Woman Victim-Blamed For Sexual Harassment, Was Told It Was Due To Her Provocative Clothing
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.
Recently stayed @ Enjoy hostel in Paris where I was sexually harassed by a staff member. I reported it to the owner & this was his response. Want to warn other women of this place & shine light on traveling while female. @EmmaWatson @everydayfem @DawnHFoster @TIMESUPNOW @MetroUK pic.twitter.com/hzTIoCr1qR— Rye (@MariahRhae) March 23, 2018
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.