The country is at a defining moment. Somewhere close to half of all voters will cast a ballot for the nations first female president. Many of the remainder will choose the most misogynistic presidential nominee in modern American history. There is a depressing irony in the fact it was that Republican nominee himself who reminded everyone that there are plenty of men in power who use that power to humiliate, disparage, and demoralize women.
About a month ago, just after the release of a videotape in which Donald Trump boasted of sexually assaulting girls, Canadian author Kelly Oxford issued a call to action with a single tweet:” Females: tweet me your first assaults. They arent only stats. I’ll go first. Old man on city bus grabs my’ pussy’ and smiles at me. Im 12.”
By the end of the weekend more than 40 million people had visited Oxford’s Twitter page.” Honestly, I think we’ve all “was talkin about a” these things in private ,” she says.” Trump only took the conversation to a place where everyone heard it and could discuss on Twitter. There has never been anything like that before .”
In the weeks since, people have shared stories in Facebook posts, through Medium posts, and on Instagram and Snapchat. Two weeks ago, WIRED asked readers to share their stories of workplace harassment. We received close to 100 emails. We read them all, and determined them thoughtful, detailed, and heartbreaking. Readers scarcely into their teens told us about humiliating commentaries, inappropriate behavior, and sexual assault by their superiors. A woman in her 60 s said she’d endured harassment for more than half her life. Human, too, told harrowing stories of harassment.
” You seem good on your knees. That’s a good position for you .”
Instead he drove me to an empty car park and put his hand up my skirt.
She replied,” I think you brought it on yourself by asking them to stop. I won’t ask them to stop being guys .”
These things happened to lawyers and construction workers, waitresses and doctors, people in tech and people in HR. What Trump has helped induce stark and clear is that beyond the rampant harassment of women online, this quiet and pretty damn widespread thing has been happening IRL for a very long time.
He said,” Do you think I hired you because you’re smart ?”
” You like your health insurance? Don’t you ?” my boss asked. I nodded.” Don’t I take good care of you ?”
” He would stand in the doorway, so there was no way for me to get past him without physical contact no matter how I tried or asked him to move .”
As we wrote in our call for stories, borrowing from the Silicon Valley ethos of letting information is freely, WIRED believesshining a light on a festering topic like this can go a long way toward ensuring that the future for women is an optimistic one.
He told me, on several occasions, that he wanted to take me back to his apartment and “violate” me .
Men induce commentaries to me I would not dream of telling to a man in a professional setting.
The shame and shame are still there, but worn down like a rock without the sharp edges anymore.
Oxford also is hopeful that things will change.” I think this is one of the greatest uses of the internet. Im grateful for Twitter, as a platform, to get everyone out and talking. It is the only way we could have had a conversation this large. Maybe more people will discuss it now.
Indeed, they are. As WIRED prepared these emails for publication, humen in the office conveyed shock at how many girls experienced repeated incidents of harassment, and how many of those incidents started when the women were teen-agers–victimized by middle-aged aggressors. One young woman was surprised by the number of stories written by men who’d been harassed by men or women.
And one young novelist was dismayed by the pervasiveness of it all.” I was raised in San Francisco, and worked at a Jewish summer camp where God was referred to by the female pronoun ,” he said.” I always thought of sexual harassment as something that plagued other communities. When I moved in with my girlfriend, the stories shed tell me were hard to take. She explained that this is only a reality of being a woman, that these things happen. I was nave, which was both fortunate and unfair. It will be impossible to remain that style after this election .”
Here are 75 of the letters we received, edited for space.
You Have a Great Ass
When I was 16, I was working at a grocery store as a cashier. One day, as I was climbing a ladder to put up some signage, a director approached me and said ” I could watch you go up and and down that ladder the working day. You have a great ass !” He attained commentaries like that to me on a regular basis. I was merely in high school at the time, so it took me awhile, but I eventually reported it and he was fired.
Fear, Disgust, and a Profound Sense of Unfairness
Ive been following the US presidential campaign from Bogota, Colombia and I was outraged by the video of Donald Trump telling his position of power allows him to do anything he pleases to a woman. The night it was released I was trying to explain to my husband, beyond the obvious dislike, why those words were so offensive to every woman, everywhere, when I abruptly burst into tears; my words took me to every sexual harassment Ive ever experienced, especially at the workplace. It was one of the main reasons I abandoned successful careers in HR and academia to start over as an assistant, running from the security of my home.
Those experiences include the time I was locked in a superiors office so he could ask me to go out with him.( He was also the father of one of my college friends, so you can imagine how ashamed I was ). And the time a colleague asked me to remain late to finish something, only to be determined his true intention was to try to take me to dinner despite both of us being married. Then there was the bully-boss who would condescendingly refer to my looks when I tackled him:” such a pretty dame should( or should not) …”
The academic world wasnt any better. That was my biggest disappointmentsurrounded by highly educated academics, I expected to finally be safe. But there was the dean who belittled the women in his department to the wedded elder colleague, who was my boss, who would constantly give me” wet kiss” on my cheek and send “romantic” messages to my phone despite me having to present to him I did not consider those advances proper. All these encounters left me with dread, disgust, and a profound sense of unfairness.
I’ve Had So Many Moments Like These
I work in a hospital. These are stories about harassment by my coworkers, all at work, during the day, in the presence of multiple people: There is the young doctor who, while answering a question, operates his hand up and down my limb and the working day told me he has a foot fetish, that if he find women’s feet he loses itall while staring at my open-toed sandals. There was the very important( and wedded) doctor who repeatedly emailed me late at night from his work account to flirt with me and ask me out for coffee. Theres the female coworker who repeatedly grabs my ass in the hallway; the young doctor who only talked to me about my clothes, and my red hair( and showed me Youtube videos about gingers ). And the coworker who was a hands-sliding( down to my ass) hugger. Running back further, theres the professor who got drunk at local schools party and bit me on the shoulder. Like with most other women you’ll hear from, Ive had so many moments like these that Im sure Ive neglect many.
You Can Suck Them
I was doing an internship at a Tv production company. I was the only female in the writers room, and on my first day a script needed to be translated. When I was asked if I could do it, I replied that I could, as I was bilingual. One of the executive heads respond?” I have two cocks here, you are able to suck them .” Everybody chuckled while I only stood there looking horrified.
I Don’t Wear Skirts or Dresses Anymore
I work in tech. When I would stroll by a coworker he’d email me to tell me he liked my attire or that my legs appeared good. He was a top sales rep, and was subsequently sued by a female employee( I advised management but they ignored me ). But he’s still employed at the company.Then there was the time I was sitting down in a chair and( unbeknownst to me) the CEO put his hand on the chair so that I sat on it. And the former boss who once slapped my hobo. I was let goafterreporting it while he remained on in a director role. All of this is why I don’t wear skirts or attires anymore.
They Just Called Me’ Jugs’
I worked for a large medical testing companyonce in a subsistence call center and later as a programmer. The day all of us in the call center were laid off, I found out that most of the men working in the data center across the dorm never bothered to learn my name. They only called me’ Jugs.’
I Was Too Scared to Say Anything
I was 16 and my aunt got me a summer task at a title company in Los Angeles. One title officer who was probably in his 50′ s( and was married) would say things to me when nobody else was around. I was too young to know what to really induce of it. Once I was using a copy machine on his floor and he strolled by and said in a low voice,” Boy do I have a good view at my desk .” I was shocked. I was too scared to say something because I was worried that I would lose my first task and that I would induce my aunt look bad. That was 15 years ago, and I will never forget his face and how uncomfortable he made me feel.
He’d Been Snooping On Me
I was working for a vice president and associate VP at a major university. One day the associate asked me to change my hours and come in at 7:00 am every day so I did. We were both there for an hour before anyone else got to work. He began to tell me how his wife didn’t do anything for him, then he told me she didn’t satisfy him sexually. He told me he had a foot fetish and he liked my feet. He would ask me to drive him places and once put his hand on my leg and asked what I would do if he ran his hand up my leg. I picked his hand up and moved it while telling,” I would tell you not to do that .” To which he replied,” Well, you hurt my feelings .”
We had to go on a trip which involved a hotel stay and he kept receiving excuses for me to come to his room. That night he told me he was a sex addict, and I told him I was going back to my room and not to call me again. The next day he apologized, but once he realise I wasn’t going to report him or sleep with him he turned against me and attained my life miserable for the next two years. We eventually got a new vice president who alleviated him of his duties. I didn’t report it because I knew I would be the one to get moved to a lower department somewhere and he would just get a warning.
Years later he divorced his wife, who was a lovely lady and she and I got to talking. We started putting things together and realise he had actually been spying on me from the plenty behind my house.
Pinching And Slapping My Ass
When I was 16 years old I got my first real task flipping burgers at a local fast food chain. One of my co-workers( who I hardly knew) would flirt with me by sneaking up behind me and pinching or slapping my ass. I was a new employee, and inexperienced. All I knew was that it was uncomfortable and embarrassing. I never challenged the pincher, or reported the harassment to my boss because both the pincher and my director were women. I am a man.
He Cornered Me In the Elevator
From the first day at a new job, a married coworker started hitting on me. He sent sexual innuendos in email, would linger in my office, and wink at me in passing. When I’d had enough, I turned him down. A week later he cornered me in the elevator and tried to kiss me. I reported him but nothing was done other than moving me to another part of the office. For two years he found ways to touch me and stare at me with intimidating looks. I felt alone because of how my office handled it( or absence thereof ). It merely stopped when I moved to another state.
I Was Afraid of Losing My Job
When I was 20, I went to work at my first office task at a apparel manufacturer/ importer. The warehouse director would constantly talk about my big boobs. He asked me if my back hurt from carrying them around, stared all the time, and it all made me very uncomfortable. I did not say anything to my boss because my director had only been there a short time and the warehouse director had been there for many years. I was afraid of losing my job, which I needed. It was a very small company so when I got married, I put an invitation to my wedding reception on the bulletin board for my friends, and sure enough he proved up with several other coworkers. He came up to me and said,” I guess a blow-job is out of the question .” I couldn’t believe it!
I Still Cringe When I Guess About It
I worked at a company for nine years. About a year before I left, I was outside directing a delivery guy where to take a shipment. It was the last day of work for one of our male employees who had gotten a new job. He was in his 50 s. He came outside to say goodbye. But he did so by coming up behind me, and putting his mouth so close to my ear that I could feel his mustache hairs and his hot breath. He whispered,” you have one of the nicest asses I’ve ever seen .” I chuckled it off and nervously and told him to get out of here. I went into the Human Resources office and told them what happened but I knew there was nothing that could be done. He knew that too. He waited until his last day. His final paycheck signed. No possibilities for penalty. I still cringe when I think about it.
He Asked Me Not to Tell Anyone
When I was 21, my superintendent emailed me to ask me if I’d ever posted nude photos online. He said he’d seen a girl who looked like me and thought he’d ask since I seemed like a “free spirit.” When I said no, he asked me not to tell anyone he’d asked, devoted this was a” sensitive situation” for him.
Every Day I Ran I Was Sexually Harassed
This past spring, I began working at a golf course in Florida. All the locker room Trump he must have been referring to had to have been the kind of talk that occurs in the men’s locker room/ lounge, where filthy rich, entitled country club go-ers chat about anything from each other’s spouses, to their gambling problems and so forth.
I wish that I could say that I was astounded when I heard specific comments he has attained, but honestly I wasn’t. The entire country club felt like I was in a real life Wolf of Wall Street, debauchery and sleaziness everywhere.
I worked at the golf course as a cart girl, driving around to each group and providing snacks and drinkings to players. During my educate I heard many stories, one including with regard to that stuck out to me when I heard the videotape of Trump saying he” grab[ bed] her by the p *** y .” A girl hired to do the same task as me had been training for a week when one of the men from an older group of gentlemen put his hand underneath her tennis skirt( part of our uniform ). He then dedicated her $20 and told her to forget about it. This man was merely suspended for a week, despite his wife and everybody else at the club finding out about it.
Every single day I worked at this golf course I was sexually harassed by either members, my superiors, or my coworkers. One director thought it was cute to flirt with me, always coming up behind megrabbing me to surprise me, stimulating lewd conversation about me in front of others.
I would have liked to say I had a thick skin from my previous work in the restaurant industry, but I was misstep. There was the never ending slew of “pet names” that mostly older humen think they can get away with( sweetheart, babe, honey, darling, etc .). As a woman who has been sexually assaulted, I was infuriated upon hearing Trump’s commentsall of them not just the most recent.
An Indecent Proposal
At one task, after I did a educate session for the entire department, a coworker felt the need to call me at my desk and ask if I would have been able to give the training if he bent me over the podium and fucked me from behind.
He Squeezed My Butt Hard, Then Winked
Age 17, I worked at the Student Health Center at a university in California as part of my financial aid packet. One day the medical director came into the room where a nurse was teaching me how to use the autoclave.The nurse stepped out, and the medical director appeared me in the eye, reached around behind me and squeezed my butt hard, then winked and strolled out. I had been violently raped by a close friend the year before. I was frozen. The nurse is coming in. Maybe three minutes destroyed my first semester .( I wonder what gender people imagine each of us in this incident are .)
Do You Guess I Hired You Because You’re Smart?
The investors at a company where I worked were always flirting with me. Some attained inappropriate commentaries. I presumed it was part of the job. One day an investor put his hand down the back of my pants on my ass, in my underwear. I was shocked. I was stunned. I was mortified. I went to my boss and told him. He smiled. Then he said,” Do you think I hired you because you’re smart ?” I said nothing. I was dressed in tight jeans and heels. A low cut shirt. Surely I brought this on myself. I was supposed to like this, right?” You like your health insurance? Don’t you ?” My boss asked. I nodded.” Don’t I take good care of you ?” I nodded. I walked away in shame and confusion.” This is who I am” is what I thoughtas I went back to work.
I Tried to Never Be Alone Near Him
In the first couple of weeks of starting my first office task, a guy started to be very friendly, offering to help carry heavy items, holding the door, telling me I was doing a great job. This progressed to hugs, and unwanted physical contact. He would grab my limb and hold me close, whispering in my ear how he guessed I appeared fairly that day, and kissing me without permission. He would come up behind me, trapping me against a counter, style too close, and tell me about how he wanted to go on a vacation to Italy and would I like to go with him? I would say No, thank you and try to get away. Whenever he held a doorway open for me, he would stand in the doorway, so there was no way for me to get past him without physical contact no matter how I tried or asked him to move. I tried to never be alone near him, but the nature of my job attained that nearly impossible. After four months, person find him trap me against a counter and they reported itbecause he had done something similar to them once, a year before.
I Lived With the Guilt
The harassment started within the first couple of weeks. One of the guys was very friendly toward me, always offering to help carry heavy items, holding the door open, telling me I was doing a great job. I thought he was being nice, and appreciated his assistance. This attention progressed to hugs, and unwanted physical contact. He would grab my limb and hold me close, whispering in my ear about how he guessed I appeared fairly that day, and kissing me without permission. I would be trying to do my work and he would come up behind me, trapping me against a counter, and tell me about how he wanted to go on a vacation to Italy and would I like to go with him? I would say’ No, thank you’ and try to get away. After virtually four months, someone else find one of the incidents where he had me trapped against a counter, holding my limb tight, whispering in my ear, and they reported it — because he had done something similar to them once, too, a year before.
An investigation followed, and I expended an anxious several weeks retelling all the incidents of harassment to various people, who believed me or didn’t, to differing degrees. Thankfully there had been multiple witness; several people told me after they were sorry they hadn’t done anything sooner. I always insisted it wasn’t their defect, it was mine for not doing something sooner. Why didnt I initiate the investigation? Because the man was popular; I was new and in the lowest possible position. Because he and my boss’s boss went golfing together.
I lived with the remorse of having objective his career, his friendships, and who knows what else for far too long, instead of taking care of myself and moving on.
Show the Bartender a Little Something
When I graduated from college, I worked in a small office. Our CEO was a married man in his mid 50 s. He could be moody, but he was professional and respected at work. One weekend at a conference, “were in” both waiting at the bar for a drink. He appeared over at me and mimed pulling his shirt down to show his chest.” Show the bartender a little something and hell pour you a drink really quick ,” he chuckled. He was obviously drunk. My face instantly flushed.” Im not talking to you as your boss right now, OK? he said. At that same task, there was a man on our board of directors who often stared at me when I was presenting and looked at my breasts when I would talk with him one-on-one. He would hug me, and his hug lasted longer rather than to comfortable.
I Don’t Think People Understand
I think inappropriate commentaries happen on a daily basis but I only didn’t realize and for a very long time have thought it’s my fault. Often people will play it off as “banter” and will accuse you of beingtoo sensitive in a work environment. I’m also the youngest person at work so I often get taken advantage of in all aspects. After one of our work events, I was sitting with a few colleagues and clients. One client kept commenting on how my boobs /” tits” were out. He was drinking but that’s no excuse. This is an old man and I’m expected to be polite to clients. I then went to sit on another table where he continued to pester me and insult me considering my boobs in front of my colleagues and other clients.
This client has been banned thanks to intervention from a bystander. However, I don’t think people understand the feelings I go through replaying all these petroleum, crass statements in my head. How do I walk around without people thinking that I’m asking for it? What can I do so older humen, especially, don’t think they’re entitled to comment on my boobs simply because they’re shapely?
How Many Stories Can I Cram Into 300 Words?
Of course I have had unwanted sexual advances in the workplace. How many stories can I cram in 300 words? When I was 16, “the mens” whose children I babysat overnight tried forcing himself on me on his sofa. Afterwards he asked me to please join him in the bedroom and said I” didnt know what I was missing” when I declined. When I was 22 at my first real task, my parents drove 700 miles to ensure my new office and the owner dedicated them a tour with his hand on my ass the entire period. From about 2011 -2 014 I worked with a man who constantly attained sexual references, including asking me to come to its term of office to give him a birthday present. I did not encourage or want any of his comments or sexual attention. He was about 40 years older than me. Men induce commentaries to me I would not dream of telling to a man in a professional setting.
Trying to Get Me to Sleep With Him
We had hired a new assistant director at a food chain and it was clear from the start that he was interested in me. If he wasn’t joking around about cheating on his wife, he was trying to actually get me to sleep with him. My boyfriend happened to work with me during this time and the working day he came home really upset. When I asked him why he told me that he overheard the manager boasting about having sex with me. When I reported him to the regional general manager , nothing was done. A few weeks later he was trying to get my attention so he thought it would be funny to kick my knee. He objective up spraining it and I had to go to the hospital. Still he kept his task. A week after that, he screamed at a fellow employee for being late and got fired for that. Sexual harassment is not taken seriously.
The CEO Grabbed My Breast
I was 22 years old and at my first task as a full-time journalist. I worked at a mid-sized daily newspaper in Texas that was owned by a large publishing company. The Ceo and his entourage proved up one day while I was running. I noticed a mass migration of women off the editorial floor, but I was busy so I remain at my desk, running. The editor, managing editor, and publisher were making their style around the floor with the CEO, introducing him. Then they got to me. The editor-in-chief introduced me, and as I put my hand out for a handshake, the CEO reached out and grabbed my breast. No one said anything. No one even cringed. I had always thought that if it ever happened to me, I’d scream and raise hell, or slap the guy. But when it really happened, I was too scared. Too ashamed. Too disconcerted. That was 22 years ago. I am still embarrassed that I let him get away with it.
He Wanted to’ Violate’ Me
In my mid-2 0s I worked as a secretary at an all-inclusive resort in the Caribbean. My boss, the general manager, flirted with all the women; staff and guests alike. But he reserved special treatment for me. He had my boyfriend fired; instead of the standard 2-cheek kiss as a greeting, he often tried to catch my mouth; he would ask for hugs; he told me, on several occasions, in French in front of English-speaking guests, that he wanted to take me back to his apartment and “violate” me. When I wore a long dress on New Years Eve, he told me he preferred me in short attires so he could look at my legs. When I eventually determined myself unable to take any more, I reached out to HR, asking them to get me out of that hotel without telling the manager why. HR promptly called him and probably him with a copy of my letter. He explained to me that it was all” only a gag “; I should get a sense of humor. He kept me at that resort until the working day my passport expired, when I was ultimately allowed to leave. The irony of all of this is that when I was 15, I won a public speaking contest in high school. The topic? Sexual harassment. Now in my late 40 s, I can only guess that it was because I was scared of what could happen to me, in a foreign country, with no access to my passport, that I did nothing. I was happy to have a task in a beautiful locating, so I tried to ignore him but nothing would tear his attention from me. In the end, I left, never had to see him again. But I still would like to kick him in the balls.
I’ve Come to Expect My Path Is Running to Be Difficult
As a woman and minority in the sciences, I’ve come to expect that my track in life is just going to be difficult. I’ve gone to professional meetings, stepped into a room full of men, and been asked,” You know this is quantum mechanics, right ?”( Yes. I have a Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry, and I’m pretty sure that qualifies me to properly read a room number .)
An experience that still get under my skin years happened during an internship. If I said something that the manager liked or agreed with, he didn’t say ” great” or “sounds good.” He would point a finger-gun at me, wink, and click his tongue against his teeth. It was so uncomfortable. He didnt do this to other humen. Is it because I’m a woman? Is it because I’m an intern? Should I only expect to be treated this style if I work here?( Note: it took merely a split-second to somehow make this my fault .)
I’m in a much different place in my life now, a place where I’m a manager and I know that I don’t have to put up with any behavior that makes me uncomfortable. But, it took half a decade to realize that I could’ve just said,” Please don’t do that ,” and I’ll always wish I’d let him know that he only shouldn’t have done it in the first place.
He Begged Me to Give Him a Blowjob
I had a job driving a truck at a construction task at an airport. I was one of three women out of 40 drivers. Every day, our boss asked one or the other of us for a BJ. He would touch us inappropriately in meetings. And the working day I had an incident where my truck came too close to an electrical line and blew out 12 of my 18 tires. I nearly get electrocuted. My boss had me get in his pickup to go back to the yard. All the style back to my auto he implored me to give him a blowjob. I was a total wreck after nearly losing my job, and I told him no I wouldn’t. He told me I needed to go to his house that night to fill out paperwork. When I got there, his wife was there so I thought it would be ok. Then she went to bed. After he put his children to bed he grabbed me again and said I had to do this for him. Needless to say, I quit.
The Next Time I Went to Work, I Brought a Lawyer
When I was 16 I was running my first task at a pet store. The surrounding was a real” men club” with the owner and his staff. I was a very large-breasted girl and had been that style since I was 12. I suffered terrible harassment every time I went out in public. One day at my job the male employees all get talking about my breasts while we were getting ready to close for the working day. They were stimulating crass commentaries. I was determined to be cool, so I tried to turn the conversation.” No, but severely ,” I said,” it’s a real problem. I can’t used to go in public. I am ashamed going to the beach and can’t find a swimsuit that fits. I can’t do sports anymore .”
“Sure!” chuckled my boss,” You’d get two black eye !” I remember going to the back of the store and crying as I got the mop pail ready. By this time in my life I was already suffered by PTSD. The next time I went to work I took a lawyer. We advised my boss that what he had said was sexual harassment and if he did anything like it again I would sue him. He stuttered and perseverated. I recurred myself clearly. He said he understood. We left it there. I was 16. I’d only threatened my first employer with a lawsuit. I never hesitated to do it again.
‘I Think You Brought It On Yourself’
I use to be one of the only girls working in a warehouse. The guys were constantly in” locker room talk” and the working day it get wildly out of hand. I politely asked the guys to stop talking so crudely. And to think of what they would feel like if those things were said about their own daughters. They started stimulating petroleum commentaries including how I was ” jealous since I was a virgin .” When they didn’t stop I went to the manager and asked that she talk to them about the style they talk around me. She replied” I think you brought it on yourself by asking them to stop. I won’t ask them to stop being guys .”
‘You Look Good on Your Knees’
My first task as a legal secretary was in 2002. I worked for a senior partner at one of the oldest, most respected law firms in town.He was very old fashioned, calling me in its term of office to get him coffee, or to ask me to pull a client’s file for him. After have a job for several months he began to make offensive commentaries, such as the time I was kneeling to file paperwork in the bottom drawer in the filing room. He went around the corner, stopped, and called” You seem good on your knees. That’s a good position for for you .” I left the firm because of him and promised myself I would never work in those conditions again.
This Trump Moment Has Freed Lots of Women
Im an assistant professor. Last week, in a alumnu seminar, one of the male students who is older that the other students remarked to me in front of the class,” I love how excited you get about ideas !” This was in response to my rather long clarification of a conceptual question that came up in the class discussion. I did not know what to say on the spot, but I turned red and felt I needed to apologize. And apologize I did. I said that yes, I have always tried to be a bit distant and composed, but I have not succeeded in thatyet. During the break, I realise what I had done, and what happened; he had associated my intellectual abilities with excitement and feeling, so his remark was deigning, even if he did not mean it to be. At the beginning of the second section of the class, I called him out on it. I asked him bluntly,” I wonder if you would have said the same thing to me if I were a male professor .” He said, yes, utterly, and turned to the others to ask for acceptance. The others did not induce eye contact with him, and refused to comment. I told him I felt uncomfortable about his remark, and I wanted to address it right away, and then I moved the discussion to the readings. He was obviously upset, and at the end of class, he said,” I would have appreciated if you told me this in private , not in front of the others .” I replied,” Well, you said it in class, so I wanted to address it in class. I thought about that incident afterwards, and have realise why it attained me feel strange .”
This Trump moment has freed lots of women to say whatever they damn well want to say whenever a statement has attained them feel strange or uncomfortable.
I Felt Silenced
Once I was bending over to file some newspapers at a temporary task. My coworker strolled in and proceeded to tell me all the things he” would love to do to me while I was bent over like that .” Then he proceeded to talk to me about his newborn and wife. Things like this kept happening at that job. I work in human resources. And I felt silenced because it was always a coworker in HR.
I Didn’t Tell Anyone About This
I was1 5 years old and “ve had my” firstjob as a busser at a eatery. My bosses were married to each other, and hired me before I even filled out the application. Being very grateful to have the job, and since I was a kid, I didn’t tell anyone about this besides my motheruntil I heard Donald Trump boasting about sexually harassing girls because he was powerful enough to get away with it. The husband used to make-up lewd commentaries about me at work every day. One day I was told to help him hang a large banner outside the restaurant. The boss told him that if it was too hot outside, I could take my shirt off, and he wouldn’t mind. He underscored this by grabbing my shirt and pulling it up hard enough to loosen it from my pants. I moved out of his reaching but he kept stepping forward, trying to tug on my sleeves and insist I take it off. We were in the parking lot in front of the building and all these cars were driving by. Plus the restaurant windows were big and the blinds are always open. But no one foresee what he was trying to get me to do. We wereinpublic, but he knew he’d get away with it. The only thing that got him to stop was that I screamed at him to knock it off so I could get back to work. His goading was abhorrent and his authority dedicated him the confidence to terrorize me. I’ve never forgotten how dirty and afraid he made me feel.
A’ Special Connection’ to Young Girls
At 15, I had my first task at a small town gift store. The owner’s brother was 40, and used to come in when I was alone and tell me how I was mature for my age; that he had a” special connect” to young girls. He kept inviting me to spend time with him after work. I felt shame, I cease, and I didn’t tell anybody.
When I was 19, I worked nights as an usher for a theater. One night a director “whos” his 40 s and wedded offered to drive me home. Instead he drove me to an empty car park and put his hand up my skirt. He said he just wanted to get to know me better. I jumped out of the car and ran. Ive never told anybody about this.
After college, I wanted to go to law school and assist women in developing nations with microloans. I got an internship at a prestigious financial firm, which I guessed would look good on my resume. My first day I was introduced to a floor of merchants as” fresh meat .” I was groped in the elevator and in line at the coffeehouse. I stopped wearing skirts and was say I appeared too sloppy. I wore skirts again and was once reduced to tears in front of a group of businessmen because I was told my” slutty schoolgirl” appear was distracting. Finally, person literally grabbed my pussy at a Christmas party. At that point, I decided finance and law wasn’t for me. I was 21. I cease, and never told anybody about that either.
Ive learned to not smile too much or be too friendly with humen in any work environment. I’ve been called ” icy ,” but it’s better than the alternative. I suppose I still blame myself for what happened and definitely feel shame.
I Just Wanted It to Go Away
My first task out of college was at an advertising agency.The creative director had a drinking problem and was an egomaniac who wore shorts in the winter and pee-pee in a female senior account employees plant everyday.In the first two months at the job, he commented on my breasts on numerous occasions( one-on-one and in a group ). He even chased me around a desk at one time. This was my first office task. He was known for this type of behavior.I reported him to the president( who was a woman ). This was 1993 and there were sexual harassment stories in the news from time to time. The management team was terrified that I would press charges.I didn’t. But looking back, I should have. At the time, I just wanted it to go away so I could get on with my career. That impression of being intentionallysexualized because I am a womanis always with me.
I Was Propositioned Many Times
When I was 20, I got a job as a waitress at a pizza eatery. I can’t remember when or why it came up but my coworkers found out that I was still a virgin. They began referring to me as” The Virgin” instead of by my name. Most things they said to me after that were sexual in nature. I was propositioned many times by the men there to have them” pop my cherry .” I hated this kind of attention and determined it to be really embarrassing but any of my attempts to speak up and ask them to lay off were met with more gags. Once one of the delivery drivers actually pushed me up against the wall and put his hands on my vagina over my pants. Then he said we should head to the bathroom to fuck. Even as this was happening to me I guessed,” Oh he’s just joking. He doesn’t really want to .” His girlfriend worked there too and I guessed surely he couldn’t be serious about having sex with me. Another period that same driver came up to me while I was off the clock, feeing dinner in one of the booths with my siblings. I knew he was going to say something inappropriate so I leaned in and whispered,” This is my big brother sitting next to me, please, please don’t say anything gross right now .” Then he preceded to make a comment about me not wearing panties. Even though I was uncomfortable with it, I didn’t really think I was get sexually harassed at the time. I only figured I should just get over it.
Sexually Harassed for More Than Half My Life
There were so many times during my life that I was subjected to lewd and lascivious behavior by humen. I was raped by my younger brother in my teens, and by a high school senior when I was a junior. Then, working for a law firm in my early 20 s in Washington DC, one of the young lawyers constantly spoke to me in a suggestive style, to the point of stalking me.I also worked at a large corporation in my early 30 s where I was often sexually harassed by the young executives. I am in my early sixties now and I would say that I was sexually harassed for more than half of my life. The abuse contribute to a lifelong self-esteem problem, generalized anxiety disorder, broken heart disorder, and multiple years of therapy.
‘It’s Just Words’
” Its only words .” Well, here are some words 😛 TAGEND
” When are you and I going to fuck ?” My assistant strength coach in college propositioned me as I tried to complete my workout. I was an honors student and athlete who earned a scholarship. He was someone I had to encounter anytime I went into the weight room, many days a week.
” No! No! No! Stop !” These were words I screamed to my coworkers in the vestibule of an Embassy Suites as one held me down on the sofa while another tore off my shoe and sock and sucked my toes. The VP of sales sat there and watched along with five others. The only other woman was seated next to me and “ve managed to” jumping over the back of the sofa and run to her husband.
” Don’t stay out alone with any of those sales guys .”
These words were advice given to me by a former employee when I started a new job. I took her advice. One of my coworkers wasn’t so lucky. One of those sales guys put his hand down her pants in a cab full of people. I was deposed in her sexual harassment instance( one of at least three cases settled out of court by that company ). The sales guy was promoted.
There Isn’t Anything I Can Do About It
I work for a company that works with the Department of Mental Health. We have an individual that has sexually harassed me( stalked me in the workplace, stared at me with a large grin on his face inappropriately, sang lewd “lyrics” to his “raps” in my direction, and has written notes stating his intentions to “have” me as his “woman” ). I feel there isn’t anything I can really do about it except quit because he is protected by the department and he wouldn’t serve any time for his inappropriate behavior. He’s even physically assaulted a female staff member( in rage) and faced no repercussions for his actions.
I Was So Humiliated
I work for a country university as a marketing and communications professional. The division head has let a lot of inappropriate things happen. One male coworker would always joke about how I wear skirts to work. One day where reference is and I happened to walk by one another on the way to the water fountain, he made a gag about me being in a skirt and then said,” You know how good you seem[ to everyone ], right ?” I was so surprised to hear him so I just said, “What?” Then he said,” Well everyone with a penis .” I was so humbled even though I knew nobody was around, which somehow attained it even worse. I’d recently gotten promoted by his boss, and until that boss left I was convinced that I only got promoted since they are was just thinking about me a certain style. I still have to see that budget assistant from time to time. I always try to walk another way if I insure him arriving and subconsciously always tug my skirt down a little or shield myself in some way.
I Understand How a Woman Must Feel
As a young man in my twenties I was approached by older girls( I was a newly wedded young man ). One cornered me and the other grabbed. I was shocked me at the time. Both of these women turned against me after I rebuffed their advances. I do understand how a woman must feel.
I Blamed Myself
I was sexually harassed at my first task. I worked at a eatery, and there was a large freezer that stored food items. Once, I was getting something from it when the head chef strolled in. I am used to the flirtatious commentaries that are often directed at me. Although they bother me, I write them off. However, this was different. As he strolled in, he cornered me and blocked the exits. He began to tell me how he found me attractive and talked in innuendos. This man was at least 50 years old, and I was merely 18. I was too afraid to tell him that I was uncomfortable. I had lost my voice. As he slowly advanced toward me, person strolled in. He moved aside promptly, and I dashed out of there as fast as I could. I still, to this day, am extremely disappointed in myself. I have always believed that girls should stick up for themselves, but I could not even do that for myself. I questioned and blamed myself for letting him talk to me in such an inappropriate way. I hate that I let him induce me feel like I wasn’t the victim.
Demeaned and Diminished
Once at a center I managed, a man who taught there grabbed my breasts out of the blue. My predecessor’s breasts were also grabbed( out of the blue) by the owner of the same center.
The thing is, this was about shock and a power play. No one is going to believe you( surely not the owner who does the same thing ), so you are demeaned and diminished. And you are farther demeaned and diminished every time you insure or hear about such person or persons again.
I Was Afraid of Losing My Job
I was 18, it was my first day of work at a large national household eatery chain. My manager asked me to follow him into the dry storage room for “training.” In that small room he repeatedly brushed up against my backside and told petroleum gags, including one about how he” masturbates to the Exorcist .” I never told anyone because I was afraid of losing my new task. That terrible task helped put me through college. I now have a master’s degree and work in a professional surrounding where I feel respected and safe.
It’s a Part of Life All Women Deal With
When I was a teenager my first task was at a Wendys. I was the salad bar girl.A director followed me into the walk-in cooler, when I turned to face him he began to unbutton my shirt.I was 16 and frozen in shock, I didn’t know what to do.Thankfully another female employee strolled in before it went any further but it was also humbling because the look upon her face attained me feel like she guessed I was OK with his actions.I told her otherwise after I left the walk-in. I never reported the incident as I was dating another manager( in his 20′ s) and didn’t want him to be fired( because the assaulting director knew this ). These things aren’t an everyday instance but I have experienced enough of them over the years to know it’s a part of life all women deal with and largely ignore, because if you complain you’re an uptight “bitch.”
They Repealed My Job Offer
I worked at a fly-in angling only north of Anchorage, Alaska. At first I only cleaned cabins but by my fourth summer I managed the lodge, a 90 -hour/ week task with responsibilities in accounts, licenses, employee documents, merchandise, serving, bartending, and more. I worked ceaselessly andI loved the guests and my colleagues. I watched bears for amusement, and the guidebooks taught me to fly fish.
In the first three years, only once did a guidebook harass me. Tearfully, I told one lodge owner, who said if the guidebook did it again, hed burn him to the ground. Then in the fourth summer a drunken guest told me what he knew about female anatomy. Another period, while I collected dinner plates, a guest grab at me, holding my butt for a few seconds. Stunned, I told the owner.” Theyre unreasonable ,” he said. I called the other owner.” If it happens again, only call me and Ill talk him down ,” he said. He lived far away. The owners asked me to return for a fifth summer. I said I would, but I wanted a sexual harassment policy. They claimed they had one to tell them of incidents which I did. I said they needed a written policy to protect the lodge we all loved.They didnt create a policy. They only rescinded my job offer.
He Told Me Dirty Stories
I was thrilled to get a job at major ad agency in Seattle in the late’ 80′ s.There, I get daily visits from one of the creative directors to my workspace–he sit and told me dirty stories and attained nasty gestures. Everyday. My boss also made sure that I knew that our tasks were dependent not only on putting up with this behavior, but also on our portrait of enjoyment of it. I lasted until my wedding date.
It Was So Scary
I was 18 and had my first task as a hostess at an Italian restaurant.A few of the cooks and dishwashers would always stare and try to “accidentally” rub against the waitresses. The humen spoke limited English, so the waitresses that also spoke Spanish would tell them off when they touched them and the men would just chuckle. It was a daily instance. One evening I had to go into the cold storage for something, thus strolling by one of the creepy dishwashers. He rubbed my limb and smiled as I strolled by.I told him to stop, jerked my limb away and went into the cold storage, leaving the door ajar. Well, he shut the door on me. He probably merely left me there for a few minutes, but it was so scary.
Harassment Seems Unavoidable
I’m 20 and work as a waitress at a eatery and am also a full-time student. Therestaurant isan independently owned business. The two co-owners are humen, and the managerial staff is three men and a woman. On my first day of training, my trainer( male) asked me if I had a boyfriend, I said no, he told me” everyone would be hitting on me .” Commentaries about my appearance from him and other male coworkers have been going since day one( a little over a year ago ), I nearly cease in my first week when I was so embarrassed and upset by the way he spoke to me. My bosses always find reason to touch me, hands on shoulders, hugs, hands on my waist. They often talk about women’s bodies in the restaurant and stare at butt and boobs of the women on staff. One of my administrators talks often about how he has seen me on Tinder, always swipes right, and wont stop pressing the issue of me going out to dinner with him( NO ). I can’t afford to cease, and I didn’t really find my voice until I eventually started ventilating about this problem with one of my female co-workers. We both share a feeling of invisibility. The harassment seems unavoidable. I feel stupid being upset by these things. I don’t know how to induce them understand what they are doing without them just talking shit about me. I’ll be the “bitch” on staff or hypersensitive if I say something. It wouldn’t be the first time a female cease( in my year there) because a higher-up male attained the work environment too uncomfortable for her.
‘I Was Staring At Your Ass’
It was my second task ever, working at a volume store. I was 18 when I started and I was super aroused to be there. He was the assistant director and the first person I met the working day I came in for the interview. He gave me the crawlings from day one, but I told myself I was just being dumb. It was a quirky little bookshop and all the people who worked there were a little off. I largely worked nights and it would just be the two of us. At first he only turned everything I said into a sexual gag. And I guessed, whatever. Guys do that. I was defining myself up for them. I only needed to be more careful about what I would say. Soon though he was stimulating commentaries about my body, and why I merely did well at my job because of how I appeared, that people merely liked me because I was a” chesty redhead .” I would try to ask him pertinent the issues and he would say things like” sorry I didn’t hear you, I was staring at your ass .” Thankfully he never genuinely get physical( though not for lack of trying) and when I came back from school over break he had been fired for stealing. I wish I had had the intestines to report him then, but I was new at the job and didn’t want to cause trouble. The shame that surrounds work harassment is infuriating. Even after he was gone I was scared to speak out for dread of being called a liar. I wish this was the only story I had but two years later I could write a volume, most women in this country probably could.
I Needed the Job, So I Stayed
It was my freshman year of college on my first day at work at a new job. Upon gratifying my director, I scarcely got a’ hello’ before receiving the head-to-toe creeper sweep. I needed the job so I remain, but always kept my distance from him. Several years later at a,” more professional” task, it was my last day and one of the older humen I worked with said to me” Don’t take this the wrong way, but you have a really nice rack .” I immediately told my director, who was a woman. I was hoping for subsistence and was say to” only ignore him .” These and other experiences have attained me feel humbled and powerless. No one seemed to care that my male colleagues were saying and doing inappropriate things.
I Hate Myself For It
I was in an entry level consulting task in Canada and was on a foreign work permit tied to my employer. One of the company principals at a social event kissed me and groped me without my permission after a few drinkings.” To get me home safely” he called me a taxi, and rather than fell me off at my place, he invited himself in. I was broke and needed the job. I had literally bought a one-way ticket to Canada and was living paycheck to paycheck. How do I tell this man to go home to his wife without hurting his pride and my job prospects? Despite my best efforts to send him home, he comes into my home, but fortunately we just talk. I tried to understand what I did to induce him think that I invited this behavior. The next week, he tried to get me to have an affair with him, and I rejected. A few months later he asks he if I want a” quickie in the alley .” To this day he still thinks he did nothing incorrect and I still work with him. I hate myself for it.
Refuse to Stay Silent
I was 26 years old and eager to induce my mark on the world when I was hired by a professional football team to be the assistant to the general manager. I was also assigned a senior executive to supervise and mentor mea babysitter. One day I was in the babysitters office, talking about my weekend. I mentioned Id had lunch” with a friend .” His respond still turns my stomach:” Did he induce you orgasm ?” That was Week 3 on the job. I had just relocated and couldnt afford to walk away. I kept the exchange to myself and hoped the babysitter would construe from my cold demeanor that his behavior needed to stop. But as the months passed, he became more aggressive. He would stare openly at my breasts, legs, and butt, and compliment how my attire accentuated my assets. Sometimes he would approach me while I was seated at my desk, sliding along one side and looking down my shirt. After a few seconds, he would smile, blush red, and say he” had to go be alone .” I often left the office impression ashamed, disgusted, and violated.
It was three years before I summoned the nerve to tell my boss. One Christmas Eve at work, the Babysitter gave me a box filled with a holiday-themed Victorias Secret lingerie set. The next day I went to my bos home to eat Christmas dinner. Over wine, his wife asked me my feelings on this man.” Hes so creepy ,” she said.” Has he ever come on to you ?” I determined myself resulting her to my auto to view the package. Appalled, she demanded I tell her husband. So on the day after Christmas, in my bos office I poured out the contents of the inappropriate gift and asked for his help. He informed me to return the gift, promising he would” take care of it .”
Human Resource was never apprise, and the Babysitter seemed merely fueled by my complaint. Special privileges I guessed Id earned with my work ethics were abruptly rescinded. The entire staff was eventually fired as the result of a regime change. My former boss now operates another team, and “the mens” who harassed me is stimulating six figures working for the former head coach in a different define. Me? I am still trying to induce my mark. Ladies: Do not endure this harassment. You do not have to tolerate this posture by humen, or anyone. Learn from my blunder, and refuse to stay silent.
The Battle For Respect Is Constant
I’ve endured many unwanted advances during my forty years as an architect. My first bosses took me out to a farewell dinner and slapped two condoms on the table at the end of the dinner and implored me to sleep with them. I was 21. A married general contractor waltzed into that same office the working day and grabbed me and kissed me passionately on the lips. An elderly gentleman shared a coffee with me near Lincoln Center and then, as we said goodbye, he grabbed me and jostle his tongue down my throat. On it went. Even in my early 50 s, a married client mistook my interest in his project as those who are interested in sex.When I turned down his fourth invitation for drinkings, my firm was fired from the project. The battle for respect is constant.Hillary, in her perfect, stalwart politeness, is me.
I Was Mortified
I was in my first year at my firm, in a conference room at a client site. The head of trading operations group, who appeared to be nearing retirement( and nearly my grandfathers age ), strolled into the conference room and tossed got a couple of Mardi Gras bead necklaces onto the conference room table towards me and laughingly called as he immediately turned to leave” You know what to do with these !” I was wearing a pant suit. Some of my male colleagues were in the conference room. I was mortified. In a male-dominated firm, in a male-dominated industry I decided it was easier to brush those type of instances off and ignore them. I suppose my firm’s HR might have consoled me on the experience, but I’m not sure if the team’s leadership would have felt comfortable addressing the incident to the client.
I’ve Never Experienced Sexual Aggression Before
I used to work in an in-house coffeehouse for a Tv station. I was friendly with everyone, it was part of my job. One day one of the Tv station executives invited me to his area of the station, his friends were around, he had a massive Tv on top of a set of drawers. The drawers were full of as-yet unreleased movies( like , not in the cinema yet) and he suggested that if I was ever borne on a weekend I could come over, reach into his drawers and see if I liked what I determined. Hilarious. All his friends thought so. I find the funny side but Ive never experienced sexual aggressivenes before, so I was confused. Most heterosexual guys don’t get sexually harassed.
Grin and Bear It
At my first task in my field, a much older male coworker would often come over to my desk to “chat,” sometimes squeezing or rubbing my limb and ruffling my hair. Once, during a massive heat wave, he commented that I was wearing” some short shorts” and offered me an extra pair of pants he kept in his desk drawer” in case you get cold .”( The office had a very lenient dress codeshorts were not unusual .) I declined, but he threw the pants to me across the office anyway. I had just enough time to look up at the audio of my name before they reach me in the face and then fell in my lap. It was so absurd I nearly forgot it was creepy. When I told my boss about several of these uncomfortable interactions, she brushed it off and assured me he was just a” goofy, friendly guy .” So I did my best to only grin and bear it. On the working day he retired( about a year after I started working there) he came over to my desk one last period, grabbed my shoulder and aloud invited me over to his house to” watch a movie .” At my stunned stillnes, he leaned close to my ear and whispered,” Ive wanted to ask you that for a very long time, but I couldnt while I was working here .” He then spun around, pumped his fist and shouted,” Exit interview !” before( thankfully) walking out of my life forever.
These Are Samples, Not Standout Events
In my first task as a lawyer I had a boss who would burst into my office every day, shut the door, stare at me menacingly and say,” I need to have a word with you .” Then he would ask bizarre personal topics, about how much I slept or if Id done my hair differently. One day he came in unannounced, shut the door, and asked,” Did your heart only skip a beat when I did that ?” Another period he told him that my knee-length suit skirts were distracting, because” You have very long legs, so there is just a lot of leg between the floor and the skirt .” He once reported that the judges in a hearing were bothered by me because I was ” too poised, too confident .” I did not, and do not believe any magistrate made any such complaint. One day he asked me, in front of staff and clients in the waiting room, if I was anorexic, then told me I should feed some watermelon. These are samples , not standout events.
My case load was more than twice that of the next-highest in the office and I attained less than male lawyers junior to me. My boss publicly and rudely derided my tiniest blunders. I learned not to make any. And yet when it came time to pick out a new office down the dorm with the other senior lawyers, he told me I could not. He said I had to stay next to its term of office where he could “monitor” me. After several years, I got a competitive and desirable task offer somewhere else. I accepted it. As I left the old office, my boss rejects to shake the hand that I held out.
I Reported the Comment. Nothing Happened
Many years ago when I was consulting for a large audio company, the COO attained multiple advances toward me, pulling up my skirt a few inches and asking me to lean over him to show him something on his computer. I started coming to meetings with baggy clothes and no ma