If you talk to ANY woman or girl you know she'll have at least a couple (to say the least) stories about sexual harassment that happened to her.
For those who say sexual harassment isn't that big of a deal - you've obviously never been sexually harassed, because if you have been you would know that it's a direct attack on your person.
Before I get into my own experiences with sexual harassment, I have to address the guys who are going to complain about how I didn't mentioned them being harassed. Guys: if you've been harassed I encourage you to write your own article about your experiences! You'll find an audience in me as well.
But this article is about women, their everyday experiences with sexual harassment and my own experiences throughout the years.
Whether you've been shouted obscene, sexually explicit content, been groped on the subway, been asked for sex in exchange for a job opportunity, it's all the same - sexual harassment.
Sexual harassment that women suffer from men is more often than not due to a crisis in masculinity and a thirst for some kind of power and a desire to feel superior, even if it is achieved with such crude and undignified behavior and, more often than we'd care to admit, explicit sexual assault.
Does it ONLY count if you've done it to many women or does it also count if you've done it to one women once? I think we can all agree the latter is correct!
First off, when it comes to my experiences, I've been quite lucky. Of quite a few of these disturbing instances, I've always somehow gotten out unscathed! And I am thankful every day for it!
One of the first stories I can recall is when I was little, going to elementary school, a man around 40 years old used to ride the bus whenever the school was in session (school buses don't exist in my country). He'd come behind little girls, me as well, and push himself against our backpacks and wouldn't let us leave the bus. I was lucky because one of the older couples on the bus took my hand and escorted me out of the bus before my stop. I remembered the man and knew how to avoid him ever since.
One of my next stories is a typical one, one almost all women can connect to and say "Me Too - I've experienced the same thing"...
Once, when I was going to work using public transportation I felt a hand touching my bum. Obviously, I though it was a mistake because of the crowded bus, but when the man pressed himself up against me and squeezed my bum, that's when I knew for SURE that was no mistake and I felt horrified!
After turning around I saw he must've been around 35. Looking at this man straight in the eyes, I realized he was grinning...and knew it was just another day, another woman's personal space and body violated.
One of the most recent instances happened just the other day around noon when I was walking to the store.
I was in the super market getting groceries. I was wheeling quite a heavy cart around hoping to get some tomatoes before they were all out of season when an old man approached me. He was wearing a tight pair of jeans and a blazer which was, quite frankly, meant for someone at least 30 years younger than he was. He asked me are the paper towels I got in my cart any good. I say yes, obviously... (why else would I get them) and I thought that would be that. He, however, took my response as an invitation to ask me personal questions and to comment on my looks - my face and my body. He said I looked beautiful and would I mind if he called me 'Beautiful'. I said that I very much would mind, that it's inappropriate and if he'll excuse me I have other errands to run. His old hand held on to my cart and wouldn't let me leave. I considered just leaving all of those things and just getting out of there, but I wasn't quite yet panicked enough, so I decided I might just reason with him to leave me alone. He asked me would I go for coffee with him or maybe a beer. I said I had a lot of work to do and couldn't, nor am I particularly interested either. He didn't look offended, he just kept pushing. He came closer to me and grabbed my arm squeezing it pretty tightly. I let go of the cart and ripped my hand from his, speedily walking away. He kept following me, so I though it best not to leave the super market but inform a worker there of the incident. The register was packed and I didn't see any other workers but the ones behind the cash registers, so I hurried there. I didn't want to look panicked so I didn't run. I just stood in line of the cash register between two people who were there hoping the old man couldn't see me. When I came up to the employee I warned him about the old man and the employee called one of the other workers of the store to check things out while the third employee escorted me out. I don't know what happened after that, but I know I'm not the first, nor the last woman on that old man's list...and I'm afraid not all women are as lucky as I.
If you're a feminist (in the true, egalitarian, sense of the word) you're more than aware of the little run of small cruelties and humiliations that women all experience! By Emma Thompson
I am 100% that 100% of women have experienced something like this in their lives. All of them have at least one story to tell, but more likely, the number of experiences vary, but they're never zero...
When will come a time when a woman can feel secure walking home from work at night? Not just at night, but at any time of day!? When will women be able to do all the things that they should feel free and safe to do no matter the time of day or the clothing they wear?
No, it really doesn't matter what your intentions were, no it really doesn't matter whether you were going for a laugh or you seriously just wanted to terrify the woman standing in front of you. No, it doesn't matter if you wanted to feel power over a person weaker than you, it doesn't matter if you had a bad day, it doesn't matter if you were harassed too when you were a child. There is no excuse for this behavior and it has to stop!
I am, must admit, very vigilant in my everyday life and I strive to keep my eye on the kids on buses to speak out and intervene if something is happening that shouldn't be. I think the world would be a better place if we all did that for one another.
The more women report these things, the more people get involved, the safer the world will be from sexual predators!
Silence in these instances won't help the bottom line, it'll promote the agony, promote the unhealthy behaviors. Turning a blind eye is a thoroughly harmful notion, your eyes and the eyes of all those around you should be wide open and their mouths ready to speak out!
The only way to beat this is by saying something - if you SEE something, SAY something!