It is, in my opinion, inexplicable that Haim Ramon, Israel’s former Minister of Justice is being charged with a crime over a kiss, even if it was unwanted by the other party, but that is the situation. In addition, this case has taken a strange turn in that Ramon was claiming all along that the police was treating him unfairly and it turns out they were improperly wiretapping his office and phone conversations. For some reason that wasn’t enough to get the case dropped, but in the meantime Ha’aretz has now published a confrontation, by video conference set up by the police, between Ramon and his accuser, H. It really shows the banality of the entire case, whether you believe that he’s a bully or not and whether you believe that in kissing her she was molested by him. The party that should be most ashamed here is the police for making this into the public spectacle they have. And yes, the leaks to the media almost certainly came from them. I feel sad for both parties and their families.

An indictment was issued a few weeks after the confrontation. It stated that at 7:45 P.M. on July 12 (shortly before the Israeli cabinet met and approved the war in Lebanon), H., who was about to be discharged from the IDF, asked Ramon to be photographed with her as a souvenir, as she had done with other ministers and senior officials with whom she had worked. After he agreed, she went to get a camera and Ramon entered an empty office in the Prime Minister’s Bureau. H. returned with the camera and asked a driver from the bureau, a soldier named Yaniv, to photograph them together. H. and Yaniv entered the office, where Yaniv took two pictures of them embracing and then he left the room.

The indictment says that H. then “released her grip on the accused and turned to leave the room.” Ramon continued to hold her body with one hand and pulled her close to him. “With the fingers of his other hand, he held her cheek, brought his face close to her and planted his lips on hers, while inserting his tongue in her mouth, all without her consent. H. pulled away, moved back and left the room. The accused went out right after her.”

The flirtation

In the transcript, H. says to Ramon: “I told you – ‘To Mexico, Costa Rica’ and you told me, like, that you were once in Costa Rica. I asked you if you were coming with me or something like that, it was all just joking, there was nothing serious about it and you knew it, too. All of it, that whole conversation was in humor, and after it I asked you to have your picture taken.”

Investigator: “In the course of the conversation, did the minister touch you? Did he say something to you?”

H.: “During the conversation, I think, after we talked about Costa Rica and about Mexico, then you, you held my face like this. I can even show you. I was sitting like this, you were standing here in front of me… You leaned over me. You made this gesture to me, like, oh sweetheart. That’s what happened.”

At this point Ramon asks the interrogators to ask H. a series of questions:

Ramon: “You remember that I came in, were you sitting and what were you doing?”

H. (Pause): “Yes, I was sitting and talking with Sima (the prime minister’s secretary).”

Ramon: “And what comment did you make?”

H.: “I think that, you came in, maybe I suggested that you take the seat or something like that, and I got up.”

Ramon: “You didn’t say anything?”

H.: “I don’t remember saying anything.”

Ramon: “Then I’d like to remind you. I remembered in my interrogation that you made a very sexist [sic] comment. I didn’t remember what – the police told me… that you got up and said that you couldn’t resist me. I remembered the tone… I’ll remind you of something else, when I asked you where you were traveling, to Costa Rica, you remember you told me, ‘I’m ready to give up on [going with] my girl friend, as long as you come with me,’ and I said, ‘I can’t.'”

H.: “I don’t remember saying that.”

Ramon: “Then I’ll remind you, and afterward you said that you were ready to shorten your stay. We barely know each other. I presume that you don’t say to everyone that you can’t resist him and that afterwards, and not as a joke and certainly not to a cabinet minister, you don’t suggest that he travel with you to Costa Rica. You don’t joke with him like that…”

H. insisted that she did not remember saying the words quoted by Ramon. “I don’t remember making any sexist [sic] remark to you, but if I did say something, then it was all in fun. This whole conversation, there was nothing provocative about it,” she said, elaborating on her intentions: “I wanted a souvenir with the justice minister… You think a [female] IDF officer would stand before a minister and start flirting with him, in front of lots of people, while security consultations are going on in the room?”

Ramon: “Unfortunately, that’s what you did.”

H.: “I didn’t, but maybe you got that impression.”

Ramon: “Pardon me, when a minister comes and I hear a sexist [sic] comment… and afterward she flirts with him and says, come with me to Costa Rica…. Even if it was said in jest it’s very strange, and afterwards I do this to you and that to you and you still want your picture taken with me….”

H.: “Who would believe that after you did this to me you would grab me in the room and kiss me when you have a cabinet meeting in a few minutes…. Had I believed for one moment that’s what would happen in the room, I never, never would have asked to take a picture with you. Never.”

Ramon: “That’s for certain and that’s why I’m saying that you’re not telling the truth, because it’s inconceivable that an Israeli cabinet minister, two minutes before he has to meet with the prime minister, that what he has in mind is pouncing on you….”

The confrontation continued, with Ramon repeatedly remarking on the “sexist tone” in which he says the complainant spoke to him. H. held firm in saying that the encounter between them was just humorous and innocent.

The pictures

The police file for the Ramon case contains many photographs: In most of them, H. appears smiling next to people such as Shaul Mofaz, Shimon Peres, Benjamin Ben-Eliezer and Dan Halutz. The picture of H. with Ramon, taken before the kiss, is the major point of dispute at this stage of the confrontation.

Ramon: “Have you seen the picture of us?”

H.: “Yes, of course I’ve seen it.”

Ramon: “You saw how you’re wrapping both arms around me and embracing me with both arms… clinging to me and pressing your chest to me, to my body. You’re doing all these things. Is this a routine picture, is that how you were photographed with all the ministers, is that how you make sure you’re photographed with people you don’t know?”

H.: “First of all yes, there are other people with whom I had my picture taken, there are other people with whom I had my picture taken this way and I gave those pictures to the police, too, all the pictures with all the ministers. Some of the people are also photographed that way. Second, there’s a difference between a pose for the camera, which is for the picture alone, and everything that you’re describing here. There was nothing more to it, I wasn’t trying to send any kind of message to you that whole time, from the moment you came in the office until the moment you did what you did. I really think that if you had this time, then I don’t know, like, I don’t have anything to say, I don’t. I was in shock. You know what I mean by shocked? Shocked. I think that yes, we had our picture taken in this pose, but when we entered the room, it was you who came and pressed me to you. I wasn’t the one who came and embraced you…. You’re the one who pressed me close.”

Ramon: “I think the picture speaks for itself. I’m hugging you with one arm and you’re grabbing me. Not of your own free will? Look, you can’t separate your chest from my chest. You’re pressing your chest on me of your own will and look at your arms, how you’re wrapping them around my body. And pressing all of your body…”

Ramon asks H. directly: “If that’s not inviting behavior, then explain to me, what is inviting behavior?”

H.: “I don’t have to explain to you what inviting behavior is, because it’s my private life and I won’t tell you about my relationships, that’s none of your business. But I’ll tell you what, you’re the one in this picture, you’re the one who pressed me to you. Yes, I embraced you, but I’ll tell you again, it was only for the picture. There was nothing to it beyond that, it was solely for the pose for the picture. In this picture you also see that you’re leaning over me, It’s not just me leaning over you…. No one gave you the right to hold my face after Yaniv left the room… and kiss me.”

A technical problem interrupts the confrontation for a few seconds, after which H. continues: “I’m not about to tell you how I do or don’t flirt with guys, but I just want to remind you, with all due respect, that you’re a 56-year-old man and I’m a 21-year-old girl. I have no interest in a relationship with a man who’s 56, certainly not the way you describe. Everything was in fun. There was no sexual message in it. No sexual message.”

Ramon: “I’m sure that you don’t usually tell a 56-year-old man, or any other man, that you can’t resist him and that you want to travel with him to Costa Rica and that you don’t kid around with 56-year-old men…. If I were to tell you about a girl who greets a 56-year-old man by saying, ‘I can’t resist you’ and then suggests that he travel with her and then he calls her sweetheart and then she has her picture taken with him in this way, you’d say there was an attempt at a pickup here.”

Golan then asks H. to address the claim that she was seducing Ramon.

H: “I’ll tell you again, there was nothing inviting about it. Ask anyone in the office, I’m an outgoing person, I talk, I’m allowed, it’s my right. Between that and what you did in the room afterwards there’s a very big difference, very big…. You’re really exaggerating our conversation, it wasn’t so flirtatious…. I didn’t flirt with you…. And you say that I made up a story? You tell me, weren’t you, like, in that room?

At this point H. starts crying and Ramon responds: “I’m not impressed by any of your tears or by any show you put on.”

Golan: “I’m not certain, Mr. Ramon, that you need to hurt….”

Ramon: “She said about me, and you didn’t hasten to defend me, she questioned whether I’m sane. You didn’t hear that? You didn’t hear that, Madam Brigadier General Miri?…. Why aren’t you defending my honor?”

At this point the exchanges between H. and Ramon become personal and insulting. They continually interrupt one another, and the investigators, who fear they’ve lost control over the confrontation, urge them, especially Ramon, to stop. Ramon complains that the confrontation is not taking place face-to-face “in normal conditions.” H. replies assertively: “There’s no reason I should stop my life because of what you did.”

Ramon: “Yes, you want to destroy my life because of all kinds of things that we’ll be getting to.”

H.: “Next time, think twice before you do what you do.”

Ramon: “No, you think twice before you go making false accusations.”

Golan: “H., are you making false accusations?”

H.: “False accusations? Aren’t you ashamed? Tell me. Look at yourself, the justice minister of the State of Israel, standing there and lying and, like, looking me in the eyes and lying. Aren’t you ashamed?”

Ramon: “This girl is lying unabashedly. I ask that she answer the question. I understand that she, she has no, that she has to invent things, that she has a problem….”

The kiss

Golan asks H. to return to the description of the kiss that H. claims Ramon forced on her immediately after the two photographs were taken.

H.: “We went into the room and I don’t remember exactly where Yaniv came from. I asked him to take our picture. We stood embracing and Yaniv took two pictures and left the room very quickly, as if something happened outside… The second Yaniv left the minister grabbed me, and did this to me on the face.” In the video, she is seen demonstrating how “he bent over me and kissed me. It was exactly maybe five seconds, even less. I moved away from him, I looked at him, I went out first. I don’t know if you came out after me or if you stayed a little more in the room, I don’t remember, but we went out and then Sima… said something, ‘Come, I’ll take another picture of you two…'”

Ramon: “You claim I kissed you. Did you resist?”

H.: “I was in shock, I couldn’t move.”

Ramon: “Which means I couldn’t understand that you were resisting.”

H.: “I was in shock.”

Ramon: “I couldn’t realize that you were resisting.”

H.: “I didn’t do anything. I didn’t budge. I was frozen.”

Ramon: “In other words, I, I don’t….”

H.: “You, you know what you want.”

Ramon: “No, no.”

Eran Kamin: “Minister Ramon, with all due respect, she can’t know what you understood. She can only know what she understood.”

H.: “… I know that at that moment I couldn’t move, not that it was such a long time that I had time to resist or to go crazy, and besides, there was a security consultation going outside… I was frozen…”

Ramon: “In the police interrogation it was said that I forcibly inserted my tongue. When something is done by force, someone is resisting.”

H.: “I felt your tongue, it was like what, what, like what is this?”

Ramon: “I’m asking you for the fourth time, was there any act by which you expressed any outward, not inner, act of resistance?”

H.: “The fact that I moved away from you to stop the kiss, I think that’s one act.”

Ramon: “If I sum up what you’re saying, the second that I realized you didn’t want it, the kiss was immediately stopped.”

H.: “You kissed me, there’s not much more to it. What did you want, for me to slap you?”

The debate over the intensity of the resistance to the kiss continues. The detectives wonder why Ramon insists on questioning H. about something he says did not happen. Ramon says he is trying to call into question H.’s credibility.

H.: “You’re asking if I went wild? I didn’t go wild there.”

Ramon: “No, I’m not asking if you went wild.”

H.: “And I didn’t, I didn’t hit you.”

Ramon: “If you had pushed me….”

H.: “You’re not letting me speak. You asked a question. No, I didn’t go wild there, I didn’t hit you, but it was all a matter of a few seconds. As soon as I felt your tongue I moved back, yes.”

The father

From the transcript it sometimes seems as if Ramon seized control of the confrontation. H. frequently entreats Ramon to let her finish what she has to say. Golan and the investigators tell Ramon he is making it difficult for them to manage the confrontation and that he is “making speeches to the nation.” Ramon occasionally gets angry when he thinks the confrontation is not being handled impartially. “I propose a confrontation between me and [H.], not me and you,” he tells Golan.

After Ramon’s critical remarks about the investigation, Kamin tells him: “The police have no religion, race or color, we’re not after you or H., we’re only after the truth…. We’re doing this in a professional manner and I’d appreciate it if you gave us credit.” Ramon responds: “I heard what you said and what I have to say about it I won’t say in the context of this confrontation.”

The height of the confrontation between Ramon and the investigators took place when Ramon, ready with a packet of documents, decided to question H. about an interview that her father gave to a newspaper. H. said that she had not shared the details of the incident with her father and that she cannot be questioned on what he did or did not say. Nonetheless, Ramon continued to question H. about things her father said. Golan asked him to stop.

Golan: “[Her father] has nothing to do with this confrontation right now.”

Ramon: “He has a lot to do with the whole episode…. If she claims I’m not telling the truth, and her father also turns out to not be telling the truth, then there’s a method, that’s all…”

Golan: “But Mr. Ramon, there’s a difference. I think that this is not respectable. Let’s not turn this into a debate over the manner of the investigation.”

Ramon: “Not respectable… the manner of the investigation, that’s what not respectable. Now I’ll continue.”

Golan: “Okay, I don’t want to argue….”

Ramon: “Neither do I, neither do I.”

Golan: “… with you and descend to this level.”

Ramon: “I don’t want to arrive at your level, Madam Golan.”

Golan: “Okay, I don’t know what level this is, that you insult me unnecessarily.”

Ramon: “Then I’m asking, I’m asking.”

Golan: “But we’ll continue.”

Ramon: “Madam is continuously insulting me all the time. All the time insulting me, all the time.”

Golan: “How am I insulting you, sir?”

Ramon: “All the time, in the way you’re running the investigation.”

Golan: “I think that you are slandering me, sir.”

Ramon: “I think that you are not only slandering me, you’re giving me a bad name throughout the country.”

Golan: If you’re going to fight with me personally then I’m very sorry.”

Ramon: “I’m very sorry that this matter is being handled in a video conference and not in a confrontation here and now. That should also make you think.”

Kamin: “Minister Ramon, but the purpose of this thing is to confront, not to give a speech.”

Ramon: “Fine, I didn’t give a speech.”

The last picture

After this argument the confrontation moves on to the third picture of Ramon and H., which according to the complainant was taken after the kiss and according to the defense was taken before it.

Ramon describes the picture to H.: “You look very cheerful, you look fine, you’re pressing your shoulder against me, there is no space between us. And you’re totally smiling. Is this the picture of someone in shock, who just went through a difficult and traumatic event?”

H.: “First of all, I didn’t ask to have that picture taken with you…. Don’t tell me ‘no,’ I didn’t ask anyone to take our picture. Sima had the camera and Sima took the camera and said, ‘Come, let’s get another picture of you.’ I couldn’t respond to you, I was in shock, because if I could respond, if I could respond, then someone apparently would have gotten slapped at that moment. But I couldn’t respond. I went out, the smile here is so that no one around would notice what happened in the room, and I have tears in my eyes in this picture, you don’t see it, from the shock, yes, from what you did.”

Ramon: “I don’t see any tears in your eyes. I see a picture in which you’re smiling.”

H.: “Too bad, they should bring you the picture another time and show you.”

Ramon: “Look, I’d be glad if I had the picture here. But I don’t have it for some reason.”

Later, H. adds: “I acted like a robot, this smile is a totally frozen smile, there’s nothing in it, there was no happiness and joy in it.”

The next topic is the phone number that H. gave to Ramon immediately after the kiss. Ramon claimed that H. gave him the number at her initiative. H. claimed that Ramon asked her for it.

Among other things, Ramon presses H. on this question: “You give [your phone number] to a person who hurt you so badly that afterward you went to complain to the police about him. Isn’t that strange?”

H.: “It’s not strange, because in the situation where it happened, in the Prime Minister’s Bureau, for me you weren’t just any 56-year-old man, you were still the justice minister. True, maybe I shouldn’t have given you this respect and just told you, ‘You know what? You can go to hell, I’m not giving you my phone number or anything else,’ but I didn’t do that because it was in a situation that didn’t enable me to react to anything. Because if I wanted, today in retrospect I know, I could have screamed, and I didn’t do that. Why didn’t I do that? It’s because I gave respect to the place and to the whole situation.”

At one stage of the confrontation, H. says to Ramon: “If my story is so untrue, then how come you know the details so well and how can you discuss it and spend so much time going over it, if it’s not true at all?”

Ramon: “I’m explaining it to you because I want to prove, I explained to Chief Superintendent Eran that even your false story doesn’t sound reasonable. I think I’m a reasonable person.”

H.: “You can’t prove….”

Ramon: “I am proving….”

H.: “You can’t prove it, because my story is true, it’s true.”

Ramon: “I want to ask you, if I were to tell you some story about a friend of yours, that a girl, after she says an obscene act was done to her, was to have her picture taken with the guy who did the obscene act and appear smiling. Her eyes are shining and she has her shoulder pressed against his, not by force now. Not even one millimeter away, that you’d think, naturally, you’d need to keep away from me….”

H.: “You’re the one who’s bending your head toward me in this picture.”

Ramon: “…look how you’re standing, there’s not a millimeter, not a single millimeter of space…. You could have shied away, you could have moved, but nothing. Not one millimeter of space… and what really happened is that you were joking with the girls and afterwards you come and give me the phone number in your own writing. If I were to tell you such a story about another girl…. You’d say, this girl is making up stories that never happened in order to cover for something that isn’t right…”

H.: “Why would I want to make up stories? Why should I tell stories?”

Ramon interrupts her and Golan cautions him: “Mr. Ramon, let her speak, Mr. Ramon.”

H.: “This picture, if you knew what I was feeling at that moment when you pressed against me like that, and you are the one who pressed against me in this picture, you’re leaning your head towards me, you can see it in the picture, you can look at the pictures another time. You see that you’re leaning your head… you know what kind of chill went through my body when you pressed against me like that? I wanted to throw up, you know what I mean? I wanted to throw up. That’s what I wanted to do.”

Ramon: “I, I, I….”

H.: “You’re lucky I’m a cool-headed person. Let me finish. You’re lucky I’m a cool-headed person, because [if not] I would have screamed and everyone would have come out of the room and known exactly what happened at that moment. But don’t worry, the police will find the truth, you can say whatever you want now. The truth is what I’m saying, now you can, I’ll, like, laugh when you say it, because it really makes me laugh that a justice minister in the State of Israel, instead of saying, ‘I’m sorry, I made a mistake,’ stands before me and makes up a story….”

After several exchanges with Kamin, Ramon says to H.: “I want to avoid all these false accusations and talk, because every time you don’t know how to explain things your words seem illogical, then you go hurling accusations and I’m restraining myself not to descend to this level. But I’ll say it once again, if you come now and say that you were about to throw up, if this is how you look when you’re about to throw up, then you’re the happiest person in the world….”

Later, Ramon provides his version of the kiss itself – only once in the course of the entire confrontation. He repeats his account of the flirtation on her part and about the photographs. He says that after the third photograph, he returned to the office and watched television. “And then you came into the room that I was in, at your initiative, you came up very close to me and then there was a kiss in which you brought your lips to me and the kiss was very brief, it was stopped at my initiative because there was noise… and then there was noise from people coming out of the cabinet meeting, that the meeting was over. I went out together with you. I said to you, ‘We’ll talk and we’ll be in touch,’ and you gave me, you wrote down your telephone number.”

A few days later, the two met by chance in the Prime Minister’s Office. During the video conference confrontation, Ramon confirmed that H. had appeared “sad” and “reserved” and explained: “I didn’t inquire about it. Maybe it was something at home, it didn’t occur to me, I asked her a question, when she was being discharged, I saw that she answered me with some difficulty, I didn’t know what was wrong, I went on my way.” Afterwards, Ramon added: “I guess that after four days she was no longer a robot, she could talk, she could respond, she could say to me, Mr. Minister, I ask that you don’t come near me, quietly, no need to shout.”

H.: “As for your question of why I didn’t respond… I didn’t want to run into you, I was unable to look at you. I didn’t have the courage to come and tell you, ‘You did something wrong.’ That’s just how it was, you’re someone who’s on a ranking or level that’s a bit higher than me.”

Finale

Toward the end of the confrontation, H. turns to Ramon with emotion: “I saw you in the office three or four times. I have no interest in this publicity and all the things they’re writing in the newspapers I certainly don’t need, and that’s also why, this is one of the reasons that I say thank God I’m not in Israel now and don’t have to hear all that’s being said about me. Because, believe me, that’s one of the reasons I waited for 10 days and only complained to the police after all that time. Why? Because I don’t need all this. But you know what? I have women soldiers in the office and other girls I’m responsible for. As a former officer in the IDF, I care about these soldiers and I don’t want what happened to me to happen to them.”

Ramon: “There’s no logic in anything you say. It’s not logical that a minister would come in for two seconds and pounce on you. It’s not logical, because he’s waiting for the prime minister. What you say is a thousand times more illogical, you’re not being logical. Your story is illogical, it doesn’t make sense, the last thing I need is to kiss a girl by force. I’ve kissed more than a few women in my life and not one ever claimed I kissed her by force, ever, and you’re the last one I should come and kiss by force. And therefore your story is a thousand times more illogical.”

In the final minutes of the confrontation, after Ramon reiterates that H. is making things up, Golan asks H. if she has falsely accused Ramon. H. replies: “Miri, I never, but never, thought of doing such a thing. I would never make false accusations. I don’t need this. I’m not someone who wants to be in the spotlight, because this isn’t my idea of the spotlight…”

Ramon asks Golan to ask him the same question. Golan: “I think, Mr. Ramon, sir, that you’ve been given the whole platform here to say everything from A to Z.”

Ramon: “Since you don’t want to ask me like you asked her, then I’ll tell you, I’ll respond as if the head of the Fraud Investigation Unit, Madam Golan, had asked me whether H. was not telling the truth and making false accusations against me? Everything I’ve said is the truth… I repeat, everything I’ve said is the whole truth.”

About the author

themiddle

3 Comments

  • I read the article in Ha’aretz and somehow….
    Kissing someone on her mouth against her will (Mr. Ramon did not ask for her permission) is VERY disturbing.

    This is not a boyfriend/girlfriend misunderstanding of a couple who went on a date and the guy misread her intentions and “went a little too far”. (which by itself is also problematic)

    This is an experienced older and very powerful man and a much younger woman of relatively (in comparison to Mr. Ramon) “low’ social status.

    The supreme court in one of their wiser decisions stated it very well: if you did not ASK her permission, assume NO.

    I myself went through similar sexual harassment with an ex-employer, years before the law against sexual harassment in the workplace was passed.
    It was an awful degrading experience, after which i left my job, feeling powerless.
    Some years after the same employer was indicted for sexually attacking another employee.
    I then learned the same employer had made it into a habit, only that this time he went a little more “too far” and there was enough for a criminal case.
    A kiss against one’s will is harassment, and there is no reason women should see it as anything else.
    Even now, years later, when i recall what happened to me, i feel my stomach turn.
    Imagine this happening to your child, your sister, your mother, yourself.
    Perhaps it has.
    I don’t think we should accept this behavior under any condition.
    It turns us into objects and once objectified, our will is of no importance.

    A kiss, or worse, are the circumstances of objectification.
    The real crime is in the objectification as such.

  • The party that should be most ashamed here is the police for making this into the public spectacle they have. And yes, the leaks to the media almost certainly came from them. I feel sad for both parties and their families.

    I would just add that the puppeteer that pulls the police strings is the state prosecutor’s office, currently under the control of Manny Mazuz.

    Hasn’t anyone noticed a pattern? There were 2 Justice Ministers and 1 Interior Minister in the last 2 decades who made blatant announcements of shaking out the legal system. Soon after in each case, for Ya’akove Ne’eman, Raful Eitan, and now Haim Ramon, amazingly trumped-up charges were churned out before they could sit at their ministerial desks.

    In every case, the trials dragged on, the accused resigned and the charges were eventually dropped.

    To read more about the lastest circus, see Ramon’s tale of the kiss
    . This is the disgusting state we live in.

  • Shy Guy, for once we are in agreement.

    Yuyume, I can’t address your experience and can only go in this instance by what is described above. First of all, there is the question of whether a kiss, a non-violent kiss, merits criminal charges. I don’t think so. A punishment? Yes. Criminal charges? No. Let’s leave crime for crimes.

    Second, it seems clear that he perceived that she was coming on to him. He notes her jokes and allusions to going away with him, and then her physical proximity to him when taking the photo. He points out that she is flattening her body against him at her initiative. He seems to have misread her signals, at the least, or perhaps read them appropriately but acted in a surprising and unexpected manner. Again, it is inappropriate behavior but not entirely surprising or unexpected.

    In fact, I would venture that many relationships begin this way. Regular relationships and relationships with an imbalance of power or age or both. People don’t always know how to ask or how to speak the words that the other person would hope, but they read something in the body language or the flirtatious hints of the other party and at some point make a move. The party on the receiving end may be offended but can brush it off and explain to the about-to-be-hurt initiator that s/he does not share these feelings. S/he can also slap the other person or yell at them, if it is overly aggressive or if feelings towards the initiator are the opposite of what s/he thought. The party on the receiving end may also reciprocate because that is the outcome they desire.

    On the other hand, I think if this behavior was criminalized, there would be quite a few more people in jail or with criminal convictions today. People trying to find relationships try this often because…there’s always a first kiss and sometimes it comes before the other person can say “no.”

    In this case, it seems she never said “no” but he sensed that she wasn’t responding and he stopped! She also behaved strangely in saying nothing afterward and giving him her phone number.

    In fact, since she was leaving the office that day and this was a farewell photo, you could say the issue of employer/employee sexual harrassment doesn’t exist here. As for the age difference, I’m afraid that even men in their 50s find women in their early 20s attractive. As I understand it, most Western countries have laws restricting sexual activity between minors and those of “legal” age, which means that after this woman turned 18, this issue of age became immaterial.

    Would I want this to happen to a woman in my life? Of course not. Then again, if a woman in my life suggested to another man that they should go together on a Carribean trip and then within minutes pressed their bodies, breasts to chest, against him (even if it is for a parting photo), I might reserve a damn good portion of my anger toward them.

Leave a Comment