Harassment in the Workplace

September 22, 2023

I’ve grown up having to deal with men getting too close and personal without consent. It’s almost like, as women, we were expected to put up with being harassed.

From a young Norwegian manager in the office when I was temping in Oslo who used to pat me on the bottom if he happened to catch me bending over anywhere to a 77 year old consultant who made a habit of cornering women in the photocopier room, I have had my fair share of non consensual contact from men.

There was the office lothario who had a penchant for younger women I had to travel alone to France with, including 3 nights. I can still remember all 5 foot five of his small frame posed on the door to my hotel room as he was wishing me goodnight after we had been out for dinner with the sub contractor. I made an excuse that I had to call my then BF and he luckily took the hint.

I once got locked in a portacabin in an aircraft hangar by a couple of my colleagues, because the US engineer who had flown over thought I was cute. They were looking in through the window giggling and making rude comments, but it kinda was a joke in a very awkward way and I suppose they were keeping an eye on me and eventually let me out, but at the time I was not happy with them.

I’ve had a Production Manager spend hours telling me how I looked identical to “the one that got away”, which I didn’t really understand at the time. He just wanted to unload I guess, but I wanted to join my mates in the pub.

No one deserves to be called names like “slut” just because the other person thought it was funny and made them look cool. Neither should we be fondled inappropriately; it’s particularly shameful that a few have been allowed to get away with it.

The burden should not only with the offenders, but those who allow it  to continue; sadly many women will struggle to forget the upset and trauma for a very long time…

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