10 janvier 2016

Harcèlement sexuel au féminin

Vous croyez que seules les femmes sont victimes de harcèlement sexuel au travail? Détrompez-vous:

Arriving late to a drinks party, I looked across the bar and spotted a former colleague, who beckoned me over.

She was perched at a high table, one arm languorously coiled around the neck of the very young man by her side.

Although well-preserved, in an expensive, highly maintained kind of way, I knew this woman would be seeing 50 before too long. I also knew she’d been happily married for more than 20 years, and has children not much younger than the man she was drooling over, as if he was a rare steak on a platter.

‘Angela, come and meet Ryan,’ she said. ‘He’s just joined my firm. Isn’t he simply delicious?’

Ryan looked terrified. Ensnared by an older woman - his professional superior, no less - he was clearly clueless as to how to deal with the situation. No wonder the minute his boss loosened her grip to talk to me, he shot off like a rat up a drainpipe, but not before enduring a humiliating slap on the bottom as he made his retreat.

I caught his eye as he ran, and recognised something I thought I’d never see this side of the Seventies. Though he was trying to laugh it off, I saw the desperation of a subordinate being sexually harassed.

Whereas, in the past, it would have been a female office junior, hiding in the toilets at the office party from a predatory male boss, now the roles were reversed.

I’d like to say this cringe-inducing display was an anomaly - the drunken slip-up of a middle-aged woman who’d wake up burning with shame in the morning - but that wasn’t the case. My ex-colleague saw nothing wrong in her behaviour. ‘It’s just a bit of fun, darling,’ she scoffed when I challenged her.

If anything, she saw it as entirely justified, a retrospective ‘fingers up’ at all the sexism she’d to endure from middle-aged men on her own climb to the top.

There are many like her. Unashamed and brazen, the female groper operates with impunity, unlike her male counterpart who fears a summons to a tribunal should he linger too long when greeting a female subordinate.

Caught in uncharted, dangerous territory, young male victims are left confused and vulnerable. Should they complain and risk a ribbing from male colleagues while incurring the vengeful wrath of their female boss? Or just ‘man up’ and put up with it? It all feels so sadly familiar.

No wonder cases of men complaining about sexual harassment in the workplace are increasing: a third of men reported some sort of inappropriate attention in the workplace during a recent survey.

(...) One friend, an ambitious financial strategist at a large blue-chip company, told me he’d avoided the firm’s Christmas party because of the way some female colleagues behave towards him.

Already the recipient of relentless female office commentary about his gym-honed body, he told me he simply wasn’t prepared to endure the harassment masquerading as ‘fun’ that inevitably awaited him. It was so much easier, he said, to simply stay at home.

(...) Militant feminism (...) continues to turn its back on the thought of men also being the victim. Groups such as Everyday Sexism clamour loudly - and rightly - about harassment, but remain silent when it comes to male victims.

According to Danielle Ayres, an employment lawyer with Gorvins Solicitors, sexual harassment clearly applies to men and women, since it is a form of discrimination under the Equality Act.

Yet through the course of her work, Danielle points out that women are much more likely to raise complaints than men.

‘Perhaps it does happen more frequently to women. But I doubt the disparity in the number of complaints is purely due to men being the main perpetrators.‘Nor do I think it’s because women are more sensitive or more easily offended either. ‘The women brave enough to complain feel they have a genuine grievance. Rather it’s more likely that more women complain because men are more reluctant to say anything.

‘They may feel they’ll lose face if they complain. Or that they won’t be taken seriously.’

Maybe, then, the female groper is able to flourish because of the cliched vicious circle. She does it because she can. And because she can, she does it.

(...) Conversely, I remember interviewing a fairly high-profile businessman who admitted that, at one firm where he’d worked, a female colleague regularly directed lewd remarks towards him and would often pinch his bottom in the corridor.

He told her to stop, but she didn’t. His reprieve came only when she left the company - with a glowing reference and unblemished character. Why didn’t he make an official complaint? He felt he couldn’t do so because he couldn’t bear to think how ‘making a fuss’ would go down at the partners’ meeting.

The female groper is not taken as seriously as the male one. So she continues apace, dispensing unwelcome caresses and inappropriate conversation because she is a woman, and because she can.

J'ai vécu ça, moi aussi.

Je le raconte dans mon livre.



2 commentaires:

Prof Solitaire a dit…

Un déluge d’avances osées pour des pompiers du calendrier

Certains ont reçu une avalanche de propositions coquines de parfaites inconnues. D’autres des lettres d’amour, des demandes en mariage ou même des photos de parties intimes. Les anecdotes ne manquent pas quand on s’entretient avec les pompiers du calendrier.

(...) «Une fois, une femme a réussi à trouver mon numéro de téléphone. Je lui ai dit que je contacterais la police si elle rappelait. Elle m’a répondu: “Je suis la police”», se souvient Francis Savard, qui a participé à l’édition 2006.

Si peu d’entre eux ont eu le malheur d’être sollicités au téléphone, la plupart des modèles avec qui Le Journal s’est entretenu ont reçu de nombreux messages personnels, essentiellement sur Facebook, après la publication de leur édition du calendrier. Des centaines, voire plus d’un millier pour certains.

(...) Certains prenaient même soin de se déplacer en groupe pour éviter les filles «un peu trop cocktail qui essaient de taponner», se remémore Pierre Simon Gagnon, de l’édition 2013.

«J’avais l’impression que les rôles typiques [féminins et masculins] étaient inversés», se souvient Vincent Laberge, de l’édition 2012, à qui plusieurs femmes ont proposé de louer une chambre d’hôtel.

http://www.journaldemontreal.com/2016/01/10/un-deluge-davances-osees-pour-des-pompiers-du-calendrier

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