Being sexually harassed in Taiwan

Movie poster for Disclosure, relesaed in 1994

Disclosure is a 1994 Hollywood movie, directed by Barry Levinson (born in 1942), starring Michael Douglas (born in 1944), Demi Moore (born in 1962) and Donald Sutherland (born in 1935).

It is based on the novel of the same name by American author Michael Crichton (1942-2008), published the same year, which deals with the relationship between sex and power.

The story tells how the production line manager in a computer technology company is falsely accused of sexual harassment out of revenge. When he rejects the advances of his former girlfriend and new superior, his world is turned upside down.

Nowadays, even a well-meant compliment about a woman’s beautiful dress can be interpreted as offensive by those male and female feminists so overrepresented on social media in the West.

That’s why sexual harassment might be sometimes underestimated. It’s a little bit like in the Russian fairy tale Peter and the Wolf. When the fierce animal finally shows up, nobody believes the boy anymore.

Though when it happens to you (again), you realize that the problem does actually exist all over the world, including Taiwan, and the predator isn’t always male.

It was here where a female coworker in the pesticide firm where I worked for six months rubbed her breasts repeatedly on my back during office time.

After I had switched to a government job, an older female colleague put her hand on my arm several times, obviously expecting a reaction from my side which didn’t come.

Later, I lost that position due to the intrigues of a crazy woman whom I had helped a lot, but who apparently couldn’t accept that I wasn’t interested in her and ultimately denounced me for improper conduct.

All those unfortunate events happened a long time ago. Although I hadn’t forgotten them, especially as that false blame had seriously affected my career on this island, currently they were no longer relevant to me.

Alas, about ten days ago I was somehow retraumatized when I suddenly understood why the recently popped up son of a market vendor had been so nice to me.

After he gave me the fruit that I had bought where I had already become a regular customer long before his appearance, he touched by buttocks with his hand, just as another very friendly fellow had done in 1999 in a bar.

Since then, I did go back to that stall once, making sure that this guy wasn’t present. As I don’t want to get his lovely mother involved, and she probably wouldn’t believe me anyway, I haven’t decided on my future strategy yet.

My initial shock and surprise are now gone and I will most likely find a face-saving solution for both sides. It’s just that this incident reminded me of the fact that sexual harassment is indeed an unwanted part of reality.