In the U.S, a politician from the state of Alabama named Roy Moore is under huge political pressure because a few women came forward accusing Moore of sexual and social misconduct at the time that they were teenagers and some others barely young adults, all while Moore was in his thirties.
When I heard of this story I said to myself; “well there goes another figure”. Even better, the Canadian in me applauded the fact Moore is one of those typical U.S citizen always boasting Christianity as the norm of morality—while being immoral. The great majority of Canadians find individuals like Moore and many U.S politicians very repulsive and unfit for any public service, yet in his country he may be elected—talk about the American dream.
Politics aside, people doing unwise things is present everywhere not just in one camp or place, myself included having done some irresponsible things as a youngster, although not related to sexuality. I am focusing on Roy Moore’s story because Leigh Corfman, one of the women accusing him of sexual misconduct, lived an event that is loosely comparable to my daughter’s story which happened a few days after Roy Moore’s story came out on the Washington Post.
As with all parents we tend to heighten how our children really look because it is the natural feeling and because our brain adjusts to their face and become inclined to soften their uglier features. That said, I do not know if my daughter is that beautiful but I may say she’s an attractive young teenager since all her life she has been bothered for said features. From weird sexual advances, touching from her peers, nonstop lewd comments all the way to the latest event that happened while working at her new job as cashier, which is the center for this writing.
My daughter works at a type of restaurant where people walk in for take-out or sit for a quick meal, serving mainly hotdogs, fries, poutine and a few other dishes from Quebec. No one serves at the table, only a cashier and cooks are present, the patron takes care of their tray and the cashier is responsible for cleaning the table as patron quit the tables as with most restaurant of this type.
A few weeks ago a simple evening started out for my daughter but unlike the usual routine this time she realized one of the patron was still there after many hours. She found it strange because it never happens that an individual stays for hours. She said the worst cases are in the morning where seniors come and get their morning coffee and a little something to eat but they stay an hour at best, not two and a half hour as this person did. She also realized he sat the entire time facing her directly, while he could have sat looking towards the television as with all other patrons do when they are unaccompanied.
At that point she did start to get worried and with reason since the person in question started to bother my daughter with all kinds of questions and cheesy pickup lines as she continued cleaning before official closing time. Among other things, he asked her if she can take a break and go outside to smoke a cigarette or just talk.
About five minutes to closing time the person got up and walked with his tray towards my daughter, which at that point she was next to the garbage and the counter, still cleaning. The guy shoved the remains in the bin and handed the tray to my daughter instead of putting it on top of the garbage caddy with the other trays, all the while asking her again to go smoke a cigarette after work. When she refused again he placed his hand in his pocket, grabbed a paper, stripped off a piece and wrote his phone number on it. He then tended the paper towards her and with a muted gesture denoted to take it. She refused to take the paper and that’s where one of the cooks realized the situation and intervened by telling the guy to quit it and that it is time to leave the premises. The guy did comply, although still trying to give the piece of paper for a few more seconds and then relinquished by tossing the paper on the counter and started to walk towards the exit. But as he got to the door he stopped, turned around and started to push the door by backing up and winked at her while telling her to take the paper and call him.
For some reading this story it seems like a typical venture of a guy trying to get attention of a girl. Simple it seems but very disturbing when your daughter reveals the potential age of the person and another factor. As my daughter said, she did not feel scared until she realized all the points, including that he was in his late thirties and wearing a wedding band. For her, this was not a typical encounter where a male tried his best to get attention from her, this was a person in his late thirties, potentially married and preying on a young teen.
We read it in the news and on the internet, listen to it on cable news and by word of mouth sometimes, but no matter how we hear of these stories we never come across the same feeling as when it happens close to us. This time around this person wasn’t a danger and may never be a danger to the public. But just to think about the fact a men in his late thirties wearing a wedding band, thus potentially married, openly tries to pick up a teen in front of adults makes you think of all other individuals out there that go further than just tend a paper. Makes you wonder how many cases happens each day and how many actually leads to actual abuse and how many do not say anything when it happens.
My daughter said she now understands what some girls go through when facing such situation. It feels as if one can’t say what’s really on one’s mind or as rehearsed, as if there is an invisible wall that prevents the mind from reacting to a situation accordingly. On top of this she was working, being rude wasn’t in her mind and was a factor as to why she did not react with more assertiveness and make him know she wanted nothing to do with the situation he was putting her into.
As a father I did ask my daughter if she may have done anything that the men could have misunderstood as sexual gesture and she replied absolutely not. She said she served the men as she does with any other customers, kindly and promptly with no special character. I believe her since she’s not the type to fool around when committed to a relationship and she’s in a serious one.
This is why I took time writing this, it’s because our family now understands to a certain degree much more what a person goes through when these types of events happen and we can only imagine the feeling of all those who actually got into a situation that lead to abuse. What happened to my daughter is absolutely nothing compared to all those who’s lives have changed because someone raped them or other severe offenses committed onto them. We understand to a certain degree the shame victim’s feel and why some chose to stay silent. On top of this we think it’s partially due to the fact that one feels “defeated” at the time of aggression that makes some people not want to talk about the event, at least not at large, such as telling the authorities. Another factor adding to the silence is that often victims think it’s their fault and shame overcomes them. That’s why many choose to never say a word or if they do say something, it happens much later in their lives when they are mature and have more mental strength to do so. Sometimes events such as what is happening right now in the U.S, where a volley of powerful figures are being held accountable for severe sexual misconduct helps victims at large tell their story. In fact, I cannot wait to see the data on sexual allegations depositions made during this period of revolution, and not because the crime has increased but rather because more people come forward with their accusations of abuse and make the responsible accountable for the abuse and/or misconduct.
Nonetheless I feel sad knowing these wrong doings happen every day and everyday some choose to remain silent, it’s full of Roy Moore stories out there and it always has been. It’s the world we live in, not all individuals live the same life and/or have been raised the same way. For these reasons it’s a life of daily surprises for the rest of us who try hard to live a good life and abide by civil laws as much as possible every day. There is nothing we can do to stop these people from being who they are, we are not in charge of every child’s progression making sure they do not become harmful individuals as grown-ups. All we can do is take care of our own children to make them mature as good citizens while remaining vigilant and report individuals to authorities if one thinks there is a case to do so.