Sunday, October 21, 2012

Because You Asked

When I made the list of things my family suggested I write about,  one of the most popular ones was how Jay got his ass slapped at work.

Today, I'll expound on that topic.

Earlier in the week Jay was at work moving shoes from one part of the store to the other when an old guy walked up behind him, slapped him on the ass, and said, "Nice business you have here." Jay said that he was shocked into momentary silence (which NEVER happens to him) and that he wasn't sure if the "business" the man was referring to was the actual store, or his ass. (Jay does have a very nice, round ass. I could see how the man would want to compliment it.)

Jay eventually regained his composure, said, "Thanks" and walked away.

But here's the thing, and this is where it gets serious: There is a small segment of the population, mainly older folk, who think that this behavior is totally okay. It's not okay, EVER, to slap someones ass. Not your kids or grandkids, not your co-workers, and definitely not a stranger. It doesn't matter if you meant it in an endearing, loving, or friendly way. It's still wrong.  In fact, it's sexual harassment.

Since Jay was at work and wanted to remain professional (and wasn't truly threatened) he got over it pretty quickly and blew the whole thing off. But I can't stop thinking about the different ways in which this scenario could have played out. Had it been me getting my ass slapped, would I have acted differently? As a female, I think I would have definitely felt more threatened. I may have screamed and called mall security to have the man escorted out of the store. Maybe that would be overreacting. Or would it? Does the fact that Jay is a fairly large guy who didn't feel threatened by this old man make a difference? Does it mean that he has to put up with his ass being touched in the work place?

How would you have reacted?

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

I think Jay handled it properly since the old man didn't follow him around the store and continue to harass him. I,being female, would have turned around and said "Excuse me, keep your hands to yourself" and walked away.Since the old man didn't bother anyone else, I'm just assuming that he was just that... "an old , somewhat stupid man".

hester said...

This is definitely a tricky one. Occasionally if some dear old codger says or does something flirty (in an inappropriate way) but I know they are from an era which just doesn't get it and they did mean it as a compliment or a joke, I give them the benefit of the doubt and let it go. But if it was someone who knew they were being slimy, then I'd take action. A gay guy I used to work with once said so many inappropriate things to me (sometimes in front of my lovely older male boss who was such a gentleman that he was more embarrassed than I was)that I reported him to the sexual harrassment person. He thought because he was gay he could say whatever he wanted and people would think it was harmless and funny.

Gosh...didn't mean to write such an essay. Perhaps this hit a nerve! Good to know that Jay has a nice butt, though. And obviously doesn't rattle easily.

DysFUNctional Mom said...

That's a tough call, I'm not really sure how I would respond. I think I'd say something like "what the hell???" out of pure shock. lol

Margaret (Peggy or Peg too) said...

I thought it would be a bigger story than that. It is damn weird to me that someone would do this, old man or not.

I would have said, "What the hell do you think you're doing?" I know I would not have tolerated that. And for some reason people think it's okay if its a man. That is so not okay for either sex. I asked Rick what he would do. He wasn't sure, he said he would be in such shock he may not say anything.

Maria Rose said...

I would like to think I would handle it well, but usually I find myself in stunned silence for just a bit too long to handle the situation effectively. For instance, several years ago I was at a store and realized that a creepy fellow was using a long mirror to look up my skirt (ahhh!) and I quickly walked away and by the time I was able to notify someone the creepy mirror guy had made his escape. I wish I would have just screamed, "HELP! PERVERT! POLICE!"

Aleta said...

I probably would have said, "What the hell?!" then I might have told someone about it. Definitely would have told my husband and HE would have reacted.

For men, I think it's different.

Visty said...

Was the old man wearing a Penn State sweatshirt?