Let me preface this piece by saying that I am a man and I am prone to objectify a beautiful woman as much as any other guy. I do not write under the guise of some reformed, feminist, eunuch, trying to convince readers that I am “above” male behavior. So know that I write these observances not as an outsider per se but more like a person that wishes to understand.
I can tell you that I have been blown away by the amount of men that sweat any new girl that starts working in an office. The only criteria that a woman needs to meet for this to happen, is that she must look young, and appear naïve. Look too good, like so good that men are all over you even outside of the office and the opposite tends to happen. Guys will be nice, but they will keep a distance, allowing you – the beautiful goddess – to keep your space while they monger from afar. Why is this?
This phenomena, which I have called the “office hawte syndrome” in the past is one that I thought only happened to married men that like to flirt, or nerds that shoot for low-hanging fruit. What I have come to realize—after seeing enough single, decent-looking dudes participating—is that the male mind warps whenever a young, semi-attractive woman takes on an admin position.
Is it the age-old sexy secretary fantasy at work?
I often wonder if guys that flirt with the young admins are hoping that there will be sex in the future, but it seems to be more of a game of approval than concrete interest. Many of these women are a solid 6 on the streets but once they come to work the guys drooling all over them upgrade them to a 8 or 9… I am extremely puzzled by this.
Being on the outside I began to watch this behavior and the most common occurrences seem to be:
- Men in general speak in a flirty, friendly tone… even those who don’t hover.
- Cornering her in the break room with nonsense conversation.
- Married men showing her pictures of their children and wife… (wtf?)
- Inviting her out to “safe” work events like happy hour.
- Adding her on Facebook and/or Twitter
- The married men who will catch hell for #5 will simply stalk her Facebook after hours…
- Keeping up with her on OCS, IM or any of the chat programs allowed by the job.
- Finding any excuse to walk by her desk. Women who love the attention catch the flies by keeping a bowl of candy stocked near their person.
When women know it happens and play into it
One would think that women would hate all of this “objectification” but let’s be honest here, many girls like the attention. Who wouldn’t? If you aren’t used to guys playing themselves to talk to you outside, having the manager four pay grades above you stopping by your desk to say hi may be the ish… I don’t know. All I know is that I’ve seen women pay more attention to their appearance once the vultures start circling and it isn’t because they want to dress nice.
When we wrote about the curse of being a beautiful woman, many women commented about the antics men pull in the office just to sneak looks and catch a whiff of perfume… have you seen this happening in your office? If you are an observer or a participant, I would love to hear your thought.See some words or phrases that you don't understand? Check out The Dragon's Lexicon.