Women should not be treated as a product on a shelf, and are not here for your entertainment.
Women should not feel like they have to be nice when faced with a potential threat, and should not be made uncomfortable in the workplace.
Being a woman in the workplace , especially customer service, sometimes feels more like a curse than anything else. Though it can provide you the chance of meeting some cool, interesting people, it also leaves you open to be bothered by people who don’t have good intentions.
Female employees are always told to speak up about workplace harassment. Though, the harassment usually doesn’t come from male coworkers, but instead customers. At that point, employees are told to smile, agree and wish them on their way as if nothing happened.
These are common issues in the workplace that we, as young women in our twenties, have experienced first-hand.
We’ve been told that products are too expensive and “I deserve a kiss for that price,” and have been asked if we are prepared for the sexual experiences of college. This is uncalled for, disrespectful and downright disgusting.
Yet, we are told to tolerate it.
Usually, women are faced with two options when placed in a discomforting situation in the workplace, fight or flight. However, as workers who wish to keep their jobs, we feel it is best to either deal with the harassment or try to run away. We can’t open our mouths and defend ourselves because “the customer is always right.”
Supervisors say they will stick up for us or protect us from these comments and unsafe situations. But when we bring it up to them, the response immediately changes to “I’m sure they mean nothing by it; it was acceptable in their time period.”
Not only do we feel unsafe when we walk to our car, grasping our pepper spray as hard as we can, prepared for the worst, but also behind the register, in the store and anytime we have to be alone.
The worst thing about it all is that unless it has happened to them, most people just shrug it off. There have been too many days when we have felt trapped in a petri dish, poked and prodded under leering gazes.
It’s not okay to harass someone for their phone number when they’re working, especially when they are clearly uncomfortable and have said “no” several times. It’s not okay to text them about how you love their body and would like to hook up when they finally cave to get you to leave them alone, trembling in discomfort.
It’s not okay to tell someone about your sexual plans for the evening, in detail.
It’s not okay to be a dick.
We’re not just vaginas here for your entertainment, and we shouldn’t be expected to keep quiet about things like this.
We’re humans too.