(Originally published in Guyana’s Stabroek News on 19 May 2012)
So guys, what do women think of your inappropriate workplace advances?
Listen to a friend’s story about an incident that happened to her a couple weeks ago.
“I have this client. He’s been a client of mine for a little over a year when I was just freelancing, and now he’s a client [for my new business]. He often says things that are quite inappropriate, but I just ignore them and stay professional and business-focused. That’s always worked.
Well he’s been trying to get me to go out to dinner with him for a long time to discuss a project he has for [my business]. I kept trying to change it to lunch, but eventually caved and agreed to dinner…this past Thursday.
Dinner went fine, conversation was mostly professional and he did have a real project for [my business] to work on. There was a little personal conversation sprinkled in about kids and his wife of 35 years, the house they just bought, etc. So when we left, he said he’d walk me to my car. When we got there, he gave me a hug (which I’m okay with), but then tried to lean in to kiss me on my lips!!!
I immediately turned my cheek so the kiss landed there instead. I firmly said, ‘Thank you for dinner. Good night.’
I did NOTHING to make him think kissing me was okay. What on earth was he thinking?
I’m sure it happens to a lot of women all the time. It’s not the first time it’s happened to me. I’m usually really careful about who I go to business meetings with because many times it’s just the guy wanting to spend time with me and get to know me – not my business offerings. So I only [have face-to-face meetings] when I know the person is a decent guy or serious about commissioning our services, [otherwise] I keep everything virtual.
And not to mention this guy’s daughter is the exact same age as me! Sickening!”
So guys, what do women think of your inappropriate workplace advances? They are disgusted by such nonsense. Women do not go to their workplace to be groped and to hear ridiculous quips about their body parts or what they are wearing.
I know full well that most of the men reading this column who are egotistical enough to be guilty of workplace sexual harassment will say to themselves that women do not react to their advances like my friend who was revolted by what happened to her. Again, these narcissists are so very wrong.
Most women typically react to workplace harassment the same way my friend said she did when the fool mentioned above would say inappropriate things: she just ignored the harassment and tried to stay focused on business. I hate that women feel they must play dumb about these things to maintain a professional relationship.
Guys, women don’t want your advances at the workplace; they think those advances a waste of their time and energy when they are trying to get things done on the job. Moreover, when on a job, a professional woman’s focus is not romantic; it is on the task at hand.
Now I know some egotistical guys think women do nothing else but sit and think about “mack daddy” all day long and wait with bated breath for them to walk by with a statement that will objectify women and reduce them to sex objects instead of capable humans with a keen brain. But, let me let you in on a little secret…once again you are wrong.
Instead, the ladies in the workplace gather and talk about how silly you look when you try to “mack” and laugh behind your back because you think you have “game.” There are other ladies who find it downright offensive when you treat them like a potential sexual conquest instead of a co-worker on equal intellectual footing.
More often than not, women go to their girlfriends and relay the whole disgusting incident (like my friend did) and the exchange of information is not flattering for the guy at all. So while you go around thinking your mack-daddy-ness is making the ladies swoon, you are actually the creepy clown that the women try to avoid.
You see, it is not “cool” to be disrespectful to women and until you can approach a woman with the respect due her and her position within the workplace, your childish antics will forever put you in a designated spot of avoidance and women will not take you seriously on any level.
In order to gain respect, a person must be willing to give respect. Women who respect themselves would never find sexual harassment to be endearing or respond to it in a positive manner.
Men who inflict sexual harassment on women are endured to keep the peace or to keep a job, but not because women are okay with the harassment.
Guys, keep this in mind the next time you want to harass a woman. Instead, grow up and talk to women with respect. If you treat women with respect and they will reciprocate.