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Wondering in Walled Lake

  • Posted on November 22, 2015 at 8:00 am

Dear Christine,
Question?  Why do gay men get so offended when I hit on them.  I even had a guy at work report me for sexual harassment just because I told him he was cute.  I’m a flirt, I know it. Is it wrong?
Wondering in Walled Lake

Dear Wondering,
You’ve given me no specific personal information about your sex, gender, age, orientation, etc, so I don’t have a clue who you in this work conflict. Apparently, the “guys” at work do not appreciate being told they are cute at the workplace. Flirting can really mess up a work environment. My history as a former blond hair woman is that sexual harassment is a real problem and can make life a real nightmare. I forgot just how angry Mediterranean men made me when I lived in that part of the world when I was 20 and still blond. I would speak Hebrew only and never admit I was from the United States, or else all of the men (Greek, Palestinian, Israeli, etc) assumed I was ready to join them in immediate sex. Tourists with blond hair have a reputation, it appears. I lived there for a year, so I made it clear I understood the local language and learned to walk with my eyes on the ground in front of me always. Anything else was considered a come-on! I appreciate my relative freedom in the United States, but since my hair has turned white, I truly appreciate the fact that men ignore me! I no longer get whistled/gestured at or get unwanted flirting at the office or on the street.

So, from one who has been sexually harassed for simply being who I was, blonde and a young woman, I can understand how your colleagues are offended by your flirting. You are at work. Keep your interactions and behaviors work related and I’m sure you won’t get any more sexual harassment reports from gay men or anyone else. Flirt at parties or at the bar. At work, be professional, always.

Christine Cantrell, PhD,
Psychologist
christineccantrellphd@gmail.com