A wall of naked women at work.

I was one of two women out of over 20 lecturers at a college – the other one only taught one class in a different section of the building. The central hub was the technicians office where students would come to borrow equipment and ask for support. In this office there was a ‘Page 3 Girl Wall’ that my co-workers would fawn over.

When we were moving buildings, a group of co-workers got into a discussion of where we would move the wall to?!

“We couldn’t possibly not have a wall of naked women in the common office, could we!? After all, we spent years collecting these bodies!”

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This conversation was in front of the head of the school and myself. I felt my whole body burning up with embarrassment, fear, and anger. I turned to our boss and made eye contact with him. He sheepishly chuckled an almost whimper and just tried to change the subject. I knew there would be no solidarity from him for he was equally scared of his masculine staff – the boys club that his geeky presence probably spent a lifetime wanting to join. My rage at him for not taking a stand as the leader in the room was equalled by my pity for him. His silence forced my silence.

Later that evening we were at the pub and I braved up and brought up the issue to some of my co-workers. I explained my position that I should not have to be reminded of my body as a sexual object in my place of work – I get enough of that outside of work. One friend felt he was bringing a sympathetic explanation when he told me ‘don’t worry about it – these guys are pathetic and are trying to hide the fact that they can’t get laid!’ This was supposed to make me feel better…

 

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