Hotel privacy

In which I find myself in rare agreement with Megan Mcardle:

I travel a lot, and I’ve had housekeepers walk in on me in various states of undress, especially in hotels with turndown service (yes, yes, now that I’m a more seasoned traveler, I try to engage the chain or the deadbolt before I undress). Not a big deal for me, but I’m sure it could happen to a male traveler perfectly innocently. So could a wardrobe malfunction–the robes in many hotels are not exactly overgenerous, especially for the burgeoning middle-aged physique of a chairborne warrior.

Just last month, I was traveling and staying in a hotel. Despite the fact that I had not checked out yet, the door was locked, and checkout was not for another two hours, I heard housekeeping fumbling with the door as I stepped out of the bathroom fresh from a shower.

And even though I twice called out that I was in the room, the woman unlocked the door, opened it, and walked in on me, before apologizing and retreating in some disarray. I thought nothing of it at the time, but I have no doubt that had I been the one entering the locked room, many women would have considered it a case of sexual harassment and near rape. Especially since there was no “do not disturb” sign on the exterior doorknob.

“The door was locked… I even told him TWICE that the room was occupied, but he INSISTED on entering!”

I’m not attempting to defend DSK’s actions in any way, shape, or form, but it is downright ridiculous to insist that it is the women who are entering locked rooms are somehow the victims of the men they occasionally surprise. I’m not saying that there are no exhibitionists – male or female – staying at hotels whose behavior is objectionable, but I would be willing to be that the greater part of those who are surprised sans clothing are perfectly innocent hotel guests who are operating under the erroneous assumption that a locked door is sufficient to provide them with privacy.

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