Tips on Living in a Misogynist Patriarchy?

October 3, 2010

So, it turns out our upstairs neighbor is a peeping tom. What a dumb word. First of all, it’s minimizing. And second of all, I can’t believe this particular psychosexual paraphilia is so common, that’s there’s a word for it in the vernacular.

I mean, think about that.

He has been caught looking into our windows twice. The first time, we were home with a bunch of family and when he was spotted, our brother in law went to the door. The neighbor kinda of said that he was there to introduce himself to Lauren. So, you know, his body language and the poor execution of this basic social skill, also known as knocking on the door, in combination with comments from the neighbors that he “stalked” the previous tenant, raised the flags. Our BIL ran some searches, we hit the public information on the internet. Nothing too serious on his record and it was all a few years ago. So, we, I guess I, decided to play nice. I’ve seen him on the street and chatted him up. You know, been awesome. But we really knew it was just a matter of time.

Today Wifebian is getting dressed, looks up, and it’s him. She wakes me up, he is on our porch. I go out and explain to him that I have been very neighborly up until now, but that the other neighbors have indicated that he has a history of concerning behaviors and his next step was to go back to his apartment, while my next step was to call the police. He said he wished I wouldnt and I said that his next step was to go back to his apartment, while my next step was to call the police. In the drunken melee, he knocked over one of my potted plants. Well, it wasnt a melee, really. But you know what I mean.

So, Wifebian has made a report, gone to the magistrate to take out a warrant — because peeping when youre a tom is a crime, who knew!? Tonight, she is at her sister’s house while I work a night shift. Tomorrow morning me and Wifebian are checking into a hotel for one more night shift, then, when we can be in the house together at night, we will go back home. Monday she will take out a restraining order and await the court date. We have emailed the management company explaining that we are interested in finding another apartment. When Wifebian was signing the lease they told us that he was unemployed, didnt leave the house much and that he was a talker. That he liked to talk, but that he was “harmless”. In other words, they knew.

Anybody else have any experience with this? I wonder if there is a victim assistance fund that will help us cover the costs of relocating in the event that our property management company doesnt take responsibility for this?  Anybody know of any good Intensive Outpatient Substance Abuse/ Sex Offender Treatment Programs in WNC? Any other essential tips or tricks for surviving the misogynist patriarchy?

I continue to resist the urge to look him up. As a mobile crisis worker, I have access to the records of lots of people with a history of alcohol problems and bad behavior.

Repeat after me, HIIIIIIPPA. Eeeeeeethics. Liiiiiicense.

(hippaethicslicense.)

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11 Responses to “Tips on Living in a Misogynist Patriarchy?”

  1. MWK said

    oh my effing god. Didn’t you JUST get there? Can I wrie the universe and ask for you ladies to catch a freaking break? I wish I could repeat after you to obey the ethics but if that was me I’d be looking that shit up pronto. I think they should make that guy move and let you stay (unless you don’t want to).
    Ugh. I’m sorry. I have experience with this in terms of D$ finding a “peeping tom” outside his bedroom window (where I was…naked), but it wasn’t someone who lived in the same place and we were never able to deal with it. So I can’t offer any advice there but that management company BETTER effing help you out.

  2. A. said

    Oh my God. I am so sorry about this–feels like shit to feel unsafe in your own home. No advice. But I hope this gets sorted soon.

  3. Nicole said

    This is insane. I’m so sorry and pissed for you that you guys have to deal with this. I applaud your efforts to abide bu HIPPA rules. I know that’s not easy and I’d be having the same exact debate. I hope your management company steps up and does the right thing. If not, let me know if you want me to help and get all NY on their ass 🙂

  4. Ms. Loaf said

    Wow, nothing would stop me from looking him up, but I guess that’s why I would make a bad social worker. (That and many other reasons.)

    I don’t think you should have to move. Ugh. But that is so Southern. When I lived in Fla. I lived on the ground floor and my patio faced the back of the property, facing a row of trees. And people would take their dogs to shit right by my porch, since it was behind the building. But my next door neighbor would look in the windows when he did this. It actually never occurred to me to do anything about it because I didn’t know I could.

  5. isa said

    I’m sorry that this happened, especially since you’re still settling in. Nothing is less welcoming than realizing that everyone knows all about this guy, but decided to let you ‘find out for yourselves’. Jerks.

    I hope you get moved to someplace better, and that putting this all on the record is the first step in getting this guy stopped (either voluntarily or not).

  6. Debbie said

    That’s the worst! I’m so sorry. This dude needs to be evicted.

  7. Mina said

    Damn, I can’t believe you have to deal with such bullshit already. I can’t imagine how many other tenants have had to put up with it. The management company really needs to take measures and evict him. No one should have to feel so unsafe in their own home. I hope that your situation gets resolved quickly!

  8. kate said

    i would not have the strength to not look this man up. you are very ethical. very ethical.

  9. Queer Grrl in the City said

    i would feel guilty not commenting on your blog about this issue. i’ve been through the same experience with two peeping toms at separate homes on different sides of the city.

    the police did so little for me where i live because unless the peeping tom was caught ‘in the act,’ by law no arrest can be made. a dozen 911 calls later, this sort of violation of privacy is not taken seriously enough. it is beyond upsetting to live being watched in your own home, or to have to worry ‘am i being watched?,’ and in my experience, these men particularly love to target queer women. there is something chemically off in their minds and so they will come back, again and again. peeping tom #2 was ultra creepy and started coming around with a flash light at 3 a.m. to peer through the slits in my bedroom blinds.

    one insensitive officer said, “feel lucky that you’ve had not one but two peeping toms. maybe you need to get a boyfriend or a dog.” (!) i moved out of the first place because of peeping tom #1 and stood my ground in the second place with peeping tom #2. i invested in extra thick window shades for all the bedrooms and placed camouflaging material on the bathroom window. i had the landlord install motion detector lights outside the bedroom windows too – she would have been liable for my safety otherwise. that was how i got rid of him. eventually. i had considered a surveillance camera, tho. you might check with your neighborhood list serve to see if there is a long record of this particular fellow coming around. i pretty much think that your apartment management people are liable for keeping their tenants safe, and if they were aware of him endangering tenants before you moved in, it would be grounds for getting sued.

    best of luck…that’s so terrible.

  10. liberationtheory said

    See the unethical side of me would be to call a couple of the homies I know and…

    Nevermind.

    Yeah, move ASAP. I had a neighbor like that in Chicago many moons ago– a bunch of thug teens with an equally irresponsible adult looking after them. We moved soon after.

  11. Danielle said

    oh good god, I cannot believe that~! when you move you need to post the apt on this site so people stay away! Thats just so nuts. I would be so freaked out. I live in Avl and Im trying to think of something that could help. Can you try calling 211? they may know.

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