poppy

I am in my mid 20s, work in a public library and am currently studying for a Masters in Library Studies. As I was approaching the front doors yesterday, a little before the library opened, a regular customer (man in his late 60s) stood in front of the doors, blocking my way. He stretched his arms towards me and said “if you want to get in, you have to kiss me first”. I was horrified and said “no”, before dodging around him to enter my workplace.

When I told my (female) manager, she said it isn’t serious enough to ban him from the library, despite other colleagues experiencing the same behaviour from this man.

Today, as I was on the enquiry desk with a colleague, the customer loudly told the other librarian that “some staff here are really oversensitive and don’t understand when they’re being complimented”. He then complained that we were against his “freedom of speech”.

I think I’m most angered by his apparent belief that I should feel flattered instead of appalled, and that there is something wrong with women who don’t want to be treated like pieces of meat.