Cristy’s Story: Objectification

I’m a receptionist at a car dealership. I’m also a book-artist, and I often bring small-scale pieces to my job with me so that I can work on them/fiddle with them in my free time. Today I brought a nice little Coptic-stitched number which I’ve been using as a journal and sketchbook. One of my male coworkers came up to my desk and began to admire it. I allowed it. He opened it up — and asked if he could ‘write me a poem’.

I said sure. This man had made sexualized comments toward me before, in passing — but I thought, ‘surely this guy won’t have the audacity to write something inappropriate in there, while I’m at work. Surely, surely, he isn’t so stupid.’ Welp, I was wrong.

The title of his poem was “Attraction”, and here is how it went:

Attraction
Disturbing yet Alluring
Hot yet dampened by
the look of wet innocence
if only the conversation
could breathe to life into
this daydream

I wrote him a poem in return; titled it “Objectification”:

Objectification
Ain’t no daydream
for the woman
on the receiving end of it.

We hate that shit
More than anything else
in the world.

Believe it.

He was taken aback, and he said that I’d taken the poem ‘the wrong way’. I said ‘I took it like you wrote it.’ And then, we had a conversation about workplace etiquette and the objectification of women. Wasn’t an easy conversation – it made me shake with nerves! But it was EXTREMELY FULFILLING. THANK YOU, hollaback.

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  1. Cristy says:

    Oh — I posted this immediately after it happened, and didn’t even think of the fact that this is workplace sexual harrassment, and not STREET harrassment. But the point is that reading the stories on hollaback – and facing asshole dudes on the street, myself – gave me the inspiration to fire back like that.

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