Sunday, July 08, 2007

Sexual Harassment

I write this with trepidation, with due apologies to my wife, and fully aware of the vast difference between what I'm going to write about and true sexual harassment. But I write it anyway.

I am an honorable man. Happily married to a wonderful woman, who, like many people, has a jealous streak. I'm a photographer, and thus very visually attuned. More importantly, though, I'm a man, and thus very visually attuned. So I admire women, but not in a gross leering sort of way. I love the company of women, I enjoy their beauty, their grace, their voices, and of course, their bits and pieces. Being, however, an honorable man who does right by his sometimes-jealous wife, I try not to enjoy the bits and pieces too much.

Last Friday was not easy.

As I'm sitting in the cafeteria, I notice a pretty woman on her way to the dessert table. She's wearing a black-and-white horizontal-striped top and a pretty pink just-above-the-knee cotton skirt that's got some nice lines to it -- flared just enough to draw attention. As she walks past, I notice that it looks like the top is not actually a top, but perhaps a leotard, because I can see black and white stripes through the fabric of the skirt. But wait, the stripes are different. It's at this point that I realize that she's wearing zebra-striped panties that are showing through the skirt. Being, as I said, a man, and thus very visually attuned, well... you get the picture. Let's just say the lunch conversation was harder to follow until she was back at her table.

Now, here's the thing: I understand the concept of a hostile work environment, and I understand wanting to look nice (I've considered dressing nicer myself), but it seems like there's a line one shouldn't cross in a workplace, and zebra-striped panties under a translucent pink skirt is a serious Lorelei moment for those of us who are honorable men. Don't you think? Sexual harassment? Ya gotta wonder.

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