Sexual harassment isn’t an easy topic to write about, as in all seriousness it can be very triggering and upsetting for victims. The most powerful man in the world thinks its perfectly acceptable to “grab a woman by the pussy”. The saddest thing about this is, the majority of people accept behaviour such as this example to be the norm. As a society, in general we seem to have become completely numb to sexual harassment and assault. I’m here to tell you today that it is NOT acceptable, sexual harassment & assault SHOULDN’T be the norm and I’m going to share a few of my own personal experiences.
Due to campaigns such as the Me Too Movement (#MeToo), women are speaking about sexual harassment more often. Everyone (men included!) seems to be speaking out about their own experiences. #MeToo is a movement against sexual harassment and assault. In October 2017, #MeToo spread virally as a hashtag used on social media platforms, with people coming forward about their own experiences of sexual harassment, especially in the work place. I personally believe the movement has helped to raise a lot of awareness. The porn industry in particular have backed the Me Too Movement, as many adult performers (both men and women) have spoken out about their own experiences with sexual assault whilst on set.
Following on from the movement, there has been a lot of discussion in the role men have. Men are sharing their own experiences, showing that it can happen to anyone. Men have also been encouraged to speak up and challenge any bad behaviour when they see it, or at least quietly pay attention to what is happening so you can report what you have witnessed.
Dating can be such a scary experience. It should be fun and everyone should feel safe, but sometimes that isn’t the case. Think about what exactly it is you are looking for. Are you looking for a bit of fun, with no serious commitments or are you looking to be exclusive with someone and be committed to each other? Depending on your preferences, research adult dating sites, same sex dating or location based dating and make sure it is right for you. Always be safe, no matter what kind of relationships you are searching for.
I have personally experienced and witnessed sexual harassment many times throughout my life. On many occasions I have been on a night out in a packed, busy club and men have put their hand up my dress as they were walking by me. What gives these people the right to touch me? When I used to work as a night club photographer in my first year at university, I would be wearing the company tshirt, some trousers/shorts and tights. On so many occasions I would be walking to & from my shift, cars would pull up beside me and men would try convince me to get in with them. Looking back, I’m lucky they didn’t try to grab me or take me and it was a scary experience.
I have been followed home. I have been groped in public by strangers. I have experienced sexism in the work place, deemed not good enough to do a specific job/task because of my gender. If my 11 year old cousin came to me and said someone had made unwanted contact with her, I would be angry and I would do my hardest to bring them down. If she told me her date felt it was right to kiss her because they bought her dinner, I would be furious.
We need to speak up. We need to spark discussions and healthy debates. We need to share our own experiences on sexual harassment with others. We need to notice when someone is gaslighting their victim(s). I know it is easier said than done, but if you ever feel unsafe or uneasy in ANY situation, please speak up. We need to re-educate society as a whole on sexual harassment and the fact it should definitely NOT be the norm.