Alright, I don’t normally do this, and I may decide to delete this post later. However, something has been on my mind since Thursday night, and I decided this was the best way to “get it off my chest”.
So, I work in the kitchen at a bar/restaurant, and on Thursday nights we have karaoke. This week my boss asked me to step in for the regular karaoke host/singer, which basically meant that if no one wanted to volunteer I get up and sing. A big part of the job is recruiting possible singers, which means I get to walk around and flirt with people (yay me).
This particular night was pretty slow, so I spent a lot of my time trying to convince the remaining patrons that it was a good idea to get up on stage and sing. Now, I’m living in my hometown for the summer which is a very preppy, suburban atmosphere, and I tend to dress a little upscale (my clothes are suited to NYC) compared to the majority of people in my area. Thursday night I decided to wear one of my favorite dresses, a red, backless number with nude wedges. (Let me point out that I have worn this dress at a family party, and it is by no means skimpy…not that it should matter).
I was talking to a group of regulars, when I noticed two men sitting at another table staring at me. It seemed like they might be willing to sing, so I decided to go over and attempt a recruitment! I walked over and asked if they wanted to sing, and one of the guys indicated that he might be willing to do a duet with me. At this point it was approaching closing time, and my boss told me I could go if I sang one more song…So I went back to the guy to see if he would sing with me so I could go home, and his friend starts joking about me going home with them. At first I laughed it off, and totally thought they were joking, I’m only 19, and these guys were minimum 44. Then the friend goes “He can’t sing with you until we know what kind of underwear you’re wearing. Is it a thong or a bikini?”
I was standing there in shock. I decided to just tell them “This conversation is over,” and walk away.
Now here comes the kicker of this story. I go over, and tell my boss what just happened, and he tells me “Oh it happens. They probably thought you were just some random girl”…
So basically he decided that it was perfectly acceptable for someone to verbally harass one of his employees without reprimand because
a) I’m female
b) I’m wearing an outfit that doesn’t indicate that I work there (even though the karaoke singer always wears his/her own clothes)
I hear so many people saying that “we don’t need feminism anymore,” but experiences like this prove that our society is still not equal. Both women and men should be able to wear whatever they want, without fear of harassment, and employers should ensure a safe working environment for all.
End of rant. If you read all of this I give you a gold star.