We hear about women facing sexism at the workplace, but men facing harassment is rarely talked about. Of the various forms of sexual harassment men face at workplaces, one is when women ask inappropriate questions that put men in an uncomfortable situation.
This is exactly why I turned down a job offer. It had a severe an effect on my career graph. But, I feel, what I did was right. After I had managed to get a Bachelor’s degree, I chose to do my post-graduation in Journalism. I was one of the unfortunate ones who could bag a job with the cream institutions during the placements. I ended up with a job at a brand marketing company which had nothing to do with what I had studied. I hated my job. Eventually, I was asked to leave the job, and honestly, I was happy about it. I decided to look for a job in media, but that turned out to be disastrous!
I went for an Interview at TV production house where the female hiring manager asked me: “If I don’t give you this job, will you go out on a date with me?”
Surprised, I said: “Excuse me?”
She repeated the question. I chose not to answer.
She continued the interview with “normal” questions. After a while, she pulled a chair right next to me. I found it strange but pretended to ignore it. When she suddenly put her arms around me, I avoided the physical touch and continued with what I was asked to answer. I was desperate for a job and continued with the interview despite feeling very uncomfortable.
But, it didn’t end there. She wrote her residential address on the business card gave it to me. I finally told her that I was not interested and I didn’t have to do this to get a job. She replied: “I will ensure that you don’t get employment in any industry related to the media.”
This woman not just ruined my opportunity of having the desired job, but also the opportunity of the office of getting a dedicated employee. What if she harassed other men too?
I know a lot of men would think I should have carried on and agreed to what the woman was asking. This is exactly the problem. I am aware that we live in a sexually-repressed society, but having sex to keep your job means that you have no self-dignity.
I am sure, after reading this article, people would consider the interviewer guilty of discrimination. It’s a pity how such instances are never talked about publicly.