12/15/12: St. Francis House doesn’t follow its own rules

by thiswinteralso

December 15, 2012

This isn’t a good picture, but you can still get the idea. It’s of the rules that are posted on the first floor of St. Francis House, a day shelter for men and women.

The first thing that it says on the list of rules is:

“Treat everyone with dignity and respect.”

Are coughing, sneezing, rubbing your nose and making other gestures at someone to imply “Your vagina smells” behavior which follow that rule?

What about the Wet Floor signs which are left out to imply “There’s so much fluid in your slutty vagina all the time that it gets all over the floor where people can slip on it?” Is that treating everyone with dignity and respect?

What about going out into the lunchroom as soon as someone gets there and wiping the tables around her or the one she’s at, to imply that she’s dirty? What about following her with a broom, or sweeping and mopping the stairs all the way up to the second floor and outside the room that has the women’s program as soon as she gets there, and then leaving a Wet Floor sign out on every landing of the stairs to imply the same thing? Is that treating someone with dignity and respect?

What about saying things around her that are references to her vagina, or to things that have happened to her that aren’t her fault and that she has publicly and for months said have hurt her? Is that treating someone with dignity and respect?

What about lying when someone objects to those things, and telling the person that nothing’s going on and that she’ll be in trouble if she continues to object to being treated that way? Is that treating her with dignity and respect?

What about telling her that she’s crazy when she truthfully tells you that you’re not telling the truth when you say that you aren’t doing any of those things on purpose or to imply what you and she both know they imply?

I have to treat everyone with dignity and respect no matter how someone treats me, is that what is meant by the rule? Other women have to do the same? If I refuse to accept the abuse, I’ll be prevented from accessing the services that St. Francis House provides. Is that treating me with dignity and respect, or is it gender harassment, discrimination, and bullying?

Another of the rules is:

“No sexual, racial or ethnic harassment.”

I don’t do those things. Can St. Francis House say the same?




Copyright L. Kochman, December 15, 2012 @ 12:41 p.m.