A British man is suing his employer after a female coworker repeatedly grabbed his ass. Her excuse: she was stressed.
According to the Daily Mail, Konstantinos Kalomoiris worked at department store John Lewis with Bianca Revrenna when, over a period of months, she "slapped his bottom" three times. He says he asked her to stop, but "she said she always did that to the boys and that she didn't mean anything by it." He adds that, "Every time she did it she would pause for a couple of seconds like she was savouring it. It was like she enjoyed it." When Kalomoiris complained, his boss apparently told him "I should be delighted that a colleague liked me enough to slap my bum. He said if a woman slapped his bottom, he would not be offended at all. I was told I was too sensitive." Eventually, Kalomoiris quit.
Now he's suing John Lewis, and lawyers for the store say Revrenna was stressed out at the time of the harassment because of a family illness. They also say she only touched Kalomoiris's lower back. Maybe that's true, but the case has all the hallmarks of a sexual harassment complaint that's not taken seriously because the complainant is a man. "You should be delighted" is, unfortunately, a pretty typical reaction — but it should be obvious to us by now that men, as well as women, have the right to go to work without fear of having their asses grabbed. There's a tendency to treat men's sexual harassment complaints as a joke, but this isn't fair to men — whom a 2006 survey made up two-fifths of sexual harassment victims. It also misunderstands the purpose of sexual harassment law, which should be to ensure a safe work environment for everyone, not just to protect women from predatory dudes. Last year, a British woman won 35,000 pounds (almost $57,000) in damages when her male boss grabbed her ass (albeit under her skirt) — it will be interesting to see how much, if anything, Kalomoiris gets.