MeToo

A

I worked for someone who was a rampant sexist. I did not understand that until he unleashed his behavior on me. It started with comments about my appearance and staring at my breasts. Then it went on to him brushing up against my breasts and touching my legs and telling me he wanted to make out with me. He even told me about what his sex life was like at home. When I didn’t concede or act on his advances he got angry and started taking away my job duties. When I feared that his retaliation would cost me my job I knew I had to speak up. The investigation was brutal. Not only did I have to rehash all the moments he had been completely inappropriate with me, but the burden of proof was on me. And since no one had seen or heard him behave this way towards me, my recounting of things was doubted and I was held under this microscope. It was humiliating the way every thing I had divulged was scrutinized and how my boss turned it around on me to make it seem like I had provoked it or I was really the one being inappropriate. The HR person was even a woman but she did not give me an ounce of compassion or empathy, instead I was treated like some one who just woke up one day and decided to go after some poor middle aged man’s job. I can’t give out my full real name because I ended up getting a lawyer and agreeing to settle out of court on this. This is what they do now, they’ll just throw a small amount of money at the issue and make it go away. Meanwhile the victim is left without a job and to pick up the pieces emotionally.

Rita Laufkoetter Stucky de Quay Rocha

So I have just been followed. He yelled things like “I wanna lick your pussy bitch”. And although I gave him the middle finger, he kept following us (me and a friend) into streets with less and less people. Afraid, we decided to get into the nearest bar and call for an uber – even though we were just 5 minutes by foot away from home. He still kept walking back and forth in front of the bar sending us “kisses” through the window. The bar was closing, but fortunately the two women working there were nice and understanding and helped us by allowing us to stay inside until our uber arrived. The uber came and we got home safe. Paris,France, 18/01/2019 at 1h3o in the morning

Maya

I am a 15 year old. Girls we need to speak out! I’m sure that we are ‘used’ to men looking at us as we walk along the street, people shouting things out of cars, a group of boys saying “give me your snapchat babe” as we walk past. I know that I now see this as ‘normal’ and that if a man doesn’t look at me when I’m out, then something is ‘wrong’. There was a boy in my class last year who wrote me incredible inappropriate notes, for example ‘Do you like horses? Because you can ride me all night’. Being a 14 year old girl, I felt that I couldn’t tell anyone because a) it was embarrassing b) because I would get labelled as a ‘slug’ a ‘slag’ or a ‘whore’ and c) because I would get told that I’m doing it for attention. I’ve had another boy in my class shout at me from across the road: “M___ is so fit!”. This was when I was sitting outside at a restaurant with my friend. Surrounded by people who all of a sudden had lost their ability to hear. I’ve even had my own Grandfather tell me that I’m looking good (and not in the way that one would expect). But I’m GOING TO work in a STEM based career, whether that’s as a doctor, designing medicinal drugs, or as an air traffic controller – all of which are careers which appeal to me. Please speak out girls. We can’t take this into the next generation. #MeToo

Jen Spence

I finished night shift and I’m having breakfast at camp. I’m sitting at a table with 4 guys from the crew. I’ve been sharing meals with them for days. 1 guy says when he was 18 yrs old, he slept with a 16 yr old. (Found out later they’ve been married now for 30 yrs or so). Another guy says, “Ooo a 16 yr old, that’d be nice but I’d do 20.” (Meaning he’d spend 20yrs in jail) A couple of the guys laughed, so that guy continues to talk shit. I can’t recall what else he said, because my ptsd is triggered. I refocus and I say, “hey do you know 1 in 3 girls will get harassed and go thru stuff like that?” He just awkwardly laughed and said something like, “ya well.” So I looked him in the eye and said, “do you have any daughters?” He said, “yes I have 3.” I said, “well there ya go. According to statistics one of your daughters will probably get sexually harassed, maybe to the point of rape.” He shakes his head no. I continue and say, “I hate to break the news to you but you better prepare yourself for that happening to one of your daughters”. He looked at me in shock and he got up and left the dining room. Wow, was he upset with me. I know by the look on his face that I got him thinking. I sure hope my education will change his behaviour for the better, so next time when he wants to talk like a pig that he will change his thoughts for the better. Change one’s thoughts, change one’s behaviour. I feel proud for sticking up for myself and all women. Who knows what’s going on in his mind; maybe 1 of his daughters have already been assaulted; maybe he’s assaulted woman or a child before; who knows. I sure hope he grows from this experience into being more mindful when he next speaks about women. A guy at the next table over heard the conversation, who by the way is a good guy, & he looked at me and smiled with pride for what I said. I wish THAT guy that got up and left had stayed because I wanted him to also know that the statistic for guys is 1 in 6. I work with a crew of about 45 guys and I am the only girl. I am 1 in 3. There must be at least 7 guys on his crew that have been sexually assaulted at some point in their lives too. May the creator send this guy love and light for hopefully he will become a better man from this point on. I am not going to let him bring me down, because I feel damn proud for my mindful speech and I will continue to have a happy Sunday. ??

Tamara

I was on the train this afternoon, with a friend minding our own business and chatting as per. Standing behind me (on a not very busy carriage) were a group of teenage boys. Ignoring their sneering at us, myself and my friend continued our conversation. It took a good few seconds for me to realise what it was that felt a bit strange. The guy standing behind me was stroking my bum. I know this is a sad reality and regular occurrence for many public transport goers. But this has never happened to me. And why should it? Out loud, I challenged this stranger in front of the crowd saying “this guy just touched me inappropriately and felt my bum”. 3 things : 1) I was shocked that no one batted an eyelid. Although tbh retrospectively I guess that’s fairly normal. 2. the stranger and his group of friends were all laughing and encouraging each other with inappropriate suggestions directed at me. Motivated by his “joker” friends or to prove his masculinity, he moved his way closer to us, trying to intimidate us. 3. If I were with a guy, they wouldn’t have dared touch me. Even though this group of “laddish” teens were significantly younger than myself, it didn’t stop me feeling extremely vulnerable. I wasn’t dressed provocatively (not that it would matter anyway), just in jeans and a coat to my thighs. The fact that he touched me where my coat covered, made me feel even more uncomfortable. The fact that these boys were laughing and without a care in the world that they had just made another person feel so uncomfortable, will probably never cross their mind again. And they will probably do that again to someone else undeserving of that feeling. I know most of you are fed up with all the sexual assault and harassment allegations that have been flooding the media. But it’s things like this. Young people and bystanders normalising this totally inappropriate and disgusting behaviour. Luckily I had my friend with me who told them what she thought of them- although it clearly didn’t make an impression on them as they responded with “choke me, choke me”. So I guess what I’m saying is that, we have to stop this epidemic of normalising sexual assault and what may seem like banter/jokes, could be really damaging to someone else. We have to carry on educating and raising awareness. Why can’t people be respectful to others? And why can’t others speak up when they witness something wrong?

L

I have been raped three times and managed to fight myself out from being attacked a fourth. I had only slept with women before the first time I was raped at 17 by a man. I was 22 the second (woman), and 24 the third (man). All three attacks came from people I knew well, and were either a past lover or friends of friends. Like too many of us, I blamed myself. The first and third attacks came while I was sleeping, and the second, while I was sharing a bed (non-sexual) with an ex going through a divorce. Although I tried to be vocal about what had happened, the people who pushed back the most or discredited what I was saying were my female friends. I have always found more support in my male friends. Yes- there is a huge issue with male aggressors, and everyday sexism found in ALL workplaces. But- for there to be change, we need ALL women to support each other too! Without this support we can’t make change – or end Disgusting headlines like this one from the Daily Mail: “Furious women reveal what they REALLY think about the #MeToo campaign in shocking confessions – as some blast it as ‘just an excuse to gain attention”

Big Four

I worked at a Big Four accounting and audit firm, and a partner invited my whole team out for drinks after work one evening. At the end of the evening, he cornered me and attacked me. He very forcefully tried to rape me, but I managed to escape before he could. I reported it to the company and the police. The police are investigating. There were no witnesses – he’s not stupid enough to attack a woman in front of other people. There’s no physical evidence of his attack because I stopped him before he could rape me. Ironic, isn’t it, that protecting myself from rape means the rapist can go free. The Big Four firm did a half-assed investigation and said it’s “he said, she said”, so they can’t take any disciplinary action against the partner. Then they let me go from my job. This is what happens in a male dominated industry, where partners are masters of their own domain and basically impossible to fire as they’re not technically employees. So who gets fired? The victim. Nice. Don’t believe a word when you read these Big Four companies talk about how female-friendly they are. It’s just good marketing.

Big Four

I worked at a Big Four accounting and audit firm, and a partner invited my whole team out for drinks after work one evening. At the end of the evening, he cornered me and attacked me. He very forcefully tried to rape me, but I managed to escape before he could. I reported it to the company and the police. The police are investigating. There were no witnesses – he’s not stupid enough to attack a woman in front of other people. There’s no physical evidence of his attack because I stopped him before he could rape me. Ironic, isn’t it, that protecting myself from rape means the rapist can go free. The Big Four firm did a half-assed investigation and said it’s “he said, she said”, so they can’t take any disciplinary action against the partner. Then they let me go from my job. This is what happens in a male dominated industry, where partners are masters of their own domain and basically impossible to fire as they’re not technically employees. So who gets fired? The victim. Nice. Don’t believe a word when you read these Big Four companies talk about how female-friendly they are. It’s just good marketing.

Marie

I’ve been molested by strange men in public and by a relative grabbing my breasts or kissing me on the mouth on several occasions and often times the situation took me so by surprise that I was powerless to respond. It was confusing and made me feel disgusted and disgusting. I was actually also molested by a woman in a bar – she was probably high – but nevertheless, also shocking and so surprised that I simply couldn’t respond. I freeze up. Did not ask for it; did not invite it. Was not dressed in any way that someone could slut shame me and blame me for provoking the attacks. These men ( and that one woman ) must simply have decided that it was within their right to violate me and that I have no right to expect them to respect any boundaries. Often times situations that were hopeless in terms of reporting the assault e.g. in a foreign country, and to be honest I don’t know if it is against the law for a man to grab a woman’s breasts uninvited. I think the police would just laugh. Not worth the trouble.

Canada Woman

I just finished Grade 11 in high school and I went on a date with the typical popular guy from a nearby town. He was smart, the quarterback, his family regularly attended church, and other girls also wanted to be with him. During our date he took me to his farm and things started to advance. He wanted to have sex and I told him that I was not ready, and that I wanted to wait. His response was “I have waited long enough”. I remember feeling froze and confused at this time and then he became frustrated and told me to just relax as he was now on top of me. I said no and stop, and tried to push him away, but it had no effect. I gave up and felt powerless. It took me over a year before I stopped blaming myself for what happened, as I thought I could have ran when I had the chance or spoke louder. The problem is not always with the stereotypical man. The problems are within our own communities with people that would be the most unexpected.