Home Pop Culture Welcome to the brave new world where executives sexually harass women.

Welcome to the brave new world where executives sexually harass women.

Calvin Klein billboard ad on Houston Street, featuring Eva Mendes.
Image source- Ny Daily News. Mr Omar held in custody by the NYPD
Image source- Ny Daily News. Mr Omar held in custody by the NYPD

It’s one of the truest axioms ever- women like men in power, but what women don’t like is when men usurp their power over women, at least overtly and against their will. Such it seems is the ongoing saga of late with the report that last night another high ranking executive, this time 74 year old Mahmoud Abdel-Salam Omar, Egypt’s  former chairman of Egypt’s Bank of Alexandra allegedly groped a maid at the luxury hotel ‘the Pierre.’ This hot on the heels of the recent allegations that the former head of the IMF – France’s Dominique Strauss-Kahn has been placed under house arrest for the same said crime. All of which raises the interesting question, what exactly is going on here and how is it that in the face of recent public outcry executives still feel emboldened to carry on this obvious bad behavior?

nypost: He was wearing a bathrobe at the time, but it was not clear what, if anything, he had on under it.

The alleged attack came just two weeks after Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the disgraced former head of the International Monetary Fund, was charged with sexually assaulting a maid at the Sofitel hotel in Midtown.

Omar summoned the 44-year-old woman to his room to bring tissues at around 6 p.m. Sunday and quickly locked the door behind her, according to police.

Then, the elderly banker allegedly grabbed her breasts and began kissing her on the lips and neck.

She bravely stood up to him, the source said.

“I’m not up here for that,” she told him.

It’s one thing for this to go on in school locker rooms between sheepish students mischievously exploring their brooding sexuality, but another thing all together when an executive, a hotel guest tries to use his position, his patronage against a hotel employee. One dares to wonder if Mr Omar would have tried this against another female executive, another hotel guest or seeing that the maid was just a hotel employee probably earning one hundredth of his compensation that he was within bounds. Or it simply could be that men like Mr Omar have no regard for women no matter what their rank or position in life, but one is tempted to wonder is this symptomatic behavior of men in power who feel on some level what goes on in the boardroom should so easily be allowed to pass during after hours?

Omar — who is now the head of El.Mex Salinas, a Middle East-based salt-mining company — then asked the woman for her phone number, according to the source.

The quick-thinking maid gave him a fake number.

At that point, Omar stepped back and she was able to unlock the door and flee, the source said.

She ran directly to a manager to report the alleged attack.

Is this the type of behavior we should be indenturing ourselves against? Are we to wonder when we look at the billboards against the sky that somehow our culture has tacitly allowed the appropriation of women’s sexuality for free reign? After all it’s one thing when a woman is paid to appear half naked on a billboard tooting lipstick but another thing when she’s being forced to smear lipstick against an unwanted advance.

Or could one posit had this indiscretion, like that of Mr Strauss Kahn had gone on in a foreign locale then somehow the violated would have simply tolerated it and perhaps out of respect, fear or intimidation would have acquiesced to such philandering? One can hardly believe that Mr Omar or Mr Strauss Khan, if indeed guilty of said crimes only just arrived at trespassing themselves onto women at such a late stage in life. Intuition would dictate these men have been carrying on like this ever since they first walked into a boardroom….

The Pierre where the alleged crime is said to have taken place.

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