Profound thoughts have been going through my mind this morning.
A girl has just left my workplace. She was 17, blond, slightly tubby, and very sweet/ naive. A progressive I would guess to be middle class, she used to talk to me quite passionately about feminist causes/ social issues and I would answer her carefully. Not challenging her directly on but bringing up the reasons I might think about x issue the way I do.
Too young for me romantically, as I currently see it, for both reasons of how the outside world might view it and not being able to converse deeply on things that women understand. Although mentally it probably would not be that much of a problem in regards to compatibility in real terms. So there was some residual chemistry in my view that could not be acted upon. (16 is the legal age of consent in the UK).
When I first talked to her I made a joke about Donald Trump. Nothing leftist and hateful just, if we were to change some of the clothing where I work to include the message 'Make America Great Again' I wonder what the reaction would be. Shortly after I started working there though there seemed to be a concerted effort on the part of someone to keep us apart. I only noticed it a few months in, but every single week our shifts were precisely made so that we spent not one hour on the same shift. This went on for more than six months and only changed when there was a change of management at the store I work in.
Why? I am quite productive at work. I do not enjoy joking around that much and am usually at a fairly high level of anxiety so I always find something to do. Perhaps when she was there I talked a bit with her and my productivity went down something like 5%. Since I am more productive than other people in general in the interest of fairness this makes no sense, even with an employee present I may interact with I would be more productive than others, but employers do not think like that. They do not think about the employees experience they generally think about what they can get out of the employee.
I reiterate this more to myself to remind myself how little I actually owed my workplace during this time. Although I felt like I owed my last manager something perhaps I did not in actuality. It was simply a trade. My point though is this: Recently she left our store, she traded shifts with someone on her last shift that I was working, I did not think too much of it (although I did, in a not- so- intense way, assume it to be personal) but was reminded of something this morning.
The other guy we were working with is a lukewarm sort of person; makes jokes that are kind of irritating. He also makes all sorts of gay jokes and jokes pretending a deep connection, which is a very common style of humour that I don't particularly see the appeal of. On her second to last day that became her last day he was touching her a lot, slapping her ass and things and she was telling him to stop.
Why did this not arouse any particular feeling from me at the time? (other than disgust I don't approve of that vulgar sort of flirting). Most women in my personal life going back for as long as I can recall being interested in women, have simply thrown themselves at the first vulgar wanker that crosses their path. I remembered in University a girl rejected some guy and I was very surprised. I basically considered them married because he had made some overtures to her. This is different from the experience that a lot of men have recounted, but it remains my experience. It has been extraordinarily rare to find a girl who chooses men based on something other than who tries hard in a very base way. So in my mind the guy that claims first dibs on the girl basically owns her.
Plus he was far closer to her age.
Technically, if I had of taken seriously her protests that seemed half jokey at the time, I would then have been put in a position of first challenging this guy, and if he continued backing it up with physical force, which would have been a pleasure (a real pleasure). However, even touching someone can be considered assault and can be cause for firing. A girl at my workplace got fired for punching another girl in the arm who is an insufferable nag and probably deserved it. The girl who was fired has now had her working career negatively effected because of not being able to take abuse without protest.
But, what it brings me back to is that even though she could not match me in terms of intellectualism with third wave feminism vs. my anti feminism knowledge, in a way her presence showed something of female experience. That kind of harassment of 'is it really that bad or is it a joke' is something she didn't really have tools to oppose. Bringing it up officially would have been a big deal and possibly even a witch hunt. If many feminists had their way it would always be a witch hunt. I once had a girl call the police on me and have her boyfriend threaten me while I was in hospital in pain because I called her a few times. I showed no physically threatening behaviour and was not verbally threatening. These people are scum. I also had a girl complain about me 'harassing' her, which was an impossibility because she could go wherever she liked in the store, whereas I was kept to certain areas. The reason she was in the break room every time I went for a break wasn't because I was harrassing her!
So to conclude, it seems to me that while there is a group of radical man hating feminists; real feminism, real female issues cannot be addressed. But then that is their problem really... What have any group of real feminists done to oppose the radicals?
Nothing, that's what!
An end note here is that I am not assuming that the reason the girl swapped her last shift was because of this guy, she might have liked him and avoided me! In fact that is quite likely, or just as likely not wanted to work there, not like the place! It helps my blog nonetheless to consider the possibility.