Sorry it took so long to get the second draft up. Looking forward to receiving your feedback.
My female supervisor harassed me — and I’m a man.
It began with flirting, which I initially went along with as I was flattered — thinking it was harmless. As the inappropriate IM’s started pouring in, I realized how wrong I was. I did my best to brush them off by pretending to be clueless.
Eventually, she said what she wanted to have sex with me. I was taken aback and it was extremely uncomfortable. My first thought was, “how do I tell this woman, who supervises me, that I don’t want to sleep with her?”
I rambled on how it would be inappropriate since she was married with kids. This reason — as valid as it was — wasn’t the solution. But I was taken aback by the situation; as a man, I never imagined being sexually harassed by a woman, which left me unsure how to respond. After all, isn’t it the men who do the sexual harassing? Sure. I want sex, but not with her.
So what do you say when your supervisor tells you what she’s into sexually? Laugh uncomfortably and say, “too much information.” How about when she indirectly offers to reward you with sex in the back seat of her car after you fix her portable vacuum? Just politely brush it off.
As much as I wanted to go to HR, I didn’t because of the repercussions she would have ensued such as her family knowing and the possibility of her losing he job; and another part of me felt that it was pointless, as HR wasn’t actively doing their job.
Looking back, I should have been more firm with my harasser as I didn’t realize how much power I had; I had evidence — inappropriate messages from her insinuating that clear sexual advances. I should have reported her to HR with a screenshot of them and requested a transfer to another office, as I continued to look for full-time work. I should have also filed suit with the company, as this has happened to other people who’ve worked there.
In the end, I was removed from the toxic environment and I’m happy to be out. I’m still learning to cope with the idea of having been sexually harassed. And I never realized how prevalent sexual harassment was in the workplace until I was a victim of it. I knew it always existed, but I never knew how uncomfortable it would make me feel, as a man.