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We have always talked on length about men being the dirty lot who have nothing else to do except disgrace women. Well, if you are a man / boy and we are offending you by saying this, then you have all the right to be offended. It’s just that women/girls have dealt with quite a handful of the bad lot and we would just like to discuss here what to do if they come across perverts at their work place.
Spot the pervert and deal accordingly
There are a lot of tell tale signs that can scream I am a pervert! Take for example the oglers, the patters, and the dirty talker.
The ogle eyed beast – It can get quite uncomfortable if you are having a nice coffee and this one man cannot get his eyes off your body. Some of these are shyer and steal glances at your tight fitting dress when you are not looking.
For such men, the best thing to do is stay away. But if he is seated next to you in your floor, we would suggest you talk directly to him about the issue. As most companies have cells to deal with office harassment, he can get intimidated by your warning and not commit the mistake again. If he persists, request for a change in desk allocation or directly complain.
The pat me down fools – At the slightest opportunity, this man will pat your back or hold you.
Your body language speaks a lot. Be confident and sure of yourself and a simple glare when he dares to pat you might be enough. Also, if you are friends with such a man but do not like this habit, just make it clear
The dirty talker – Though some men use double meaning sentences just for fun, you need to see whether he is behaving the same with other employees or not. If it is a habitual con, you need not worry much. But if he is intentionally doing so only with you, give him a sharp retort.
A friend of mine had the following conversation once
He – Let’s catch a coffee in the canteen. It is almost tea time!
She – Oh I never say no to a coffee!
He – and what else do you not say no to? (eyes gleaming and tongue hanging. Idiot.)
She – I never say no to an airhead for a coffee.
He – oh….
Since that day on, he never said a word out of place.
Women help cells / Sexual harassment cells
In all of the above cases, if things do not work out amicably, do not hesitate to contact these departments in your office. Companies have pretty strict rules about these and the man is most likely to get the pink slip in a few days.
In India, according to the Protection of Women from Sexual Harassment at Workplace bill issued in May 2012 makes it mandatory for all workplaces, including homes, universities, hospitals, government and non-government offices, factories, other formal and informal work places to constitute an internal committee for redress of complaints.
Bosses who like to take advantage
This is the most difficult situation. Men and women are equally fearful of their bosses. And when a senior commits a sexually harassing act on his woman subordinate, she finds herself to be helpless. In such cases, what most female employees I know suggest is to request a department/project change. If that option is not available, or if you are confident of yourself, contact the help cell immediately.
Some things to keep in mind
Though the topic of proper dressing is quite debatable and controversial, you should always remember that men just need an excuse. Moreover, a professional environment demands you to dress professionally.
Always carry a pepper spray. This small and harmless looking bottle can save you if cornered by a overactive colleague or boss.
Know basic self defense moves. You can easily locate self defense classes near your locality. Take out some time and join them. Don’t let men take you for the weaker sex. And if you are really damn busy, check out some of the videos available online like this one.
Emergency Numbers – 100 (Police) and 1298 (Women help Line) should be in your quick contact list.