How to deal with a macho comrade

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How to deal with a macho comrade

I was at a meeting of my tenants' association's bulletin committe, and as it wound down, one of the members started humiliating me - not sexual harassment per se but macho, sexist and ethno-racist harassment. Despite decades of militancy in social movements, I was totally blindsided. I would have killed the bastard if we had been in an "open carry" US state, but obviously I don't want to spend the rest of my life in prison.

There is a certain subspecies of so-called "progressive" men of a certain age (mine, or a bit older) who take delight in humiliating women thus, and if they don't play along, say the lack a sense of humour. But I haven't endured anything like this in many years.

I cried for hours and drank a whole bottle of wine, without pleasure (don't worry, I'm not in the habit of such excess). And of course I feel cold sober, and burning with anger.

Our tenants' association does have an anti-harassment policy. Naturally it was enacted more in terms of clueless tenants who are lacking in the political consciousness not to treat their comrades such. I did e-mail them about the policy.

I don't want a big confrontation. I just don't want to be treated like shit.

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Misfit Misfit's picture

Lagatta, I am very sorry you had to experience this harrassment and abuse. What he did to you was totally unacceptable. You need to talk to people, friends about this, and I believe you do need to have a confrontation with him, but maybe not right away. The next time you have a meeting and he is going to be there, try not to be there alone. Have some people there to back you up. I would also record future encounters with him. You already know what he is like, and you are less apt to be blind-sided by him again because you know what you are up against. But please talk this out with friends, counsellors, etc. You need to find assertive ways of handling creeps like him because they don't go away nicely on their own.

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

Oh, lagatta, that sucks! So sorry you're having a rough time!

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

Misfit wrote:
... I believe you do need to have a confrontation with him, but maybe not right away. The next time you have a meeting and he is going to be there, try not to be there alone. Have some people there to back you up.

Absolutely. Outnumber him.

ETA: You might find a remarkable change in tone.



i've been involved in tenant boards/assc/co-ops before:  Go to the other members and make a formal note/complaint on file of his harrassment, that way the next time he does it (sounds like he's quite the jackass, so my feeling is this behaviour will happen again) or maybe even before that you can have him removed.  Most associations have rules about harrassment and threats against other tenants. 

Also, use email if you confront him because it leaves a paper trail.  let him bury himself.


Milo has the right idea, cover yourself while letting him hang his out to dry


Thanks, all! By the way, I feel fine this morning; just a bit dehydrated (I did eat a full supper and drank water too). It wasn't a great excess anyway; I was just worried because I was drinking for an unhealthy reason). Of course I felt like cycling over to his house and leaving nasty graffiti on his door, but I didn't do anything stupid like that; I just went to bed early, right after I wrote that post. We do have a policy on harassment; I'd e-mailed the association to ask them to send me a copy.

I had to get up to feed Renzo, drinking water and will go back to bed for a bit. Then work, and some exercise (a healthier reaction to stress).


Solidarity, I use to get this in political meetings. I'm with Milo, file a formal complaint. If he does this to you he alao does it to others.

solidarity, you rock.


Sorry to hear about it. Really sorry.

If talking to him directly wouldn't work (and from the sounds of it, that is unlikely), whoever was chairing that meeting should have been on the ball, and bears responsibility for letting it happen.

Formal complaint is good, but in a meeting someone should have cracked the whip on that public attack as it was happening.