Saturday, October 11, 2014

What time is it?

It's rant time.

It seems like every day at work there's some new horror. I don't understand these people. What can they be thinking? That we're all friends and we come here to hang out all day? Granted, sometimes we do talk about stuff that's not related to work, but that in no way gives license to the experiences I've had. Sometimes I feel like I'm being too sensitive. Then I screw my brain back in and I realize I have a right to a workplace that's not filled with sex/rape/penis jokes and references. I've tried talking to some people at work about this and one guy in particular thinks that the first ammendment gives him the right to "...say whatever I want..." Huh? In what universe? As Zachariah Chaffee, an advocate of free speech, said "Your right to swing your arms ends just where the other man's nose begins." While you do have the right to free speech, I have the right to work in an environment that's not plagued with sex/rape/penis jokes and references. Just because they make you feel comfortable doesn't mean they have the same affect on everyone.

It's not just one thing that happened. It's a million little-/medium-sized things that happen all day, every day. However, I do have a big one to share:

A supervisor came up to me one day, holding out her phone. "Look at this," she said, laughing. On her phone was a picture of a guy with his penis hanging out. There was a second when I was confused. Why was she showing me this? Then it dawned on me that the penis was the entire reason for this episode. Really? Not only were we at work, she's my supervisor? Doesn't she get more training about this than I do? For goodness sake. Anyway, I just frowned at her, said "No." and walked away shaking my head. Really. What do you say to that?

There was another one where someone said I wanted a "big black cock". I'm actually proud of myself for my response to that one. I immediately let her know that kind of talk wasn't acceptable.

But why does it fall to me to say these things? Do we, as service members, not get enough training on sexual harassment? (I don't even know if that's what it's called.)

 It could be that we don't have enough training about this. Or maybe the training isn't engaging enough. The problem might be that the training we do have isn't taken seriously. But why not? I guess some people, both up and down the chain of command, don't see this behavior as an issue.

That's what really scares me.