Our modern day ‘workplace’ harassment!

Disclaimer – I appreciate this happens on both sides of the gender wall. I have it thrown at me anytime I say a word on this subject, but as I have never personally experienced this then this post is ALL about MY experiences and nothing else. I have never been solicited by a female in my life in this way, no matter her sexual orientation.
There are decent and respectful men in this world ( I live with one) and this post is NOT about them.

Also – yeah this is a Leanne rant so disregard if you are easily offended…this is how I get rid of my frustrations and it all goes back to unicorns and rainbows.

I have had a day from hell. Quite frankly, I feel done with a portion of the male gender today and about at the point I may take up circumcision procedures with a blunt axe, lack of med’s and no medical training.

I am not so young that I do not remember the era of in your face sexism, where it was commonly accepted that women belonged chained to the kitchen sink. I like to take pride in the fact that despite being raised in a traditional religious environment concerning this subject – I kicked it up the ass with my size five doctor martin boots at a very young age.

I have never ever been someone who can stand the one sided’ness of the gender war.

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t call myself a feminist but that’s a whole other topic and has much to do with how I view the movement and it’s progression nowadays. In essence I stand for the same ideals – I just want to be appreciated and treated like an equal and not subjected to metaphorical groping because I was born with a ‘vajayjay’.

I thought writing books on a subject which touches on abuse, harassment, the unequal power balance and work place assault, would be enough of a deterrent to most men grazing by me – but it seems not.

My workplace in our modern era is social media, due to the nature of what I do and now that opens a can of worms into the whole topic of sexual harassment and male entitlement when it comes to female boundaries.

Our inboxes and profiles are seemingly the new ‘butt grope’ yet funnily – people do not seem to have as much issue with it as face to face in the workplace incidents.

Why?

It has the same emotional impact.

I know I am not alone when it comes to women receiving crude and dirty messages, ‘dick’ pics and other filth, unsolicited on social media. I have touched on this subject before on this very blog, but this post is more specific.

I am talking about fellow authors misusing the communities willingness to be connected and network, to prey upon women under the guise of fellow professional. It’s no different to the creepy office pervert you avoided getting stuck in the coffee room with. Except now you are even more sly and fly about your endeavors because you hide behind fake profiles and pen names and just block any woman who shouts about it.

The lack of consequences in the age of internet means – no one cares.

Today I have lost count of the number of friends requests I have received from authors in the community. I can only guess my name was placed somewhere in an authors group and I have seen a huge influx of adds in the last day. The majority are female writers and great connections in what I do. I have never had issue with new friends requests, I am a sociable type of girl and I do vet some of them quickly before accepting. Usually if we have a connected profession and mutual friends, then I will accept.

That was my mistake.

Despite their being a 70 -30 ratio split, leaning towards women…it’s the men who have pounced on every acceptance to misuse the message function of my inbox.

It would seem instead of office place sexual innuendos, brushing up against us or lewd remarks and gawping – pm’ing women in your professional field with harassing messages, regardless to relationship status is the new norm.

I for one am bloody sick of it!

This is not new or recent or a one off – it’s my life, every day for months, and years. I just stupidly thought as I gained respect in my field that fellow writers would treat me as such — I was wrong.

So to all who dare to keep doing it from now on….
I do not encourage it, I don’t need it, I don’t want it – and I sure as hell don’t feel flattered from your perverted attentions, despite your ego telling you so.

Do you know what I feel?

Dirty, invaded and vulnerable.

Just stop!

We have a right to be left alone. We have a right to respect. We have a right to live our lives without being objectified.

I don’t know why it is these people feel they have this right to swan up on someone who has made zero sign or effort to attract them and behave in a disrespectful manner (yes I am aware it can work both ways and not ALL men – bear with me. I’m in a panties tied rant mode from all day harassment from many directions) but it really disgusts me.

It’s not just the sexual side – it’s the expecting me to show them favour for being pushy and messaging me in such a brassy manner. The expectancy that as a female I SHOULD be dedicating my time to answering their messages and demands.
Why should I ? I didn’t PM you!

It’s thinking I OWE it to them to share their books, add them to my groups and chat away because they deemed me worthy of targeting – tell them personal details because they demand it. What the hell do you want to know how many kids I have, their names and ages? It’s none of your damn business.

Please do not mix this up with the friendly and daily chats I have with many authors and readers – I am not talking about equally wanted chit chat. I am talking about the being forced to respond to a stranger seconds after they send you a  friends request and the first two lines are predictably lame come on lines.

Dude, you been drinking you’re own cool aid.

Do you know how many female authors have approached me today?  – NONE. not one! Nada; because respect and boundaries are something we understand a lot about. Seeing as we spend our life having to fight to enforce them. Most females I know will interact on my posts long before they ever approach me in private. It’s called building a relationship.

Maybe this goes back to neanderthal times when cavemen used to drag women they wanted to procreate with into a cave?

I have no idea where I want this rant to go, other than to vent the frustrations of a little female in the big wide world, who is tired of being told we are over reacting because the opposite sex send us messages all day long with cringe worthy content. Or the over reacting with anger and insults when you dare to refuse them what they want.
I have been called some pretty awful names since the dawn of Facebook for simply telling someone I was not interested. Maybe by talking it out and highlighting it, then the decent men in this community will help us shame the ones who deem this acceptable? Maybe their peers can stop them doing what we cannot.

And you know what happens when you complain? People tell you to stop being dramatic.

Stop enabling shitty behavior.

Why should I close down my profile?

Why should I mute my inbox?

Why should I vet people connecting with me on a public profile, built for networking?

Why should I shut up and not make a point of yelling about this?

Why? – because despite the leaps and bounds we have come on in recent years – this is still a mans world. People have been raised with tolerance for this and as long as people think it’s acceptable to behave in any way they want towards one another – nothing will change.

I owe you nothing.

It’s only a pot luck of genetics which made you grow a penis and I did not.

I sure as hell will rise up and succeed the same way you do.

I wasn’t put on this planet for your convenience in anyway, so get over it.

Don’t be shocked when this bitch bites back – I was born with claws and very sharp teeth.

The sad truth is – even if I earn more, am more successful, married and openly display it …. I will still get hit on with these messages and emails because they simply see us as objects they have a right to harass.

#MeToo

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