DEAR HARRIETTE: I have a fairly large plot of land, so I employ gardeners and landscapers to help me keep it presentable. I tend to my personal vegetable garden, but the grass, bushes and flowers are cared by a group of workers from Central America.
Recently, I witnessed my gardeners catcalling women from my property a few days ago. I don't speak or understand Spanish, but I saw that they were whistling and clearly making the woman walking on the sidewalk uncomfortable. I was home alone, and I totally froze. My wife would be furious if the neighborhood knew we employed men who made women feel uncomfortable just for walking. How do I stop this behavior? I did some research and found it is more common in Latin American culture to publically admire women. I do not condone this, especially from paid employees. -- Whistling Stops Now, Greenwich, Connecticut
DEAR WHISTLING STOPS NOW: This is a thorny situation, exacerbated by the language barrier and potential cultural difference. Best-case scenario, you should find someone who is fluent in Spanish who can serve as a translator for you. (It would probably be best if your translator were a man.) If you find someone, explain the situation and ask him to translate for you as you explain that calling out to women while working on your property is forbidden. Make sure you describe what you saw with your own eyes, including the way that the women reacted. Tell the men that you appreciate their work, but you need them to refrain from such commentary. That could be enough, especially if you have a good translator.