Tag Archives: sexual harassment

eMarie

Went to a concert. Man in the crowd said to his friend, “man look at all the hot girls here.” Man then called out to me, “Hey baby….” I turned and as he leered at me as if he was raping me in his mind. I hurried off with no reply. I hoped he hadn’t followed me. I hoped I hadn’t made him angry.

Orla

Today on the tube I confronted a man who was sexually harassing a woman. The woman either didn’t know it was happening or was trying to ignore it (I’ve been there). She had her back to him. He was pressing himself up against her unnecessarily and I noticed when he moved to get out of someone’s way at a stop, he had boner. I thought, ‘oh dear, that poor guy got a boner from all this jostling around and the heat and pressing together of bodies etc.’ thinking he’d go press himself against the tube door to try to conceal it ’til it went down. But no, he went right back up against the woman, even adjusting his penis on the way, and pressed it right in to her ass. This was happening right in front of me, I just had to say something. I said to him I didn’t think he needed to stand so close to her. He acted all clueless and took out his headphones and started asking me what I was talking about. I said things like, ‘I think you know what I’m talking about and why I’m saying this’. I asked the girl did she know him, and she said ‘no’. Almost immediately, the guy to my left, who wasn’t with the other guy and I don’t think could have seen what happened, started bearing down on me telling me I was mental. And challenging me over and over, not letting me say anything. They were both much taller than me, I was in the middle of them, and they both just kept talking, saying things like ‘what are you on about?’, ‘what are you trying to say?’, ‘you’re mental’. I started to feel very intimidated by then and really lost my nerve. I didn’t want to embarrass the girl, I didn’t want to embarrass myself either to be honest by spelling it out. But I know now what I should have said. I should have said nice and loud and clear: YOU CANNOT RUB YOUR PENIS UP AGAINST PEOPLE WITHOUT THEIR PRIOR CONSENT, WHAT YOU DID IS SEXUAL HARASSMENT, AND DENYING IT AND TRYING TO INTIMIDATE ME SHOWS YOU FOR THE COWARD YOU ARE, KEEP YOUR PENIS TO YOURSELF! I didn’t say this of course, just went over it and over it in my head ’til I got home and logged on here. I feel like I need training of some sort to be able to stand my ground and find the right words in a situation like that. I was expecting him to deny it and maybe turn away from me, but not for the other guy out of nowhere to defend him, which just emboldened the perpetrator. Nobody else saw this, and the girl didn’t say anything. I was a packed rush hour Jubilee between London Bridge and Canada Water where I was glad to get off. A nice guy caught up with me afterwards and asked what happened, which I really appreciate as I was feeling quite rattled. He was horrified and had no idea what had gone on, but was just concerned for me as he saw those two guys bearing down on me. Not a nice experience, but I’m glad I spoke up. I’d like to be more resilient in the same situation in future. And find the right thing to say. I’m going to work on that.

Carina K

Four years ago, I was working as a “valeter” for a BMW Dealer in a small town in county Wexford. I had been working for them for four months when a manager started to call me “honey”. As I found it rather inappropriate in a work place, I asked him to call me by my name. Soon, a very arrogant, stuck-up person (another manager) showed up, and started to explain that here, in this country ladies are called like “Hon”, “Sweetheart” or whatever men want to call them, so he started to call me “Darling”. From that day on, this manager visited me regularly at work until he managed to got me to understand that it would have been much better for me to become his “Friend with benefits”, if I had wanted to keep my -otherwise- underpaid and hard physical job. I relied on this income as I was married and had a family, however, he (or the company who was backing him in his filthy blackmailing, and was covering his acts in every possible way) was never interested in my being married. They never accepted this as an excuse for not being a “Friend with benefits” of anyone. I just wanted to work, earn money and spend it on my family. I did not want any trouble. They were extremely happy with my work, so I calmed down a bit when a 20-year-old girl arrived to the company (I was 39) to participate in a 9-month Internship as a receptionist, and this manager had found another amusement for himself in the person of that girl. (Literally, they spent the whole day together, the company supplied them with enough time, car and fuel to travel to the next town where the girl lived so that they could have sex instead of being at work. I was happy with that because I thought, at least, I would be left alone.) The only thing I was not happy with was that when this girl went on holiday this manager came and started the harassment over again as he needed someone for sex. As I could observe it, he was literally “bathing” in the fame that he was a “fashionable womanizer” who could bother anyone unpunished as he was completely a beneficiary of nepotism at the company I worked for. Being famous for having more than one “Friend with benefits” simultaneously was his real enjoyment, rather than having sex with them. So, he often came and pretended in front of my colleagues that I was one of his “Friends with benefits”. I was warned for the second time that it was better not to fall out with that manager, so to save my job AND ONLY TO SAVE MY JOB!!! I slept with him for the second time. When his girlfriend returned from holiday, she was not even jealous of me when she heard the story of how his boyfriend had compensated himself when she was gone – which showed me the fact that how high expectations she might have had regarding being the girlfriend of an accomplished 40-year-old businessman. Probably, a job or a marriage had been promised to her. To make this story short, I could not take the harassment and humiliation anymore as he and the whole company objectified me as his spare sex-toy, so I quit my job. The most interesting part of it is that my reputation has been ruined, I could not get a job ever since I left them. No one will give me job here because nobody wants to piss them off by employing me. I am the one who lives with “stigma”, my life is broken, and I needed 4 years to recover and tell this story. I think this is some “form ” of rape when someone is blackmailed with their job. And the person, that committed it on me, had spent two years stalking me afterwards. I did not do anything wrong except I did not report his threatening messages like ” (I quote)…believe me you don`t want to fuck with me, or you will be sorry!…” to police at all. Thank you for reading my story, and …LADIES, LEARN YOUR LESSON OF IT!!!

Kelsey

My male friend tried to kiss me immediately after I told him I didn’t have feelings for him. He claimed he “misread the signals.” He continues to hug me for an uncomfortable amount of time, and puts his arm around me in public as if we’re dating.

Anna

On the underground train there where these two men who must be on their fifties, one of them sitting next to my friend. He suddenly sat up to sit in front of us and began to make some very rude sexual gestures. I showed him the middle finger and both of us (my friend and me) stood up to go to another compartment. Luckily they didn’t follow us to keep on attacking us.

Gwen

I was just having a funny snapchat convo with this boy in one of my classes about whether books were worthwhile or not and suddenly, after not saying anything for a while, he sends two words. suck me. I didn’t respond. I took a picture of it (not a screenshot, I used another device) and saved it so that I have proof. I am shaking at this point, in fact I’m still shaking now. I told my friend about it. I sent her the pictures I took, and she said “Haha. Ya. That’s funny.” Then she said she had to go. I said its not funny and asked if she had gotten them. The answer had apparently been yes. She said that “the last thing he had said was strange, but it was all really funny.” I suppose that could have been fair enough. The first part of the conversation had been funny. I asked her if she knew what suck me meant, because while I thought she did, she certainly wasn’t acting like it. She did know what it meant. I responded, “That’s not strange, that’s sexual harassment.” Because it was. She told me, “It’s fine. He’s a teenaged boy. That’s what they do.” I sent her a series of three texts after that. They read, “It’s not fine. They need to learn to control themselves. If they don’t now they never will.” “Next step, he’s older and hes yelling that at women across the street, maybe he’s even grabbing them or slapping their ass or something.” “There’s no excuse” She ended the conversation with “We can talk about this hilarious conversation tomorrow. I have to eat now. Bye.” and that was it. I felt violated and disgusting. Was I leading him on in any way? At all? I don’t think I was, but after this I dont feel sure. I was also disgusted and disappointed with how casually she treated it. It can’t just be treated as boys will be boys. It cant. If thats how we treat it then they could end up being a rapist, or at least sexually harassing women. It’s not okay, it’s never okay, and no age justifies it. This is how rape culture has affected people’s outlook on sexual harassment. This is not okay. This is never okay. I know I’m not the only one with a story like this. A lot of people have much worse stories. This needs to end. (I also posted this on tumblr)

13 yo girl, feeling helpless

In art last year, a boy in my class started lifting my skirt up. I told him to stop. He ignored me and continued. I asked him again and he still carried on doing it. After me telling him “stop” twice more he briefly touched my bum. His friends were laughing. I (stupidly) left the room crying as I felt so powerless and was unable to stop it. Now he always makes jokes about it, calling it “sexual attractions” and saying he “tripped”. I’m now really stressed out and paranoid about it happening again, never mind him joking about it constantly. I feel like an idiot for crying.

Meg

I’m 17, and this happened when I was 11 and in my first month of year 7. In my comprehensive school, the year 7s got to spend their P.E lessons swimming. What myself and a majority of the girls in the year did was we came into school with our bathers on underneath our school uniform, and then changed into our underwear we had in our P.E bags after the lesson. One day swimming was cancelled, so I decided to just keep my swimming costume on and leave my underwear in my bag. I had maths in the morning and had accidentally left my P.E bag in the classroom. I didn’t realise I was missing it until the end of the day, and as a nervous year 7, I rushed back to the maths block to collect it before my mum arrived. I knew the year 11s had maths in the afternoon, and I asked one of them if they had seen my bag in the classroom. They told me someone in the year 11 class had opened it and dumped the contents down the stairs. I went to the stairs where they were thrown and all I found was my pair of goggles lying on the steps. I was certain that someone had taken my underwear. I was hyperventilating, on the verge of a panic attack. I was a terrified 11-year-old in her first month of Comp who’s underwear had been stolen by a 16-year-old boy. Fortunately enough, my amazing maths teacher had collected all of my P.E bag and kit (minus the goggles) and had kept it with her in her room until I came to collect it. She was my true saviour that day. However, I have never felt as ashamed, embarrassed and violated as I did that day. Knowing that a majority of year 11 had seen my underwear and god knows who had held them or what they had done with them still makes me feel sick to my stomach now and makes me feel just as helpless and terrified as I did that day. I never told the school or my parent’s because I was a small girl, who was told that to survive in this kind of environment you had to draw as little attention to yourself as possible. I didn’t realise how much it ate up at me until I told my wonderful, strong friends today and they reacted with the anger of a thousand suns! It doesn’t cross my mind anywhere near as much as it used to, but I thought sharing this would help me clear it from my brain.

Maya

I work as a host on canal boats in my city. Sometimes we hire people from outside the company to help out or be a cook. Yesterday there was a cook I hadn’t seen before but I started working right away so when I spotted him my hands were full and I told him I’d be right back to properly introduce myself. Our interaction started of by him saying ‘A wink would be fine too’, following his words with a wink. This made me feel awkward, but I thought I’d let it pass because I had things to do and it was just like ‘oh okay’. Later on I was leaning out a window for a few minutes and when I ducked back to get back in, he was behind me suddenly. So I bumped by behind right into him. I said ‘Oh I’m sorry’ and he just went ‘Yeah, you kinda have to look out with a big butt like that’. At that point our guests were on board and I couldn’t start a scene but I did mention it to the guide and the captain who said that if he kept going, they’d make a point out of it. Anyway, the tour went on, everything was fine, I went upstairs to wash some of the last things and when I came back our guide told me she spent 5 minutes with him alone and he pretended to trip and fall so he could grab on to her. I mean???? So we both send an email and he won’t be hired again. TL;DR I got someone on the black list within 24 hours of harassing 2 of the crewmembers I wasn’t down for that

Louise

My boss, old enough to be my father tried it on with me- He’d comment in front of my male-strong team on my ‘weight loss’ and ‘how it made me beautiful and attractive’, he even said that I ‘had a good bum’. But he was old enough to be my dad, and I wasn’t interested. So his harassment turned nasty and personal- he obliterated my character within my young career and lost me a new position that was going to lead to a doctorate, all because he lied about ‘my character’. When I reported it to HR, they moved me from my team and put me in a lower paid position working unsociable hours- my former ‘team mates’ didn’t bother to stand up for me. After a Psychological referral, a suicide attempt and loss of over 5 stone due to lack of eating I attempted to take legal action- to no avail. Now i’m working a job paying minimum wage and have to start from scratch regarding my career. Turns out that a First Class Honours degree from one of the best unis is nothing in comparison to a sexism and vile male boss. He kept his job, sanity and dignity whilst he stripped me of mine for good fun.