A Mouse in a Lion Suit
It’s always disappointing when you expect yourself to roar like a lion and all you hear is a little mouse whisper.
I got my butt patted by a client the other day. He came up behind me and BAM! Hand on my ass. I was so shocked that I was literally speechless for a moment. That right there is upsetting. I would have hoped that my pseudo-confident, feminist, positive sex self had taken over more of the shy, scared little girl than that. My response to something like that in my head was always either a slap/punch (let’s face it, I’m violent) or an immediate “Don’t EVER touch me again!” said loudly. Instead, there was nothing.
Luckily, another client, a sweet older man, immediately spoke up. “Hey now! We don’t do that kind of thing!” Thanks, old man, for speaking when I couldn’t. I’m glad that someone could, and doubly glad it was someone of your gender and age.
Sadly, my mouse voice continued even further. Once I was alone with the client, instead of speaking in a confident, strong voice, I quietly told him that his actions were completely inappropriate. Quietly. It obviously had no effect on him, since he made two inappropriate comments during our time together. Yes, I again let him know this was unacceptable.
I ever APOLOGIZED to my supervisor when I told her about it. As if it were in any way my fault. I apologized multiple times because of the hassle she would have to go through because it. She never made it seem like a hassle, in fact had a really great response to it, which makes me feel good. Too often things like this are swept under the rug. However, I feel almost trained to apologize for something like this because I’m obviously at fault. I’m a woman after all.
NO! That’s so wrong and I hate that I feel even one iota of that. I want so badly for no female to ever feel it’s her fault. Or man who gets harassed for that matter.
So. We’ll see how it goes next time with the client and if even one thing makes me vaguely uncomfortable, I’m done. He can go to someone else. I refuse to put up with that behavior, especially when it has nothing to do with his symptoms. At least I know I’ll be supported there.
I’ll run back into a burning building for a friend, but I apparently won’t speak up for myself. This is a problem. And one I promise myself I will work on. You should too.
Please don’t ever lose your voice.