Today trending all over social media are posts discussing people’s experience with sexual harassment. We are to post ‘Me Too’ as our status along with ‘If all women and men who have been sexually harassed or assaulted wrote “Me Too” as a status, we might give people a sense of the magnitude of this issue.’ To spread awareness to this widely watered down and often ignored problem.
When I woke up this morning and saw these posts at first I felt a sense of sadness and anger. Sad and angry that this happens, daily, to so many women and men. Also, I felt a sense of disconnect because I, personally, haven’t been sexually assaulted. At least, what I thought had happened to me, wasn’t sexual assault. That could not be farther from the truth.
The overwhelming, awkward hugs from a really nice, but overly flirty guy at work. Just because he is nice, charming, and not bad to look at doesn’t make his overbearing gestures warranted. We often give grace in this situation because we know ‘they don’t mean harm’, ‘thats just how they are’, ‘they are just flirty’. We must stop allowing these excuses. The behavior makes others feel uncomfortable and that is never OK.
To the guy who was inappropriately touching him self while I was trying to help him by performing a medical procedure at work. I made excuses at first, almost ignoring what was happening. I felt like I had to still finish my job. He made me very uncomfortable and that is never OK.
To the guy who said flirty things to me even when I obviously wasn’t comfortable in the situation and he kept prying….its not OK.
I share this with you because, I too, have been a victim of sexual harassment. I have been placed in uncomfortable, unwanted situations. Harassment, sexual or not, doesn’t have a specific guideline or definition. Putting someone else in a situation that is uncomfortable for them is never OK and it never will be. We as a group have to band together, speak up, and share our stories. Coming forward is the only way we can make sure no one ever feels alone. We have to stand together and change this culture.
I urge you to share your stories. If you are not in a place to do so, please just share ME TOO. Reaching out sometimes is enough and you are not alone.
We have to stop this. This is how we stop it. Together.