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Posts Tagged ‘Harassment’

Lets say you decided to take your children to Al Qurum park, Al Riyam park, or the beach playground and were faced with the following:

You spot three teenage boys, who are definitely too old to be in the playground, approaching your zone because they just “have” to play in the swings, slide down the slippery slide, or struggle to hang on the monkey bars with your kids. Never forget the stares and the giggling followed by the tossing of a few inappropriate words (with limited English capabilities).

At this stage, you (expat mom) feel very uncomfortable, but try to ignore them. But teenage boys with lots of hormones just need that extra excitement, which is when you will start hearing the “SNAP”…giggle…giggle.. “SNAP”… more giggle… giggle… and… “We ..You… Picture”… giggle .. giggle..

Well, sorry moms. I know you are wondering “WHY!?” in agony thinking that there is a logical reason for this behavior beyond the regular “sexual frustration”, but unfortunately, it is just that! .. ohh, seeing white flesh (no matter how minimal) adds to that excitement!.. Rare is always extra special!

But never give up! As, I, Reality, have a solution that will end your misery! It is simple, easy, and available to all expat moms!

Put on a serious face.. (just like this .. 0_0! .. wide eyes and pissed) and look directly at them. Take out your cell phone.. (slowly for dramatic effects) and

SNAP SNAP … (make sure your phone is not on silence) make a phone call.. and utter the word .. POLICE.. (be loud and confident.. just like Denzel Washington, and you can say pawlece too for extra special effects) ….

The result?! … the dishdasha held up to the knees and skinny legs flying everywhere… “RUN RUN”…

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Okay, I’m bored and sometimes when you are bored at work and have a bunch of customers chitchatting amongst themselves, you tend to.. well.. listen in. (Not like they are discreet).

They were a bunch of girls and guys (they seem college kids to me, worst kind of costumers). They are complaining to each other. The guys are complaining that all girls assume that they are trying to flirt with them when they try to ask a question or something, and the girls are complaining that the guys are misunderstanding them. …

This is the new trend in Oman. I guess we almost passed the phase where the two genders are segregated, and flirting between them (it’s harassment in the law’s definition) is slowly turning into conversations (though few are actually meaningful or intellectual conversations).

I remember when I was a teenager wondering around al-Qurum natural park (it used to be a dating area). We used to go there very often with the whole family. It was a tradition for us, though it grew to be an unsuitable place to have fun once the girls in the family became older. We were constantly harassed by guys that would follow us around trying to get us talk. They were annoying, but the definition of harassment those days was not clear. Everyone responded to the problem with the explanation that guys are just dogs and want to flirt with girls, and that to avoid it, you should keep your girls locked up in their houses.

Also, I remember the situation became worse during 2000-2005 when all the horror stories of men sexually harassing women started to come out. During that time, it seemed as though all the women I know had a first hand experience with some guy trying to touch them. The explanation was of course that the guys just can’t hold themselves! and that women should avoid public places. (the solution was always to lock up the women)

I think the situation started to become better once the two genders are not segregated as much. I mean, before many of these men never interacted (usually high school and college kids) with women. Plus, sexual deprivation does wonders. So they only saw females as sexual beings. However, today… the two genders talk about these issues. These days you hear these phrases over and over again “We are not flirting with you girls” or “you girls always think we want to flirt” or “You guys misunderstand us”.. etc. Communication, though sometimes on lame topics and unintelligent, brings the newer generation closer, and allows them to understand each other better.

Today, instead of kids looking at each other through “What gender are you?”, they are looking at each others personality and talk to the other’s intellectual side (even if that intellectual side only thinks about cars) rather than the physical. Nevertheless, flirting between them will never end, but lets hope it’s flirting and not harassing.

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Phone Stalking

When I lost my phone yesterday, I took my mom’s and tried to call my phone. However, I ended up dialing a wrong number (I do know my number, I just pressed the wrong digit, really!). A guy answered, and my immediate thought was “huh, is my phone with my dad?”. Apparently not.  I said “Aloo” still thinking I’m calling my number.

The guy replied, “Aloo, aywa, who is with me?” So, as part of my impulse reaction, I hung up the phone. However, my “Aloo” was enough of an indication to this guy that the person who called was a female, and so, calling back was just a natural reaction. He called. I gave him the busy signal. (that’s after calling my actual number and finding my cell in my purse, where it is supposed to be!)

He called again, and this time it was apparent that the guy was hoping for some recognition. (these type of guys require that once the difference in gender is established). Again, I gave him the busy signal, “Bug OFF”.

Later that day, my mother picked me up from work and immediately started complaining about this guy. Apparently he tried calling her, and she answered. She told him, “sorry, we didn’t try to call you”, and he replied, “well then, it’s a very lovely morning don’t you think?”, so she hung up. He called over and over again. Then he started sending desperate phone messages. Here are some: “Who are you?”, “Pick up the phone, O fine lady”, “How about you don’t hang up the phone and just talk to me?”, “I will call again, please don’t send the busy signal”, “I just want to talk a little bit”, “I’m sure you are a wonderful person, just pick up the phone”, “I will call again, but this time don’t turn your phone off!”…. there were over 10 msgs on her phone!

I don’t think this guy realizes that he is trying to phone stalk a grandmother!

Update: Last night he sent a msg to my mother saying, “I’m hanging out with 9 other guys right now! If you don’t tell me who you are, I will distribute your number to them and they will all bother you”.  …. Classic!

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