Female guards for lone women in quarantine after repeated harassment complaints

(18 Posts)
Redapplewreath Thu 22-Jul-21 09:00:43

www.bbc.co.uk/news/stories-57901154

The responses to complaints are interesting, ranging from that the woman should have protected herself better because the man didn't know any different, to the man's texts and comments weren't sexual (just threatening and invasive) so no problem.

When is the real issue going to be addressed of cultural attitudes and male in particular attitudes towards women? And when is the cognitive dissonance going to hit breaking point that female guards (note the use of the word female here by the bbc) have to be provided because male employees including paramedics cannot behave appropriately in a space with them that isn't even one of undress, and yet single sex provisions can be mixed sex and what's the problem?

OP’s posts: |
SCMocha Thu 22-Jul-21 09:03:29

Also interesting is the proposal that if a female guard isn't available (and apparently there are relatively few), then two male guards will be provided, with the idea that one 'chaperones' the other. Women have already commented that being alone with two males can be even more intimidating.

MotionActivatedDog Thu 22-Jul-21 09:15:17

The thought that they would have two male guards because they can’t be sure one male guard wouldn’t harass a woman does not fill me with confidence that I’d be safer with 2! Quite the opposite in fact. 2 men that can’t be trusted alone? Scary as hell.

NellWilsonsWhiteHair Thu 22-Jul-21 09:50:25

It's cognitive dissonance because empathising with the situation is too uncomfortable, isn't it?

Women (or men thinking about women they like) don't want to feel the vulnerability of that position, so variously minimise it or blame women who 'would've been fine if only they'd done X differently'.

Men (or women thinking about men they like) don't want to reflect on misogynistic attitudes, behaviours, porn consumption or male entitlement which might suggest an affinity with these bastard guards, so variously minimise it or imply it's just a few bad apples and if they keep an eye on each other that will sort it.

Ereshkigalangcleg Thu 22-Jul-21 10:03:19

imply it's just a few bad apples and if they keep an eye on each other that will sort it.

Yes, exactly. Also, no thought for how intimidating it is for the women forced into this situation.

Melroses Thu 22-Jul-21 10:05:07

MotionActivatedDog

The thought that they would have two male guards because they can’t be sure one male guard wouldn’t harass a woman does not fill me with confidence that I’d be safer with 2! Quite the opposite in fact. 2 men that can’t be trusted alone? Scary as hell.

qui custodiet ipsos custodes and all that.

GrandmaMazur Thu 22-Jul-21 10:17:54

It doesn’t sound like a very comfortable environment for female guards either if there are groups of male guards laughing together when they witness another male guard being intimidating to a lone woman

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PaleGreenGhost Thu 22-Jul-21 10:22:08

Is there any suggestion anywhere about disciplinary action towards the males who have made this situation so awful? Or is it just to be expected, because men will be men?

ScreamingMeMe Thu 22-Jul-21 10:22:37

Is there any situation involving lone women that won't be exploited by fucking horrible men?

Redapplewreath Thu 22-Jul-21 10:32:48

PaleGreenGhost

Is there any suggestion anywhere about disciplinary action towards the males who have made this situation so awful? Or is it just to be expected, because men will be men?

The article comments that one guard a complaint was made about was dismissed while the agency simultaneously made excuses for him and victim blamed. This whole 'they don't know better/can't help it' narrative is insidious.

Considering women do a massively disproportionate lions share of raising children, how the hell are we managing to raise so many men who have such a terrible attitude towards women, so little respect or empathy for them and such a sense of entitlement to make use of them? We've really as a culture got to give some very serious thought as to where we're going wrong.

OP’s posts: |
ItsAllGoingToBeFine Thu 22-Jul-21 10:42:59

It's such a tough issue. The problem is these men probably genuinely don't think they are doing anything wrong. They would probably say that they were being friendly and complimentary and that these women were unfriendly and overreacting.

And many, many men would say / believe the same. Female guards while welcome, don't address the root of the problem.

How do you even begin to address the worsening attitude of men towards women?

MotionActivatedDog Thu 22-Jul-21 10:45:48

How do you even begin to address the worsening attitude of men towards women?

The men of the Uk are very lucky I’m not prime minister because they wouldn’t like the answer to this question.

GolfEchoRomeoTangoIndia Thu 22-Jul-21 10:55:11

I don’t believe for a minute that they think they’re flirting innocently. However that defence does give them deniability.

Their employers need to remove that deniability explicitly by saying “These women are in an exceptionally vulnerable situation. They are highly likely to experience any “flirtatious” advances as scary and threatening. Hence any such approaches are strictly forbidden. Any complaints received will be treated as a sacking offence unless you have cast iron evidence that they are objectively false (eg you weren’t on duty that day).”

Frankly they should have worked this out from day one, but failing that they should have laid down the law the moment they got the first complaint.

If your poor confused male employees don’t know how to behave then tell them what not to do in words of one syllable.

SCMocha Thu 22-Jul-21 10:55:32

The company also says that the guards are going to undergo additional training in how to behave around vulnerable guests such as lone female travellers. Why is this still something that guards should need 'training' in, and not just standard acceptable behaviour?! I mean, I'm glad that they'll be told not to harass women, but surely they shouldn't be hiring people that need that sort of training! I guess maybe there are things that men are doing that they don't realise are intimidating, maybe if there are cultural differences or something, but the kinds of things reported in the article aren't really those sorts of subtle, unwitting behaviours.

KittenKong Thu 22-Jul-21 17:14:46

Training to learn how to behave like a decent person. I hope the training also included the information that they will be fired and the police will be called in if the are found to be behaving inappropriately.

And again we find ourselves asking ‘who thought this was a good idea in the first place - and why did they not foresee this as a possibility??’

IsItShining Thu 22-Jul-21 17:39:42

The problem is these men probably genuinely don't think they are doing anything wrong. They would probably say that they were being friendly and complimentary

If they wouldn't say it to a male traveller, they shouldn't be saying it to a female traveller. Their interactions are supposed to be for professional reasons, not a chat-up club.

DdraigGoch Thu 22-Jul-21 23:04:48

In her case, the guard she was expecting to take her on an exercise break via the nearest lift grabbed her by the arm
The harassment aside, surely the quarantine hotels must have rules about contact and social distancing between their staff and the internees. The very point of these establishments being to keep potentially contagious people from mixing with society.

ChristinaXYZ Fri 23-Jul-21 09:08:41

SCMocha

Also interesting is the proposal that if a female guard isn't available (and apparently there are relatively few), then two male guards will be provided, with the idea that one 'chaperones' the other. Women have already commented that being alone with two males can be even more intimidating.

Who on earth thought that was better? If they can't train and employ enough female guards in the time then they should reach out to churches or volunteer groups and ask them to provide some female chaperones so there are some teams of women with eyes on the guards and the corridors, and whom lone females can phone if they are worried and who have the power to escalate complaints to the management of the service providers. Whilst using women as volunteers instead of paying for their time is not ideal it is better for the confined women than waiting for female guards to be trained up.

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