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Woman Victim-Blamed For Sexual Harassment, Was Told It Was Due To Her Provocative Clothing

By Nadine / mardi 27 mars 2018 10:00
"Asking for it" mentality and victim blaming? Major FML.

Mariah Nonnemacher, a London-based 26 year old from Alma, Arkansas, was on a trip to Paris to visit some friends when they were harassed by a hostel employee.

Nonnemacher and her friends were staying in the Enjoy Hostel in Paris. During their stay, a member of the hostel's staff began to make the women feel uncomfortable during their breakfast by staring at them, asking the women if they had boyfriends and asking them for their numbers. Upon being rejected, the staff member picked up their drinks and poured them down the drain.

Originally the group tried to ignore the man, and opted to eat breakfast elsewhere the next day. However, as one could guess, this was not entirely effective.

Nonnemacher went back to the hostel after saying goodbye to her friends to retrieve her bags and check out. But the same staff member stopped her while she was walking up the stairs, blocking her path.

"He said 'you're showing too much cleavage, it's not appropriate'," she said in an interview with BuzzFeed News.

Obviously, Nonnemacher reported the incident immediately by emailing the hostel's manager after checking out. Unfortunately, she did not recieve the response you'd hope she would.

After telling her that they were investigating the incident, the hostel's manager, Paul Benichou, reached back out to Nonnemacher with a shocking response to the situation.

"After investigation, I am really sorry to tell you that ... it turns out that you were dressed provocatively with a plunging neckline. This is a mistake, because when traveling and frequenting a hotel where there are many many men, it is more prudent, to avoid any harassment to dress as well."

After replying and letting him know that his response was completely inappropriate, Benichou did not back down from his original statement. He responded to Nonnemacher again saying "What kind of girl are you? You don’t recognize all what I said?! I am sorry, I can do nothing for you. You do what you want at your home, but not in a public area! My hostel is not a club to date and/or to have an affair!"

Nonnemacher did not take this blatant sexism lying down. She took to Twitter and Facebook to spread the message and warn other girls about the hostel, and it quickly went viral.

Unfortunately, even after being reached out for comment by Buzzfeed News, the manager still does not seem to see the harm in what he said.

"A young lady coming to the breakfast room and dressed very provocatively. We said, 'Miss beware cause it is a public area here, with many men and we want to protect you. We have made an action of prevention. That’s all. And I was shocked that this client consider we process harassment. It was not that at all. Exactly the contrary!

"I consider men and women are equal, strictly. But women are prey in our nice city. And need to be informed and protected. I do my job by protecting my guests.

"I was totally surprised she feels attacked, so I said to her it was a misunderstanding, that we are well educated and fair. I [apologised.] Now this lady has decided to make the buzz on internet to destroy our reputation?! It is a nasty attitude! Not fair at all. I am disgusted."

Yeah, we're disgusted by you too, home boy.

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Top comments
By  Konstantin Rudik  |  2

Too many negative votes, comment buried. Show the comment

By  CreeptacularBait  |  10

The comments on this suck! I've been harassed by guys while wearing loose clothing that covered my whole body, and literally holding a bag of dog shit! It doesn't matter what a woman wears, if a guy decides to hit on you, he will! Just yesterday two guys tried to hit on me when my husband was out of view not 10 ft away, they got angry and started talking about stealing my truck and trailer! I was wearing clothes for hiking. What a woman wears has NOTHING to do with it!

Comments
By  Konstantin Rudik  |  2

Too many negative votes, comment buried. Show the comment

By  butt_toast  |  3

I feel like this should just read as Americans upset that other countries don't have exactly the same society and expectations of America. I'm not saying the way the employee acted was correct but all sorts of countries have different ways they handle all sorts of things including clothing.

Reply
  Shade1982  |  18

Normally, I might agree with you (considering the whole nude selfies on vacation craze, which wasn't just Americans by the way), but this is Paris. Not exactly a city with high 'standards' in regards of clothing, unless you're in fashion.

By  onceuponatime456  |  12

I think this whole thing is made up for two reasons. 1. The perfect English in the French hostel manager's reply seems suspicious! 2. The French do not give a damn about cleavage showing!!

Reply
  Nadine  |  18

1.Paris is the capital. Almost everyone speaks English. Speaking from personal experience and not speculation.
2. Misogyny is everywhere.

By  Zekfen  |  11

On one side, you dress like that because you want people to look. You don’t get to choose who looks. So that is on you being offended by people looking. Don’t want people looking don’t dress that way.

The rest of the behavior is unacceptable though.

Reply
  KittyMack  |  9

Nobody complained about ogling though did they? They complained about being cornered, incessantly hit on, having their drinks taken away, and being told how to dress.
And perhaps it wasn't even a very revealing top but just an ordinary one.

Reply
  LeoCor  |  18

Or we dress that way because it’s COMFORTABLE or one of the ONLY clothing we can find. Do you know how hard it is to find clothing that won’t accuse us of dressing to get stared at these days? Clothes are made the way they are designed and then when we are forced to buy it we get blamed.

By  CreeptacularBait  |  10

The comments on this suck! I've been harassed by guys while wearing loose clothing that covered my whole body, and literally holding a bag of dog shit! It doesn't matter what a woman wears, if a guy decides to hit on you, he will! Just yesterday two guys tried to hit on me when my husband was out of view not 10 ft away, they got angry and started talking about stealing my truck and trailer! I was wearing clothes for hiking. What a woman wears has NOTHING to do with it!

By  KittyMack  |  9

So the owner has no rebuttal to the story of the employee nagging the guests to date him, the ruined brunch, or the perv cornering the guest? All they're addressing is the insult to her clothing choice, which seems to me to be much less of a problem than the pickup attempt, ruined brunch, and cornering.

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