Author Topic: Do I have to invite _him_?  (Read 14891 times)

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Psychopoesie

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Re: Do I have to invite _him_?
« Reply #75 on: September 08, 2013, 09:07:06 PM »

This situation is pretty complicated by my parents.  For a lot of complicated reasons to do with small town politics, my immigrant mom's social attitudes, and a teensy dash of moral cowardice, both of my parents would really, really prefer I not rock the boat with this.  Their mindset is more "Obviously the socially prominent Hector should be at our party: otherwise people might gossip about his exclusion and/or have hurt feelings." 

Hortense is more realistic about the whole thing.  If she weren't a divorce-opposing Catholic, they would've split up years earlier.  She realizes he's beyond a boor.

I read every post and I don't think anyone addressed this (bolded) statement.  How can he be "socially prominent" with virtually everyone knowing his heinous proclivities? 

You'd be surprised what some people would let men like this get away with :(

Exactly.  You only need to turn on the news or glance at newspaper headlines to hear about dozens and dozens of examples.

Agree - so many headlines. Jimmy Savile is one socially prominent person (household name in UK) that's had a lot of press.

People get away with it because often no one wants to rock the boat and they explain away or minimise what they do see.

People like this are also really smart about who they target, when (less likely to happen when someone else is around to witness/overhear) and how. They usually don't leer at the teenager in front of a parent.

If the person has power (socially or otherwise) those they pick on may not feel able to speak up - no one would believe them or there would be repercussions for their families. Also a reason why others may not call them out on the behaviour.

Just some thoughts about motives. & not saying Hector has actually done any of what Jimmy Savile is accused of.

Edited to correct spelling of Savile.

« Last Edit: September 08, 2013, 09:09:51 PM by Psychopoesie »

Allyson

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Re: Do I have to invite _him_?
« Reply #76 on: September 09, 2013, 06:31:01 PM »

I wouldn't, but the 15 year-old thing does puzzle me. IME some sorry excuses for husbands sadly will want wives to deal with lecherous behaviour quietly or simply put up with it to avoid social embarrassment but I have never known a man who would quietly ignore someone ogling his daughter.

In my experience, often guys don't really see the nuances--so they'll respond with "what, he was just paying you a compliment!" or something similar. They think of 'guy who needs warning off daughter' as a 'direct threat', so a guy taking her out on a date, or someone straight up grabbing her, but will not 'see' the older guy giving her creepy looks. This isn't true for everyone, but many people still have the 'creep=molester hiding in the bushes'. Not nice Uncle Leroy or whoever.

Also very often the creepy guys will wait till the father/relatives aren't right there before they make their little comments, and the daughter will be too embarrassed to say anything, or will feel like she's making a big deal out of nothing. I know that at that age I was *way* too embarrassed to talk to a male relative about creepy guys, so I might mention it to a female older cousin or something, but not a dad.

VorFemme

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Re: Do I have to invite _him_?
« Reply #77 on: September 09, 2013, 07:01:27 PM »
Ooohh - let all the women under the age of Hector and old enough to talk (say four) know that if he gives them any kind of discomfort, to ask loudly "why are you looking (down my blouse, at my backside, or anywhere else he's perving on)" so that NONE of their fathers, uncles, brothers, grandparents, nephews, sons, or whatever can miss that Hector has done something BAD. 

If it happens more than once at the party - Hortense may drag him home.  If someone's male relative doesn't have a come-to-deity comment to make to him first....

The man needs to be the one getting publically humiliated, not the young girls and young women that he's been preying on...and it does sound like he is preying on them.

Having been lucky enough to ask "what it meant" at about nine or ten, I didn't get left alone with pervy guy again (I found out some twenty years later that it was because he died three months after my questions led to telling my folks what had happened).  I just knew that if someone misbehaved like that again - I was to tell my parents and that I was NOT to go over to that house again.

What can I say - the 1960s were a lot less open about that sort of thing....
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Piratelvr1121

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Re: Do I have to invite _him_?
« Reply #78 on: September 09, 2013, 08:41:53 PM »
Well my uncle was just dumb or drunk enough (or both) to get caught leering at a teen girl at one of the parties my parents held.  My aunt (not the one married to him, one on the other side of the family) looked at him like "Really? That girl's young enough to be your daughter."

She then proceeded to tell other members of the family and that was the last party he attended, because that was the last one they held.
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars.  You have a right to be here. Be cheerful, strive to be happy. -Desiderata

blarg314

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Re: Do I have to invite _him_?
« Reply #79 on: September 09, 2013, 10:44:55 PM »

I can definitely believe that he's managed to be a prominent member of the community who also makes young women feel icky.

As a short list for reasons how this can happen - He's in a prominent position, maybe one with power, so people don't want to jeopardize their own standing in the community by challenging him. They don't want to cause a fuss and risk break their relationship with people close to him (spouse, kids, parents). Everyone else goes along with it, so making a fuss probably won't work. He's only pervy to people who don't have the power to challenge him - like young women - so the people who do have the power to make a fuss don't notice a problem. Or, for that matter, his behaviour is seen as acceptable by the people who have the power. Of course a powerful, virile man is going to like looking at pretty young things - she should take it as a compliment.  Oh, he was drunk - he didn't really mean it.  If she didn't want the attention, why was she wearing a low cut shirt?

Take this specific case, for that matter.  The OP has said that he has been making her feel gross since about the time she hit puberty. Her parents don't sound like terrible people by any means. But Hector was still invited over and given the chance to leer and make pervy comments to her - he wasn't banned from parties, or kept away from the OP, even when she was too young to defend herself.  And her parents are likely going to get really, really upset if she says she doesn't want him at her engagement party, even though they know about his behaviour.


lellah

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Re: Do I have to invite _him_?
« Reply #80 on: September 09, 2013, 11:01:49 PM »
Y'all want to know how someone so gross is such a big cheese?  Small town.  One big employer, and he owns the joint.  He used to be my dad's boss, and the boss of a ton of folks in our town.   People are "upper middle class" in our rural, Southern town are unlikely to rock the employment boat over a few "I like that dress on yous," no matter how foul he sounds when he says that.

Pen^2

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Re: Do I have to invite _him_?
« Reply #81 on: September 09, 2013, 11:16:52 PM »
This hits very close to home for me.

I was assaulted two years ago. When DH and I told my parents we were engaged some time later, they insisted that I invite the responsible parties to the wedding. That was, I'm sure you'll understand, not at all negotiable. But, from their point of view, it would look bad (small town and all) if these people weren't there due to the close family relationship they had.

This was one of the last few straws that lead to a cut. To say the process was unpleasant would be a horrendous understatement. I had counselling for almost a year.

I understand how sticky and tense this situation must feel, and how it can be awful to accept that maybe, no matter what you do, someone will be upset. If that is how it turns out, then please just remember: this is your engagement. Of all the events in life, this is one of the few where you don't have to feel guilty about not doing something that makes you understandably uncomfortable.

Hortense understands how her husband is. Depending on how close you are to her, could you ask her in person if she'd be offended or unable to attend if you didn't invite lecherous Hector as well as her? If she was fine with it, then you'd make your parents and yourself happy.

If your relationship isn't one where this would be feasible, then don't invite them. Part of being a unit with someone else is taking what comes with it. "For better or worse" and all that, if you like. I'm sure Hortense is lovely, but you won't be able to relax during your own celebration if Hector comes along and leers or makes sexual passes at children.

Moreover: the whole point of being a good hostess is doing what is best for your guests. Inviting Hector hardly fits the bill here. It would be a far better thing, hostess-wise, to not invite someone who will upset half the guests and make disgusting, sexual comments at young girls who should never, ever be subjected to such a thing. Allowing this would not be the mark of a good hostess at all.

If somehow not inviting the couple isn't possible either, then you might have to scale back the event, sadly. Unless you feel that having Hector harass your guests is a better option, which I don't.

lellah

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Re: Do I have to invite _him_?
« Reply #82 on: September 09, 2013, 11:26:57 PM »
This hits very close to home for me.

I was assaulted two years ago. When DH and I told my parents we were engaged some time later, they insisted that I invite the responsible parties to the wedding. That was, I'm sure you'll understand, not at all negotiable. But, from their point of view, it would look bad (small town and all) if these people weren't there due to the close family relationship they had.

This was one of the last few straws that lead to a cut. To say the process was unpleasant would be a horrendous understatement. I had counselling for almost a year.

I understand how sticky and tense this situation must feel, and how it can be awful to accept that maybe, no matter what you do, someone will be upset. If that is how it turns out, then please just remember: this is your engagement. Of all the events in life, this is one of the few where you don't have to feel guilty about not doing something that makes you understandably uncomfortable.

Hortense understands how her husband is. Depending on how close you are to her, could you ask her in person if she'd be offended or unable to attend if you didn't invite lecherous Hector as well as her? If she was fine with it, then you'd make your parents and yourself happy.

If your relationship isn't one where this would be feasible, then don't invite them. Part of being a unit with someone else is taking what comes with it. "For better or worse" and all that, if you like. I'm sure Hortense is lovely, but you won't be able to relax during your own celebration if Hector comes along and leers or makes sexual passes at children.

Moreover: the whole point of being a good hostess is doing what is best for your guests. Inviting Hector hardly fits the bill here. It would be a far better thing, hostess-wise, to not invite someone who will upset half the guests and make disgusting, sexual comments at young girls who should never, ever be subjected to such a thing. Allowing this would not be the mark of a good hostess at all.

If somehow not inviting the couple isn't possible either, then you might have to scale back the event, sadly. Unless you feel that having Hector harass your guests is a better option, which I don't.

I'm so, so terribly sorry you went through this.  You deserve so much better than the way you've been treated.  I hope you're in a very good, supportive, beautifully loving place now. 

Thank you for sharing this and for providing the sort of "tipping point" advice here. 

(also, thanks everyone else.)

Danika

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Re: Do I have to invite _him_?
« Reply #83 on: September 10, 2013, 01:43:05 AM »
My mother has many siblings. When DH and I were planning our wedding, I decided that there were two siblings of my mother's that I did not want to invite to the wedding.

One uncle had hit his adult daughter in front of her two children. An aunt had a history of being mean and rude to me. I had witnessed her say very mean things to my cousin (also her niece) at my cousin's wedding just before the ceremony was to start.

Ironically, the best advice that I got about this was from an exboyfriend who I have remained friends with. He told me "Weddings are already very stressful times, by nature. Why add stress to it by inviting someone you don't like who will add more stress?"

This is your and your fiance's event. It's about you two. You, ultimately, choose the guest list. And if someone else is throwing/hosting the party and the money comes with strings attached, I encourage you to reject the offer of the strings/cash and not allow them to host if they're going to try to force you to have guests at an event who are going to be negative and take away from the event, rather than attend to support you.

However you go about making sure that Hector is not invited, and does not show up uninvited, is a better decision than allowing him to come.

ETA: I have never ever regretted not inviting those two siblings of my mother's. It was the beginning of my nice, shiny spine.
« Last Edit: September 10, 2013, 01:45:20 AM by Danika »

VorFemme

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Re: Do I have to invite _him_?
« Reply #84 on: September 10, 2013, 10:06:08 AM »
Hector is the owner of the business that employs many of the town's people?  Um - so not inviting him could be Professional Darwinism if your parents aren't retired yet.....  Inviting him could cause other issues (mental, social, etc.).

That does...complicate things a bit.

Is there any time of the year when Hector goes off by himself - doctor appointment at the Mayo Clinic, convention in Las Vegas, etc. that Hortense can stay home instead and the party can be set up at that time?  Or would this be important enough for him to reschedule around the engagement party?

Doing a "women only" thing might be the only way to avoid having him there without causing social and potentially, other, issues for the OP's parents.....
Let sleeping dragons be.......morning breath......need I say more?

Venus193

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Re: Do I have to invite _him_?
« Reply #85 on: September 10, 2013, 10:11:48 AM »
There is also the possibility that one person taking a stand could help everyone else realize acknowledge that Hector is a menace and make him an outcast.  On the chance that he owns a business that employs a lot of these people he can't fire his entire payroll.


gramma dishes

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Re: Do I have to invite _him_?
« Reply #86 on: September 10, 2013, 10:15:26 AM »
There is also the possibility that one person taking a stand could help everyone else realize acknowledge that Hector is a menace and make him an outcast.  On the chance that he owns a business that employs a lot of these people he can't fire his entire payroll.

Actually, with the economy such as it is coupled with the fact that it's a rather small town, he could probably do exactly that.  There would be a lot of people who would never go along with rejecting him in any way because their job is too important to them and other work is simply not available. 

Even if he fired every single solitary employee, I have no doubt that a neighboring community would have people lined up around the block to fill those now vacant positions.

Venus193

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Re: Do I have to invite _him_?
« Reply #87 on: September 10, 2013, 10:22:26 AM »
Before we go nuts on this kind of speculation I think we should wait for an update from lellah.  I refuse to believe that nothing can be done about someone like this.

blarg314

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Re: Do I have to invite _him_?
« Reply #88 on: September 10, 2013, 10:46:16 PM »
Before we go nuts on this kind of speculation I think we should wait for an update from lellah.  I refuse to believe that nothing can be done about someone like this.

Oh, you definitely *can* do something about people like this.

The problem is that quite often people don't really want to. The other problem is that when you stand up to someone who is used to treating people badly and getting away with it, there can be unpleasant consequences that you have to accept as part of the price of doing so.

PastryGoddess

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Re: Do I have to invite _him_?
« Reply #89 on: September 10, 2013, 10:59:31 PM »
Before we go nuts on this kind of speculation I think we should wait for an update from lellah.  I refuse to believe that nothing can be done about someone like this.

Oh, you definitely *can* do something about people like this.

The problem is that quite often people don't really want to. The other problem is that when you stand up to someone who is used to treating people badly and getting away with it, there can be unpleasant consequences that you have to accept as part of the price of doing so.


And it wouldn't be OP, but her parents who would suffer the brunt of the consequences.