80 Percent of Female Restaurant Workers Say They’ve Been Harassed by Customers ~ Headline on sexual harassment article
Wednesday, late afternoon. Sunny and 81 degrees.
I came across this article in The Telegraph the other day and have been holding it, trying to decide how to approach it. I’ve finally decided that the best approach is the direct one: I’m posting the first half of the article with a link to the complete copy instead of just summarizing it.
Look, just from recent conversations with Corey it has been hammered home to me that the whole idea of sexual politics, sexual assault, sexual harassment will always be viewed differently by the sexes. Men can relate, but they cannot understand, not as a woman. And women can understand how precarious it is for men to be out there, walking on proverbial eggshells, but we may not sympathize.
While some men (most?) see catcalls as being flattering, most women (some?) find them anything but. Just because I put on something nice and I’m walking down this sidewalk, it doesn’t mean that I want complete strangers to hoot at me and tell me how they want to bend my body in weird ways. I didn’t get dressed with your approval in mind, and your admonition that I would look so much better if I smiled doesn’t matter one iota to me, and frankly, did I tell you that your polyester striped tie with the egg stain would look so much better in the trash?
Since I was a teenager I have walked to my car with my keys in my hand, parked beneath street lights whenever possible, etc. I know not to park between two vans or in a blind spot. Ask a male if he ever thinks about holding his keys as weapons in his hand. Ask a man if he ever wonders if someone is going to jump out from a dense hedge and attack him. Ask a man if his father ever gave him pepper spray as a gift.
Conversely, what happens to the guy who is just doing his job, who has a female co-worker come on to him, and that same guy refuses her. What is his recourse when she reports him for harassment? Will the supervisor believe the man or the woman?
It’s all far too complex to whittle it down to a few pat phrases or to tackle in just one post. I could dedicate a blog to this topic, and there are countless ones out there already (take a look at just this one page of the Huffington Post on sexual harassment). I mean, just consider a few key news items from the past few months involving the NFL, American Apparel, the military, Congress, Tinder, Yahoo, and on and on and on . . .
I just know that I can never sleep with my doors unlocked or my windows open, at least not here, and maybe not anywhere. I’ve witnessed it. I’ve known women who have been victims of it, and I’ve been a victim, too—a victim of the groping and the hooting, the unwanted touches and the leers.
We tell our daughters just to ignore it, to be safe, to be aware. But what do we tell our sons?
Woman vows to confront ‘cowards’ after being punched for challenging groper ~ The Telegraph (27 August 2014)
Mary Brandon was left with horrific facial injuries after a man punched her in the face because she told him to stop groping her
By Claire Carter
A woman who needed hospital treatment because a man punched her in the face after she told him to stop groping her has vowed not to let threats of violence stop her challenging sexual assaults.
Mary Brandon was dancing with friends when her bottom was groped by the man at Notting Hill Carnival in west London during the Bank Holiday weekend.
But when she told the man to stop and not repeat what he was doing, he punched her in the face with such force she had to be taken to hospital and was left with a swollen face and painful bruising.
The 22-year-old has shared images of her injuries on Facebook and claimed she would be punched again rather than let the “coward” get away with it. The image has been shared thousands of times.
Ms Brandon has thanked the NHS nurses and carnival officials who helped her on Monday after the attack.
She has also posted a message criticising her attacker and his sexist violence next to the photo. She described him groping her and said when she asked him to stop, he did the same again.
“I pushed him away, exercising my right to tell man to stop touching my body without permission, so he took a swing at me and punched me in the face,” she wrote.
The graphic image showed her right eye bloodied and bulging, with bruising across her face, which needed treatment at the carnival and in hospital.
She added: “Carnival is supposed to be about community and good vibes.
“I wanted to have a good time but instead I spent nine hours in A&E because of this coward.
“A woman should be able to leave the house without fear of being sexually assaulted.
“And she should be able to defend herself without being put in hospital.
“The saddest this about this for me was discussing with my friends afterward whether in future it would be best not to do anything at all.
“Maybe it would be safer to just ignore it when someone invades your space and body.”
Police said there were a number of assaults and sexual assaults reported to have taken place at the carnival.
Ms Brandon added: “I can honestly say I will always stand up to someone who thinks they can get away with this behaviour and I would take a punch again from this loser or any other loser who thinks it is ok to treat women like this.”
Read the rest of the article here.
“Wednesday” by Olivia Cole