The rant life is real. This isn’t a post bashing males. I don’t intend to make it sound like all men are bad and evil. But in light of three misconduct cases in a week, I’m fired up about discrimination, sexism and harassment in the Australian workplace.
As a young woman in a professional environment in Australia, I’m apparently meant to not bat a lash at “workplace harassment for banter or fun”. I’m supposed to feel honoured or play along with a man who’s harassing me, and not meant to feel in anyway violated or demeaned by the fact that he thinks we’ll never be workplace equals. I’m meant to accept that men are superior and we’ll never be professional equals. I should in fact feel grateful for his attention on me. This statements are all according to Melbourne Renegades batsman, Chris Gayle.
To this, I say he’s an arrogant jerk with no concept of class, dignity and respect.
He has stepped out and refused to properly apologise for his horrendous behaviour towards Channel 10 sports reporter, Mel McGlaughlin, when he hit on her on live television after smashing 41 runs off 15 balls in a great innings.
This was his attempt at an apology:
“I think this is being blown out of proportion,” said Gayle. “All I was trying to do was to make her feel uncomfortable in the workplace. It was just a little joke to remind her that I don’t see her as a professional. What’s wrong with that? It’s just a little bit of fun to assert my dominance and attempt to lessen her worth.”
“It was a pretty good line, though, wasn’t it? Don’t blush baby. Ha! Actually, I heard that line when watching this video on workplace harassment. I didn’t really pay attention after that. I was too busy jotting down that line. I should really rewatch it.”
Gayle won’t apologise for his behaviour because he thinks women in Australia when working need to be shown who’s boss, and be around testosterone filled jerks who think they own the bloody place. And that’s me rephrasing his comments into asshole.
To make matters worse, various males have come out in defence of Gayle, celebrating his actions as heroic. And when women step up to defend themselves and the reporter, we’re referred to as whiny bitches who can’t take a joke.
This comment really took the cherry on top: It’s just a bit of a laugh to remind all women that they are here for the enjoyment of men. It’s just a good old bit of banter to remind you that this is our place and you’re a guest in your own world. It’s just a fun little laugh to let her know that we haven’t forgotten she’s a woman and therefore will not treat her with equal respect in the workplace. It’s a bit of a rib-tickler to let you know that this traditionally male-dominated arena is still very much male-dominated and set up to make men feel comfortable and women feel secondary. It’s just a little joke like that.
Oh I’m sorry, I didn’t come to ever think that workplace harassment was bloody funny mate. I didn’t think we still live in the 14th century, where women serve only for the entertainment of men. Am I meant to apologise for being equal to my male counterpart? I didn’t bloody think I was meant to.
I don’t think Gayle being fined $10,000 is enough. After what he said, what’s to stop him from doing it again? He clearly has no shame or respect for anyone.
And that isn’t the worst of it. When your sportsmen and your politicians can’t keep it together in a professional environment, what sort of a message does that send to the domestic and global community? We have Chris Gayle hitting on reporters, former minister Jamie Briggs acting inappropriately with a female diplomat in Hong Kong, and then somehow, her photo gets leaked to major Australian media outlets; and then finally, current immigration minister Peter Dutton accidentally texts a reporter, telling her she’s a “mad, f***ing witch” when the text was meant for another person.
To make things worse, people question why women hold back from reporting cases of workplace harassment.
Oh, I’m sorry, do any of the above three situations seem comfortable to you? If you were any of the three women involved, would you be able to come out and tell someone that your superior is behaving inappropriately with you in a professional environment, that is meant to be safe and fair?
Maybe I just understood the definition and atmosphere of a professional environment wrong.
I’m disgusted that here in Australia, we think we’re so wonderful, working towards gender equality, when in fact, we can’t even treat genders equally in a professional setting.
That’s just bloody wonderful.
Harassment in the workplace isn’t a joke. And if you think it is, please, re-evaluate who the hell you think you are.
And no, I’m not coming out and saying all men are pigs. But let’s establish something. Women are not here for the entertainment of men. Women are equal to men in a professional setting. Each gender is superior to the other in their own right (physicality can’t be ignored), but these notions aren’t ever meant to be a focal point for banter and a joke that’s clearly discriminatory, sexist or demeaning. Harassment in the workplace shouldn’t ever be accepted, regardless of which industry you work in.
Why don’t people get that? If a 17 year old understands it, why don’t others?
Harassment should never be passed off as banter. Because it isn’t. Harassment is not a joke.