Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Brief Interviews with Attractive Men, Part 2

Jack Loftus

How often are you the recipient of unwanted sexual advances?

Rarely. I was grabbed in the butt in a bar once, but the girl (a complete stranger) was obviously intoxicated. I think I laughed. Girls do not whistle at me from their construction sites, nor do they give me elevator eyes when I enter the room. That said, I've caught a few female coworkers glancing down at my crotch area in the halls here at the office, in passing, but I always strike that off as typical avoiding-eye-contact New Englander behavior. It never really bothers me. I dress up for work, I take care of myself, etc...I suppose some deep, vain part of me wants a little of this attention? Guilty as charged.

What do you do when someone you’re not interested in (sexually) is interested in you (sexually)? How do you deflect the attention, if you do?

I'm pretty outgoing and polite by nature (thanks, mom and dad), so I treat them as I would any other acquaintance (i.e. non-friend). I involve them in a group conversation. I treat them with respect. If they get out of hand (not that I can remember that happening), I'd probably just walk away.

Have you ever experienced anything you’d describe as harassment?

I really can't say that I have, which is why I usually steer clear of dishing out advice during sexual harassment discussions.

What is your advice for a woman who finds herself the recipient of unwanted sexual attention or advances?

Fight the urge to say nothing. Fight the urge to blame yourself or to say "next time I'll complain" ("it was what I was wearing!"). All will happen. Ignore that little voice that says it'd be more trouble than it's worth to file a complaint with a boss or an authority. Close your eyes, count to ten and pick up that phone or walk into that office. You think you're the first person this asshole has harassed? Or the last? It's more selfish to stay silent.

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