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dirty old men

(135 Posts)
etheltbags1 Fri 21-Aug-15 21:32:06

Am I being unreasonable to expect men aged 80+ to be polite, and reasonably behaved. I would have thought men of that age would have learned how to behave.
I joined an art and craft class where members are all over 60, one character is aged 88 and a sex pest, he only targets me the youngest and touches my leg regularly, makes innuendoes and last week he thrust his pelvis several times into my side as I sat, if I had turned my head he would have been in my face. He had an object in his trousers, I think a tea towel or suchlike to make an enormous bulk and he asked me if that was enough. I tried to ignore him but hes just a pest. I have been advised to hit him, threaten him, throw water over him or really insult him. I don't know what to do .This is a self organised group and we do not have a leader.
I really thought that in this day and age sexual harassment was over, no more disgusting wolf whistles as I pass a building site, no more remarks like 'get yer tits oot' as I walk past a group of men, no more being groped or have remarks like, 'can I feel your buns hinny' etc etc and best of all no more groping. However it seems that men just cant help themselves, so shall I hit him, insult him or say something demeaning.

kittylester Sat 22-Aug-15 06:49:24

Horrid position for you Ethel, but the thing is, if he has dementia saying something may not stop him. Does he have relatives you could talk to?

absent Sat 22-Aug-15 06:58:56

I recall one of those of annoying and – yes – embarrassing occasions on a crowded tube train when some idiot thought it was a good opportunity to lean up against my body and press his hands against my breasts. I was so annoyed that I shouted at the top of my voice, "Will you take your fingers off my nipples and stop leaning against me?" He got off at the next stop and the whole carriage applauded. I was red-faced – I was quite young at the time – but satisfied. That is probably the best way to go. Shame him loudly – even if it massively embarrasses you. For the record, your embarrassment is really not justified because he is in the wrong, but we know it happens.

Gagagran Sat 22-Aug-15 07:11:57

My niece was cabin crew for a good few years and she said the girls were often pestered by male passengers. On one occasion, as she leaned across the three seats to pour coffee from the pot for the person seated by the window, one of these ageing lotharios (aka sex-pests), ran his hand right up her leg, under her skirt. So she swung the coffee pot round and poured the hot coffee right over his crotch! She apologised profusely of course, but he got the message loud and clear.

In the absence of a handy pot of coffee, Ethel, maybe you could accidentally swing round with a jar of paint water and spill it all over his trousers?

Anya Sat 22-Aug-15 07:51:19

A kindred spirit Absent wink

HildaW Sat 22-Aug-15 09:03:02

Apart from the fact this chap is very all reminds me of an episode in the bank I work in .....cast your mind back to the early 80s misogyny ruled in banks and us girls had to hop about and keep out of stationary cupboards if we wanted to stay out of trouble.
One well known Lothario (all talk as it happens) had really annoyed a rather feisty and very pretty member of staff, I believe her name was Annett (the sort who could look good in a bin liner). Any road up she had had one too many rude comments from him one day when she just suddenly threw herself across his desk (an open plan office thankfully)and said, very loudly....'Oh take me now!'.......he did not know what to do with himself and was as good as gold thereafter.

Greyduster Sat 22-Aug-15 09:04:07

If he's so intent on suggesting to you how big his 'attributes' are, why not suggest he poses for a nude study session and then you could all laugh at his bits and pieces! Or draw them with a magnifying glass superimposed over them! Facetiousness aside, I feel for you. I had a similar situation with an older work colleague and had to threaten to report him before he would moderate his behaviour, which would have lead to his dismissal. Not an option open to you, I know. If he thrusts his hips at you again, I would be inclined to accidentally bring my knee up!

HildaW Sat 22-Aug-15 09:10:18

Just had a thought....the culprit from my story would now be in his its how they were brought up....not the present day attitudes that tend to influence their behaviour. I'm sure he is still making inappropriate comments in retirement somewhere.

SloeGinny Sat 22-Aug-15 09:29:04

I'm at a loss to understand the couple of nasty comments on here, if you don't think you have anything constructive to contribute, then just read and move on.

You have all my sympathy Ethel and I think you do have to go the direct, loud voice route. In my experience, other men won't intervene until you've done this.

glammanana Sat 22-Aug-15 09:55:26

I do feel for you Ethel and I hope you get it sorted quickly what I don't understand is the way the other members have not stepped in and put this chap straight as to his actions I certainly would if I was a member of the same class.

rosequartz Sat 22-Aug-15 10:00:39

I, too, wondered if has dementia, but sadly there are still a few old (and not so old!) sex pests around.

I think all you can do is say something in a loud voice about his unacceptable behaviour, get up, move your stuff and sit somewhere else.
I am sure other members of the group are perfectly aware of what he's like, that's why you are getting stuck next to him!

I know of an old man who used to pester his home helps for sex and I am sure he wasn't the only one who did this.

rosequartz Sat 22-Aug-15 10:08:23

Acrylic paint would be difficult to get out of his trousers should you accidentally squirt a large tubeful in the direction of his crotch. grin

Stansgran Sat 22-Aug-15 10:13:15

I'm glad to see you are in recovery mode Ethelbags . If you have absent's composure then make a loud fuss but it can be difficult especially as you are when all is said and done you are still convalescing. I think the Joyce Grenfell approach is best myself. Perhaps you could get everyone in the group to say it together. It sounds like a mix of not knowing boundaries and age -sadly.

soontobe Sat 22-Aug-15 10:17:03

It may not be age.
Our local sex pest[I think ours was harmless but annoying] lived until 101. And had all his faculties.

I am not sure what constitutes assault, so you might want to look that up first.

Is the class in a hall, or run by the council or an organisation?

Luckygirl Sat 22-Aug-15 10:21:18

If the other people in the class are aware of what he does (as it seems they are) then you could get them all to sort him out with you and he might get the message. I cannot understand why they just stand back and let him get on with it, even making a joke of it. They should be rallying round to get him off your back. Maybe you could discuss it with the others (?by phone beforehand) and work out a joint strategy - which might (and should) involve booting him out.

Luckygirl Sat 22-Aug-15 10:23:49

When I was pregnant I needed elastic stockings for varicose veins and took the prescription to a pharmacy, where the head pharmacist (an elderly man) had to take the measurements. His main interest was the inside leg length, especially making sure that the tape measure was as high as it could go - hmmm.

I also had my breasts stroked (through my bra) by a consultant gastro-enterologist.

These pests are everywhere.

HildaW Sat 22-Aug-15 10:29:54

Is it that element of 'Britishness' that John Cleese alluded to in 'A Fish Called Wanda'......we are all driven by a huge sense of embarrassment. Its why we hold back from things...fear of embarrassment rather than anything else. Its certainly how I feel about some things. I'll avoid situations because I cannot stand scenes....I'd fight to the last breath if my child was in danger.....but if it was just embarrassing...I'd be less keen to intervene.

Anne58 Sat 22-Aug-15 11:09:23

DO NOT do what you said in your post of 22.53.07!

Anne58 Sat 22-Aug-15 11:18:05

You could try saying, in a loud but calm voice "You're really rather pathetic, aren't you? Any by the way, I think your incontinence pad might need changing"

Eloethan Sat 22-Aug-15 11:35:12

Perhaps he should be reminded - perhaps by someone else if you find it difficult to deal with - that be he can still be charged with indecent assault. I too am surprised that other class members are not offering you support.

If none of the suggestions here stop this man from bothering you, whatever the reason for his behaviour, he should be prevented from attending the class.

Well done to you absent. Something similar happened when I was on the tube one day. We were all crushed up near the door and a young woman said in a very loud voice "What do you think you are doing?". I heard a man mumble something. "No you weren't", she said "You were putting your hand up my skirt". I so admired her because I'm sure in a similar situation I would have been frozen with embarrassment and would have just got off at the next station.

sunseeker Sat 22-Aug-15 13:55:43

If you have been trying to deal with him discreetly the other members of the group may be unaware of how unpleasant it is for you. Is it possible for you to have a quiet word with the others, explain how embarrassing and unwelcome his advances are and ask them to help you deal with him? You could tell him you have mentioned his actions to others who have advised you it is sexual harassment and if he continues you will report him to the police.

Coolgran65 Sat 22-Aug-15 18:26:11

When I was about 19 I worked in an office where a senior manager would squeeze past me at filing cabinets, make sleezy comments as to how my weekend went etc. I was too niaive to complain to more senior management.

A few years later, possibly late 20s, I met up with the sleezy comments from a man old enough to be my father, he clearly thought it was fun because he'd do it in front of others. A very pleasant man in all other ways.
One day I was on the other side of a sliding glass window as he passed with a colleague and made his usual comments. The red mist descended. I was out the door and into the corridor in a flash and told him in front of about 10 office staff, and his colleague, to never ever speak to me like that again, disgraceful, etc. Did he not realise his daughter was my age, how would he like her to be addressed like that. The entire area went silent. I turned and went back to my desk. Later, when I met him, I apologised for speaking to him in the matter and tone that I had used, but that the content still stood.

I agree with Hilda.... speak very loud and very not come near me again etc. And possibly even refer to reporting him (even if you have no intention of doing so) if he does it again.

sherish Sun 23-Aug-15 08:37:05

I would speak to whoever is in charge of the class. Sexual harassment is just that. You should be free to attend a class without being made to feel uncomfortable.

lucyinthesky Sun 23-Aug-15 10:49:09

If he continues to harass you I'd have that glass of water handy and throw it over his trousers. End of.

And don't worry about posting on here for advice. That's what we're here for and if people don't know or want to comment then they can remain silent!

Good luck flowers

westieyaya Sun 23-Aug-15 11:16:02

Sadly, as is sometimes the case, he has joined this group in order to gain some gratification rather than improving his artistic skills.
If he is in the early stages of dementia, behaviour may surface which he has never exhibited before. He needs professional help not being shouted at, ridiculed or thumped.
Perhaps Ethel, you or one of the group, could find out whether he has a carer or family, maybe someone drives him to the class and raise this with them.

Mimotron1 Sun 23-Aug-15 11:18:02

could this be an early indication of dementia? Unacceptable behaviour esp at this age!