Fuck it….. I guess I’ll write about this tonight….. Emotions, Anger, and Dealing with Harassment

I woke up angry today. Even when I’m enjoying myself, even when I’m laughing, lately there has been a low grade anger burning underneath the surface that never really goes away. Less suicidal thoughts and more violent ones. Luckily, I learned to deal with my violent tendencies when I was much younger. I’ve been trying to figure out the source of this anger. There are plenty of things that it could be. Things that I deal with on a day to day basis. But those things usually just make me angry while I’m experiencing them. Like Tim.

What could it be? Could it be a reaction to the trans-misogyny rampant in society? Is it related to my depression, some weird new form? Is it a side effect of dysphoria? Resentment from having to pretend to be something I’m not all day long? That last one is definitely a part of it.

Whatever it is, my workplace environment is amplifying it. Today I had a conversation with a co-worker who was convinced that gender inequality exists, but that it favors women. Luckily for me, it was the only rational person I work with. (Hint: It’s not the other atheist.) I was able to completely turn his views around. Yay feminism. But this usually isn’t the case. My job is a hotbed of sexism and misogyny, perpetuated by the women and the men. I do what I can, but it doesn’t accomplish much. The people are also extremely homophobic, which even though no one, except for the aforementioned rational person, knows that I’m bisexual (he doesn’t know that I’m trans*), I can’t help but take personally. Not to mention that there is a rumor going around that I’m gay.

And being an atheist doesn’t help my situation there. I don’t face rampant discrimination for it most of the time, but, with a few exceptions  people treat me differently after they find out. They are still cordial, but there is a wall between us that wasn’t present before. Then there is the fact that one of my managers is a deacon at a local church, and another one is recruiting people I work with to go to church with him.

Not to mention that I have to go behind lazy people and do their jobs after them.

But along with all the other stuff I’m dealing with, I’m being sexually harassed. I’ve actually experienced work based sexual harassment in several forms from different people at different jobs. And this is while everybody assumes that I’m a cis straight guy. Well maybe they don’t always assume that I’m straight. Gives me a mere taste of the metric fuckton of harassment I’ll get to experience once I’m further along in transition. One time, at a different job, One of the owners, a gay guy was the culprit. And his husband, one of the other owners, was the chef. They both did occasionally. Many feminists talk about the male gaze. Well, I know exactly what they’re talking about. But they would also  “joke” in a sexual manner with me. One time they were talking about coming in when the restaurant was closed for a heavy cleaning day. One of them told me that the dress code for the day was tight jeans and no shirt. You should have seen the look on his face. A different time, after I finished closing up the kitchen, one of them told me that I should come back to the bar later, that they were having a wet underwear contest. No, it wasn’t a gay bar, but it was a gay and lesbian friendly hangout for an older crowd. These are only two of the many instances from that job.

Another of the instances of sexual harassment was done by a woman I worked with who was not in management. It got so bad at one point, that she was literally rubbing her body ( and I don’t mean the side of her body) up against me while I was trying to do my job. She’s the only person who has ever harassed me that I was able to get to stop. All it took for her to stop was a conversation. By then, I was at the breaking point, and I think it showed in my face. I think the thing that got her to back down were the words “Please stop.” I didn’t say them very assertively though, almost begging in tone.

Now to the harassment I’m currently facing. It’s coming from the other atheist, who I’ll call Bob, and it is a different type of sexual harassment. There have been many instances, but the most egregious happened recently.

To give a much needed setup, I need to introduce one of my co-workers that I haven’t previously mentioned. Let’s call her Angela. Angela is one of the few people, along with her daughter who also works there, who hasn’t changed her disposition towards me after finding out that I’m an atheist. That might change if she found out the rest of the facts about me, but for the moment, she is one of the best friends I have at my job. People joke about us as if we are a couple, and there was even a rumor that went around briefly. Heck, we even joke about being together romantically, though the relationship is nothing like that. Even though she’s active with the state republican party, and a committed catholic, she doesn’t treat me any differently for being an ex-catholic atheist, and that simple kindness goes a long way. If you’ve been reading this blog, you already know this, but I’ve been growing my hair out, and people comment on it. Angela hates my hair being long and keeps after me trying to get me to get it cut. I won’t do that. Fuck that. It makes me look more feminine. I love my hair, and I’m going to keep growing it out, but I can’t tell her the reason for that.

So one day, Bob hollers out loud so everyone in the kitchen can hear him, “We all know that Angela really likes your hair. She’s just covering up the fact that she likes to pull it while she fucks you up the ass with a strap-on.”

Yeah.

No one is willing to corroborate my story with HR even though they think it is harassment. If they did, they might just have to examine their own behavior towards the women I work with.

See, they don’t think what he did is wrong because of the nature of it, he jokes about me all the time. They just think he crossed a line because he got that specific about describing a sexual behavior. Most of the time his jokes are more of the nature of, “We need to get [birthname removed] a hooker and some Viagra.”

So yeah, I’m angry, I’m dealing with a bunch of shit that is aggravating it, and I can’t even tell my parents what I’m dealing with, and I really want to be able to lean on them, cause fuck trusting Tim with anything personal.

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5 thoughts on “Fuck it….. I guess I’ll write about this tonight….. Emotions, Anger, and Dealing with Harassment

  1. wow….that is alot of creepy situations. ((and side question: are most of the people in your area catholic?))
    and does that mean your situation won’t count if other people don’t back you?
    honestly thats just shitty….I dont see why being atheist should be the thing people are isolating you for…like really…atheism? 21st century….

  2. @myatheistlife
    Thanks for the sympathy. Belief or lack of belief does not make you a good or bad person. Being an atheist just means that you have one less set of irrational beliefs. Which is why I care more about how a person acts and their other beliefs more than whether or not they believe in any gods, even though I think that religion is a net negative to us.

  3. @colormeanew
    1. Catholics are a small minority religion around here, and many of the other Christians don’t count them as Christians. That is why most of the Catholics around here are somewhat in favor of secularism. But it is better to be Catholic than Mormon, and better to be those than any other minority religion, and better to have any god belief than be an atheist. Most people day to day won’t treat you differently as long as you believe in something.
    The reason I mentioned that Angela was Catholic is because I’m ex-catholic, and it is rare for someone not to see you as a pariah for leaving that church.

    2. People treat you differently when they know that you are an atheist if they are religious, because your very existence calls into question their view of the world. Also Protestant Christians in particular are very much ingrained with the culture of either you are part of the “saved (elect)” or the damned, and you shouldn’t hang out with those dirty sinners or you might pick up their traits. Even if they don’t make a point of it, they do see you differently. I had someone I considered myself on a friendly basis with try to save me because she knew that if she didn’t I was going to hell. She still treats me friendly (although less so), but you can tell by the way she looks at me that she thinks less of me, and thinks that I’m going to hell. So yes, In the 21st century I have to deal with shit for being in atheist. It still doesn’t compare to the rampant homophobia and transphobia. Yes, the 21st century isn’t as advanced as people think it is.

    3. I’ve dealt with a lot of sexual harassment for someone perceived to be a man. Over many different jobs in many different ways by many different people over a span of about ten years. I just gave a few brief episodes. It doesn’t even compare to the near constant harassment that people who are perceived to be female get. I’ve even been targeted for not joining in with the harassment at one job, which I left after working there for about 2 months.

    4. “and does that mean your situation won’t count if other people don’t back you?”
    A. short answer: Rape Culture
    B. medium answer: we live in a victim blaming society, and people who stir up shit get splash-back, especially if people don’t want to back them up.
    C. Long answer: If I go to HR, they will have to start a file, and do an investigation. People will be interviewed, and there will be heightened scrutiny of the staff. I already get a ton of shit, and if the other women can deal with it without going to HR, then so can I. Yes, it is illegal to cut someone’s hours for complaining about harassment, but you have to be able to show a causal link. And I wouldn’t get taken seriously because I’m perceived to be a man. This is a case where patriarchal society doesn’t see men as able to be harassed because they are supposed to be the tough assertive ones. I would go on with further explanation, but I have to get ready for work.

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