in the past, i would be subjected to what i would constitute as predatory behaviors in the workplace and i ignored it. why? fear. fear of elevating the situation, fear of being fired, and most prominently, fear of nothing happening. imagine having something so hurtful happening to you and you try to get the situation rectified and no one cares. or they try to blame the situation on you.
in the workplace ive had a man touch my arm, to ”see my tattoo more closely” and ask to have a “full tour of my naked body” so he could see the rest of my tattoos, have had men make sex noises at me, comment on my newly dyed red hair and was told “i heard red heads are the craziest in bed” and wink at me, had a man throw money at me and asked me to dance for him while i was working a register at a retail store, and the absolute worst // as if there was a scale of the worst predatory behaviors // had a man press his boner up against my behind and hold me there, while i went to my place of work WITH MY CHILD, while i was off.
as i write this i am filled with anger and regret. why did i tolerate that? why did i let someone else make me feel so powerless? why didnt i tell them to fuck off?
i just took it. i accepted the behavior.
well, i am approaching thirty. i have a three year old daughter. and im not allowing these behaviors to continue because its completely unacceptable. its not right that people feel powerless against predatory behavior because the predators were louder, more forceful, and demanded our silence.
when a customer comes to me at work and calls me a pet name, im going to correct them and let them know my name is laura. when a person makes a sexual remark at me, im going to make sure they know that those comments make me uncomfortable and i wont accept them. when someone stares for too long at my breasts instead of talking to my face, im going to remind them that my eyes are on my head, not my chest.
starting today, im not going to let someone else make me feel uncomfortable or unsafe and let it stand.
if you are someone who is a victim to predatory language or behavior at work, understand that it is not appropriate and should not be tolerated.
if you are younger than me, i am sorry i failed you. i am sorry i was silent for so long instead of confronting the behavior head-on. i am sorry that you probably had a similar experience at some point in your life that you did not feel comfortable addressing it.
moving forward, lets agree to work together, lets agree to not tolerate this behavior any longer.
you deserve better. i deserve better. everyone deserves better.