I harassed for my big breasts.
Antti Metsaranta

I was harassed for my big breasts!

By Nehaa Singh Khamboj June 9, 06:00 am
Soon after Myra joined her new workplace, things became nightmarish. She faced sexual harassment every day. Her colleagues targeted her for having big breasts.

Myra is a 26-year-old banking executive.

Right after my period started, my flat chest blossomed into what are now big breasts. I wear a size 36 double D cup bra. My narrow waist plus my slim arms and legs further accentuate my already ‘well-endowed assets’.

Of course, I did realise early on that my breasts were big when some well-meaning aunties and friends would give me wardrobe advice about 'covering my modesty'. I also get my fair share of lecherous looks and a few boob grazes all along, but they didn’t really bother me because most of my girlfriends had faced similar harassment.

Luckily, my parents never made me feel conscious about my body. I was encouraged to wear what I wanted without feeling embarrassed or awkward.

Hell at work

I was in for a rude shock when on the second day of my new job I caught a few of my male colleagues staring at my breasts and sharing a giggle. As days passed, the stares, hushed remarks, and lewd jokes became louder and bolder.

One day, I found a caricature in the common bathroom depicting just my head on two giant-sized breasts with my number at the bottom. I can’t forget what it said: 'For the best boob job in town call this number. Now!!'

I spent an hour cleaning up the bathroom wall, too embarrassed to ask for help.

The worst part – even after two months no one ever stood up for me, even the few women at work would look the other way. I figured they thought I wasn’t their problem.

The harassment really affected me. I began shutting my family and friends out and kept conversations to a bare minimum with all. I stopped taking pride in my appearance and would wear the baggiest clothes I owned to hide my body. I seriously considered breast reduction surgery.

Physical assault

At an office party, I was sitting alone when two seemingly drunk male co-workers walked right up to me. As I got up to go they started whistling and calling me all sorts of hideous names.

Then one of them laid his hands right on my breasts! The other man said, 'This is going too far. Stop now!'

But he kept molesting me while I screamed and struggled to get away. Then the other man pushed him away and asked me to leave. I rushed home.

Confession and reform

As soon as I reached home, I told my parents everything. They pushed me to file an official complaint against the office and the man, the assaulter. But I summoned all of my courage and decided to speak to the CEO of our bank first.

The next day, I went up to him and told him all that I had been through but because I loved my job I had stuck around. He was visibly upset and thanked me for speaking to him. He said that he was going to take immediate action and fire him.

Then our branch boss was called and he expressed his deepest regrets and apologised to me on behalf of the whole office. He assured me that changes were going to be made and I or any other employee would never face harassment of any sort ever again.

Sexual harassment guidelines were reinforced with a strict emphasis on a no-tolerance policy. Sexual harassment training became mandatory for employees. I spoke in a lot of these trainings and urged everyone to speak up if they ever felt harassed in any way at work.

Soon I started making friends and some of them apologised for not supporting me during those hellish months. Work became enjoyable, and more importantly, it became safe. And most importantly, I went back to loving my body.

 

Have you ever been sexually harassed at work? What did you do about it? Tell us your experience­ – leave a comment below or join the discussion on Facebook: Naija and Kenya.

Did you learn something new?

Comments
reuben maina
Thu, 06/18/2015 - 06:51 pm
it was a bad experience anyway that happens to many so can we put our strength together to fight this thing
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