Friends

16 March 2013

Inappropriate Actions



I’m getting tired of hearing about the scandalous behaviour of lords, priests, politicians, and those in the entertainment industry. What I cannot understand is why on earth most people left it for years before making complaints. 

Or are they simply jumping on the bandwagon?

We live in a different culture now. In my day, and I go back a long way, it was the norm for men to grope women or attempt to grab a fondle or two. It was bad but the women didn’t run screaming blue murder. No, they hit back, usually where it hurt most. Most of us fought our own battles, or laughed it off. 

However, current headlines have produced a few funny memories.

1.                   Man on bus
2.                  Man in cinema
3.                  Man at work
4.                  Man on paper round – didn’t laugh that one off

In those days some men were very ‘into exposure’ ... and I can relate the tale about a guy who was quite funny. 

1  It was my first job and I travelled there on the bus, one of those vehicles that had long seats facing each other near the boarding end. After that all seats faced the front. Three of us, all around the same young age, did the journey together and we always sat on the long seats so that we could enjoy some girlish chatter. One morning a man boarded the bus and sat opposite, facing us. He was dressed in a dirty raincoat; I’m sure you've all heard about men in dirty raincoats!! He stared at us, occasionally smiled (lecherously), and eventually opened his raincoat. The guy actually exposed himself on the bus. What a sight! Oh how we giggled. He tried again on other days but in the end I guess he couldn’t stand the sound of us laughing. For all we knew he might have been arrested.

2  A friend and I visited the cinema. It was mid-afternoon and dark as hell in there. I was engrossed in the film when the person next to me went out. Almost immediately my friend pushed past me to take the empty seat. Then the guy she’d been next to moved into the vacated place next to me. Me being a dumb-head I didn’t even wonder why there’d been a great switching of seats until my new neighbour dropped something on the floor. Naturally, as you do, I looked down to see what it was. As he bent forward our heads collided and then he straightened and my eyes were immediately drawn to his lap rather than the floor. I nudged my pal and whispered, ‘he’s got his thing out’, to which she replied, ‘kick him, I did.’ Heehee you can appreciate that I am now reliving that long forgotten incident.

3  Then there was a bloke at work who loved to say inappropriate things about the girls’ figures, usually their breasts, and especially if they were well endowed. I was, so I took the brunt of it. Most of the time we ignored him but one day, when I was feeling particularly tetchy, I retaliated. We were in the canteen, waiting in queues to be served. The pest was in a queue immediately adjacent to mine and he shouted across, ‘Mornin’ Val, how are they today,’ to which I replied, in equal volume, ‘Fine, Norman, how are yours?’ His mates thought it was hilarious and, you know what, Norm never bothered us again.

Yes I know I’m being flippant about things that shouldn’t have happened, but that’s how we were brought up: to fight our battles without making a fuss and reporting only the more serious issues.

4 The man on the paper round was more worrying. It was late afternoon in winter and I was just finishing my round on a dark lonely road, near the local vicarage, when I was attacked. Or rather, a young man tried to attack. He penned me against the wall with his bicycle but what he didn’t realise was that the bicycle saved me from whatever he had in mind. I screamed, threw the remaining newspapers on the ground, punched him in the face, and fled to the nearest house. Of course, he was never found, even though the occupant of the house searched the vicinity. Nowadays people would ring the police, but there were no phones to hand in those days. I never told my mother about it. 

It’s different with children. What happened to them is disgraceful ... and sick. Many would have lived in fear of sexual predators. They wouldn’t know what to do and in some cases wouldn't even know it was wrong. But a lot of the complaints we're hearing about now are about incidents happening to older people. Like the woman who accused Lord whatshisname of inappropriate behaviour, saying that it could have/or did ruin her career chances. A kick in an appropriate place would have cured him for all time.

That’s my opinion and I know many would disagree. I imagine those who do would be younger and brought up in a different age. I’m not saying that things were right then, just that we coped with it in a different way. Now that we live in a sue-for-compensation society it’s every man and woman for him/herself and I fear it's getting out of hand. 

9 comments:

Akelamalu said...

I so agree with you on this Valerie. I too had my share of 'innapropriate' advances and dealt with them without telling my parents, the police or anyone else. It shouldn't have happened but it did, all too often. However I always encouraged my children (and my grandchildren) to tell me if anything happened or they were worried about anything.

Brian Miller said...

wow that last one is pretty intense...i am glad you got away from him...sexual predators piss me off...sorry, but they do...ugh...particularly those that mess with children...ugh...

Montanagirl said...

Good post, Val! I agree with you as well.

Mel said...

Mouths, I can spar with quite well. Exposure and attacks--a whole different thing in my book.
I'm of one of those 'don't tell and just deal with it' era's. On one hand I'm glad we've grown into a TELL era, for the children's sake and for the sake of the brutally victimized. On the other hand.... I'm not sure where that line IS.
Sex offenders are not a 'well' bunch.
There's an understatement, huh?! :-/

Banker Chick said...

I do agree up to a point. It is a man's responsibility, to not behave inappropriatly. Sexual harrassment is a slippery slope, when your job is at stake. Men should not use their power to intimidate women. And kids...that is another story.

Ron said...

"to which I replied, in equal volume, ‘Fine, Norman, how are yours?’"

Brava, Valerie! GREAT comeback!!!!

And great post topic as well!

I have to say that I agree with you overall because I think society has gone to the extreme in almost looking for things to sue about. Therefore, we're paranoid to even hug someone in fear that they'll take it as inappropriate behavior. Or even if we say something that could be misconstrued as a sexual innuendo.

The only time this upsets me (as Brian and Pearl also shared) is that if it involves young children.

Again, great post topic, dear lady!

Have a super Saturday!

X

Valerie said...

Pearl, I wonder if, like me, I didn't tell the parents because we felt we'd get into more trouble?

Brian, don't apologise for your feelings. I'm with you as regards 'messing with children' but adults should be able to deal with most of it.

Mona, thanks.

Mel, I agree with you and like you I don't know where the line is.

BC, I believe the person I referred to was perfectly able to stand up for herself, in more ways than one.

Ron, not a bad comeback for a youngster, eh? What's more, it worked! I'm glad you saw my point about the suing society and my query about leaving it for so many years before saying something. What's the point of leaving it, surely reporting a matter while it's fresh is easier to prove. It would certainly be more believable.

Mr. Shife said...

I am in agreement with you on this Val. And I am sure glad you put Norman in his place. Way to go. Number 4 was scary and I am glad you got out of that.

Valerie said...

Thanks, Matt. I was proud to have put Norman down... he never did it again, to anyone.