When a Joke Becomes Sexual Harassment…

There are times when jokes go too far. People get humiliated, embarrassed or even hurt. But when a joke makes one feel reduced to a loaf of bread, then the joke ceases to be funny. It becomes sexual harassment.

I know women have said they love to be complemented and all their score points appreciated, but that doesn’t mean they be degraded by repeatedly making remarks that only befit food when referring to them.

In this blog post, I am my own guinea pig. I like to think of myself as tolerably good looking and in that case, I appreciate any positive comments that regard to how I look on that particular day when my sun-induced acne hasn’t reared its ugly head.

When we were little girls, we would waltz around our father and ask the all age-important question, ” Daddy, how do I look?” And we would be expecting a positive answer. Never mind that the dress would be all creased and the hair all knotty from the previous day’s ‘matuta’. We would still expect him to say we look good.

That little girl never grows up. She still expects the important men in her life to see the pretty girl in her and to compliment her.

The catch words here are ‘important men’. If you are not in that category please avoid offering your unsolicited compliments that go beyond three words — you look good.

I had the unfortunate chance of being the recipient of some of these ‘compliments’ and I don’t remember ever feeling so demeaned.

I need to give the disclaimer that I wasn’t skimpily dressed. In fact, I was in one of those almost baggy trousers so drop the ‘you brought it on yourself’ looks. I was as decent as decent can be.

And so this guy rants on and on about how yummy, edible, yada  yada yada I look. I get annoyed. I begin to wonder what I have done to make this guy say such things.

Did my eye twitch and he thought I winked at him? Did I swing my hair suggestively? Did I smack my lips or sway my hips in a manner likely to suggest..? I replay my entrance manners in my mind to see what I did to make this man so confident and I can’t just see it.

I’m not comfortable at all with any of his actions and I say as much. When he starts sharing his uncouth sentiments with his friend all the while eyeing me hungrily, I’ve had enough. I walk away in protest. This is sexual harassment.

All what started as a joke now leaves me feeling angry and degraded. Is there a 10 feet personal space rule in Kenya? I need a lawyer pronto!