Thursday 6 June 2013
I spent a good twenty minutes today chatting to a friend I bumped into at work. I was between meetings and had a bit of a gap, and I've been meaning to catch up with her, so bumping into her was great.
We stood where we met, on a link between two buildings, and had a good catchup. As we were talking, standing to one side and out of the way of the human traffic bustling between the buildings, I gradually began to notice something: as people walked past us, a significant proportion of the men passing by looked my friend up and down; they actually leered at her. Just in passing, but leering nonetheless.
Now, this girl is in her mid-twenties and is blonde and is altogether lovely, in a wholesome sort of way, but she was dressed entirely appropriately for the office, wearing a mid-length skirt and a sensible blouse, and in no way was she courting this sort of attention.... other than being young and blonde and there.
She didn't seem to notice. Perhaps she's used to it. I was appalled. It wasn't so much that people were looking, it's the fact that they looked and then they looked back to check her out in a horrible, lingering sort of way as they walked past. Some of them looked at her, looked at me inquisitively, perhaps to see what kind of a guy would be talking to someone like this, and then went back for another look at her.
Seriously? Do you ladies have to put up with all the time? I mentioned this to another female colleague this evening, and she suggested we have a chat in the same spot tomorrow so I could tell her if anyone checked her out. I *think* she was joking.
Honestly: the 1950s called and they want their employees back.... and I'm sorry to tell you that this sorry bunch ain't got no Don Drapers.