make sure I am teaching my son to understand not to laugh at this, before he has a daughter.

      • What I mean Jules, is that I know I should’ve been offended by stuff like that for my mother, wife and my sister, my entire life. However, because I was brought up as an average Northshore bloke, I just wasn’t.

        But now that I have a daughter, I am a hell of a lot more atuned to stuff I see that is unfair to her.

        I know It is hypocritical and I should’ve noticed and been proactive about it before, but I just didn’t. And I think that is the problem, because I think I am the norm for Aussie blokes.

        • Julie Harris

          Thank you for answering honestly. I think you are right! I am an average North Shore Mum and I agree with you I think it is the norm for most Aussie blokes. I just wonder how we change this though. Julie Harris

          • It’s a tough one to change Jules. Runs pretty deep on the North Shore.

  • It makes my blood boil….creepy men – BE GONE!

  • Lulu

    i worked for a doctor who was very sleezy and kept suggesting in all seriousness we have an affair ( 30 yr age gap). Comments like, ‘oh Doctor, you are so naughty I think I might have to ring your wife’ with a little giggle, followed by a long psyco stare meant he backed off without me getting my shifts cut…..