by: Jenn Vicious
Jenn Vicious is the radical community’s Agony Aunt, providing life coaching and social etiquette answers for radical cultures. Need poly, kinky, or queer dating advice, need to to know what to wear to court or a family function (you know, one you have to look “respectable” at), want to understand what to and not to say in some contexts, ask Jenn Vicious.
I recently found my coworker, a receptionist, hiding in a distant part of the office. It turns out she was trying to avoid a mailman who she finds creepy, and who in fact hunts for her around the office (she hides from him daily). Out other mailman is even worse (asking her to flash him, telling her to pose for Playboy, etc). She’s notified our boss, who doesn’t seem to care, and she’s wary about filing suit. I’m not asking for legal advice, but what is my role here? It should be obvious, right?
Stories like this really piss me off. Guys, do you even realize that shit like this happens to girls all the time? It’s fucking irritating. Dudes, knock it off already. We don’t want your crappy attention.
It’s obvious that these two dickwads totally deserve a good ass-kicking every once in a while, at least until they stop interacting with women. However, I don’t recommend that you do that, especially since it’s a federal crime. It’s too bad, because that seems like it would be cathartic, efficient, and effective. The other options are going to be less satisfying for all of us, but they are still worth exploring.
Probably the best thing to do is to file as many complaints about this as you possibly can. Go to your local post office (the one that those carriers are based out of) and ask to speak to the postmaster. ALSO, call in a complaint with the postal head honchos at 1(888)877-7644. AND fill out this online form. None of these things count as filing suit and you probably won’t have to deal with the cops or anything else too nasty. Ideally, keep complaining until they get fired, or at least until they aren’t delivering mail to your office anymore.
Obviously, your wanker boss isn’t going to help out. It would be really awesome if you helped your coworker, and gave her the encouragement she’s going to need to go through this process in the first place. She probably would like to ignore it and pretend like it’s going to go away, but I don’t think that’s going to work. Taking the first step will be really hard, but anything you can do to make life even a little bit harder for these shitbags is worth it. If nothing else, you start a paperwork trail so that when someone else down the road complains about these assholes, it gets taken a little more seriously. Because it’s a safe bet that your coworker isn’t the only person having this experience.
I also hope that you encourage your coworker to not take this shit. It is really, really hard to say something like “I don’t want you to talk to me like that.” But encourage her to draw that line, if she hasn’t already. Maybe help her brainstorm more empowering ways that she could interact with with these shitsicles when they come around. Maybe help her roleplay, so she can feel what it would be like to tell off one of these d-bags.
It also might be awesome if you called out these fuckers next time you see them. Maybe it doesn’t matter, and you didn’t specify your gender, but if you are a male-bodied person, that would be awesome thing to do (and might get taken a little more seriously, since these pieces of shit obviously don’t have much respect for female-bodied people). Because, seriously guys, you have to start calling out your fellow dudes on this shit if you want women to ever stop hating on you. We shouldn’t be the only ones who notice that these behaviors are fucked up.
Either way, it seems like sometimes fuckers just get away with doing shit like this because no one ever calls them on it. If you say that you notice it, you are breaking what is essentially a wall of silence between the shitbag and his victim. It no longer exists only in secret if other people can see it. Maybe that will help, and maybe it won’t. But I think it is a good step for us as a society to call out fucked up shit when we see it happening.