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Old 11-28-2008, 08:07 PM   #115
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 950
Re: Another harassment question

Again, was it really sexually appropriate behavior?

Tom28 said about his sensei, "who at inappropiately around women and doesn't realize what he's sayng is too much/too far." Well then he saying the sensei isn't a Don Juan.

The woman known as ttly said,
"At first, he used comments like "hey sexy!" or "hey beautiful!" which is no big deal. I must add here that I also have a part time job with a crew of mostly men ... therefore comments like these were not new to me. When the comments started, they were simple comments or one-liners. I saw no harm in them. Later, he would say these comments in class but also make them a bit more personal. Sometimes other students would laugh along, but most of the time they said nothing (they really are nice students to train with, and I know they were not laughing at me ... I laughed and passed a lighthearted "buzz off" message so they laughed about it... laughed to lighten the awkward situation) The sensei would ask me (for example) to grab his arm ... I said something like "how do you want me to grab you ... which hand?" he would say "you can grab me anyway you want ... I dream of you saying that!" as a response, I would laugh it off and add "not gonna happen!!".

Another time, when practicing how to roll ... he would ask me to bend over so he could show me how to position my body ... but say it in more of a "bend over!!" tone and add a comment like "I always wanted to say that" ... I would respond with "Hey now ... none of that!". I tried to keep the tone light and friendly because I honestly didn't want to embarass him in front of other students ... I thought that reponding with humour would lighten the akward situation and he would still hear me say that "that was not cool". My goal was to get my point accross in as simple a way as possible that did not involve anyone being insulted or made to feel bad.

There are other things as well ... all within the same degree .... I have no doubt in my mind that if I even showed any interest or reciprocation (in sex or a relationship) he would make more advances. At one point during Aikido I was hesitating to roll (cause it is intimidating to feel like you are launching your body in the air with little to no control) and he tapped my bum and said "go" ... as a response after the tap I said ... "easy now ... no touching!". He has not done that again. Some of the comments were more rude but they do not need repeating use your imagination. You know most of them.

You may be wondering why I have not approached him and talked to him. I had plans to talk to him about everything but within the last week his behaviour as such has changed. He has stopped being "sexual" and is simply complementing (using phrases such as "good evening beautiful")... and nothing more or worst.

You may also be wondering why I have not quit Aikido and avoided the whole situation. The comments and such happened often enough, but never enough to force me to quit. To me, I am a woman in a sport that is predominantly male dominated. If I quit, I feel like I have given up ... like I let him win!! I needed to show that I could take care of myself. You need to understand that I have never quit or let myself be intimidated by anyone .. and I sure as hell was not gonna start now."

There is so many wholes in this it is swiss cheese. Sexual harrassment, objectifying women, sexist male pigs, victimization, if it is, it is rice paper thin. I think here we have, at first, sexual miscommunication between two people (hopefully mature adults), and jealousy. I am sure the two will be good friends and the jealousy will continue.