One of the trainers at my gym is a fairly young girl. She told us a little story today, about how she has started working the reception as well, not just training. That kind of work entails checking up on the bathrooms and the dressing rooms. Fine, right? It’s a job like any other, you go in, make sure there is paper in the stalls, stuff like that. Simple.
Or well, as it turns out, not so much. Aside from checking up on the women’s dressing rooms, she has to check the men’s as well. So she knocks the door, and ask if they are decent. They answer yes, and she comes in, keeping her eyes down, and even shielding her eyes with her hand, really, really not wanting to catch a glimpse of “something” anywhere.
She does her thing, checks the paper and is about to leave, having been in there for possibly 35 seconds, when she turns around and comes face to face with a completely naked dude.
Clearly, from the way she was telling it, she did not find it funny, as she had just asked if they were dressed, and they had said yes.
This has happened every time she has had to go in there since, mostly the same guy, but others has been joining in as well. One of them even commented as she was leaving that they just “made her day.” Being polite, and AT WORK, she didn’t feel that she could tell them that they so did not make her day at all.
I will admit, when she told the story, I smiled, like everyone else in the room, but it stuck with me when I went home. The things women has to put up with, and the way we don’t even support each other, when we are in trouble. In a room full of women, not a single one of us told her not to accept that kind of behavior from anyone. We laughed, because it was sort of funny, the way she told it.
I mean, I know its a dressing room, and accidents happen. If it had been once, or different guys, one could say that it was just bad luck that she had seen them naked. But this actually feels kind of criminal to me, the more I think about it. This girl is at work, and these men are flashing her.
Imagine if they did that to the girl working at the convenient store. They’d get arrested, wouldn’t they? So why must she put up with it? She did not sign up for having their private parts flashed in her face, by agreeing to make sure their bathrooms has paper. She has no choice but to go in there, time and time again. It is her job.
Only, really, it isn’t. It shouldn’t be. I don’t know how management at the center would feel if she actually told them, I hope they’d be supportive of her, but really, she won’t complain. She is way too uncomfortable about it. I’d be surprised if she ever tells anyone again, since none of us told her not to put up with it when she told us.
I might have to bring it up the next time I see her, for my own peace of mind, because I can’t shake the feeling that I let her down greatly.
“We just made her day.”
This girl is in her early, (very early,) twenties. What the fuck kind of way is that to behave around her, and talk about her? What kind of men thinks they are so amazing that they need to force their nudity on little girls? Perverts? Or is it such a common thing that men thinks we really want to see their penises?
Dirty little truth is, guys, we really don’t. We are pretty selective with how and when we wanna look at male genitalia. And having it flashed in our faces when we are at work…
In a time where people are talking about transgender people using the bathrooms, and how women don’t feel safe, having a man around, this feels pretty relevant.
Really, it is not the men, who identify as women, we have a problem with. It is those who identify as men, but who needs validation from women to feel like a real man. They are the ones some of need protection from. Especially young, shy girls. Who just wants to do their jobs.
I’m not sure I ever really understood the whole bathroom debate until now. To me, having unisex bathrooms was never an issue. Or, if a girl who may not be female anatomically, should use the women’s dressing room, then it really isn’t my business what is in her pants and I hope I’d be hard pressed to find any woman who would feel threatened by that.
But clearly, some men can’t be trusted around women. That really is the problem, isn’t it? That we, as a society, needs to raise our men better? Teach them not to violate women? And teach our daughters not to accept it?
I don’t know. This whole story has me wanting to hang out with her at the reception, waiting for the flashers to show up, so I can ask them if they usually flash little girls, or if they somehow think that she is special because her job puts her in a vulnerable position. But I guess that is not the way to go either. That is not my fight. Not my place. But I should have told her not to put up with it. I hope I will. Otherwise I am joining in a culture that raises women to accept and put up with abuse. I never thought I’d find myself here. I guess I was raised in that culture as well…