Saturday, June 26, 2010

Never Blame the Victim

We always say never to blame the victim of a crime, especially a sexual assault or rape.

Al Gore allegedly assaulted a massage therapist in 2006, and I have to say I have mixed feelings about all of this.

As a professional massage therapist, there's a line you draw.

Personally, if a client touched me or even attempted to touch me, the massage would be over. The situation gets murky when it's verbal. I give the client one warning, if he persists, then he's out. (Notice I said "he"; that's deliberate. I've never had a female client do or say anything inappropriate. Only the men.)

I'll go out on a limb here and guess that the therapist in question felt intimidated by the identity of her client. Regardless, if the allegations are true, then the situation escalated and she did nothing. I don't know about you, but I wouldn't find it difficult to simply leave a room while my client is naked on the massage table. I'd be out the door before he disentangled himself from the sheet and got off the table. But maybe that's just me...

Discuss, please. Am I being too harsh?

Tip o' the hat to reader/commenter SCI-FI, who kindly sent me a link to the article.


Buck said...

I've never had a female client do or say anything inappropriate. Only the men.

Gol-EEE... I wonder why THAT is?

OTOH: Sexist! This is SEXIST!

Christina RN LMT said...

Yeah, so call me a sexist. It doesn't make me WRONG!!! ;)

Shannon said...

I must agree Christina - If said massage therapist wasn't refusing any alleged advances or removing herself from the situation, then it's pretty much on her...shouldn't matter who her client is.

I have a huge amount of respect for you in regards to your profession - it takes a special person to do what you do, especially when the person you are touching is unclothed. Generally speaking, I don't find it surprising at all that only men have been inappropriate since it seems to be a part of their genetic make-up (I've heard similar stories from nurses too). I could fathom women being verbally out of line before any other type of forward behavior, but even then, it wouldn't be over the top.

Word Verification: "forkers" Yup, exactly.

Lissa said...

Hmmm . . . without real evidence, I'm inclined to just back away from a story like this; too much he-said/she-said for me to try and judge.

That being said, too bad she didn't copy Phoebe-from-friends -- grabbed the sheet and yanked, flipping him onto the floor :)

Christina RN LMT said...

Thank you, Shannon. I'm used to it, I guess. It actually irks me when my clients leave any clothes on at all, like underwear. It just gets in the way. :D

Lissa, a (young, attractive, female) friend of mine, also an MT, took a referral from a member of her church congregation and had an "incident".

She was massaging this gentleman outside by his pool, and when she was done massaging him, he yanked off the sheet and said, "You're not finished yet!"
She tipped the entire massage table over, he fell to the ground, and she put her foot on his throat and demanded her money! Kudos to her, as far as I'm concerned.