demonstration, Verbal

Marisol’s Story: The message was on my phone

On 3-8-2011 I went for a interview with a manager at a shoe store.  The interview went well and he said that he would callback if he thought I was right for the job.  He said that he was looking to hire a person to help open the store Harlem, NY.  On 3-15-2011 he left a message stating that he would like to setup a second interview.  I called up and one of the girls said that he wasn’t there which I thought was odd, so I told her I will show up the following day.  When I got there I spoke to one of the associates and he said he would show up just wait a second.  So I went to the waiting area.  Five minutes later he shows up and acts as if he never called.  He denied the phone call and acted like I was stalking him.  I gave him my phone with the message and again denied the conversation.  He humiliated me made me feel ashamed when all I wanted to do was the right thing, get work.  Then I get a phone call from the District Manger and he acted non-chalante,”Well, what do you want me to do about it” I told him thought he might be on drugs.  He brushed it off and said “what do you want me to do about it”…I think he’s a misogynist who gets off on demeaning woman.  I should’ve taken a picture of him.  But who knows maybe he’s changed his look.  Who knows if he bullies the black woman or the gay men that work there.  In this day in age when the dollar holds so much value and we all should take into consideration how we are treated and where we should spend our money, that store is a bad investment.

no comments 
Verbal

Heather’s Story: My armpits are none of your business, idiot

My daughter and I were walking on University and I had my arms up and these men from a car yelled, “shave your pits!” and started laughing. I flipped them off.

no comments 
groping, Verbal

Louise’s Story: Harassment even in supermarkets

I was in Sainsbury’s and I was buying cakes and these two guys looked at me and said ”nice” and followed me around the whole shop and wouldn’t stop looking at me, so I left my cart and went and this isn’t the first this has happened.  On nights out, guys would touch me.

no comments 
groping, Verbal

Nadia’s Story: Working with the system to put an end to harassment

I occasionally work through an online service that facilitates pre-screened runners to do tasks for people who either need help for a certain amount of time or doing a specific task. It’s a great service that allows me the ability to work when I have free time, but not maintain a strict regular schedule when a real job would interfere with school. It’s like a more legit way of hiring someone through craigslist to do menial work such as picking up groceries, house cleaning, assembling furniture, moving, event staff etc. During a recent bar tending event, a fellow hired through the same company hit on me the entire night and physically touched me twice. I was going to just let it go but decided that I should stand up for myself, that his harassment was not okay, and that I should not have to wait until I am groped, explicitly verbally harassed or raped before reporting sexual harassment. Everyone deserves a working environment where they can feel secure and not have to simply brush off a situation where another person makes them uncomfortable. I wrote the company this letter and they are taking the matter very seriously. I just got off the phone with one of their representatives who was very supportive and told me that the highest level of the company is currently having a meeting about the situation, that they value and support me and that they are going to take care of this situation. This is the letter I wrote to them:

“This is regarding the bar-tending task that took place this past Saturday 3/12 posted by {redacted} and the runner Ryan S.
I’m sorry if the prose is a bit lengthy and emotional, I’m still upset by the occurrence and had a hard time trying to describe exactly what happened.

It started with the usual introductions and small talk. He asked me if I was single which I thought a bit odd. He then proceeded to lengthily explain that his live-in girlfriend of 5 years up and left him for her boss and how he had moved into the city and was living alone while I nodded politely. At one point I stated that I was tired but my best friend was in from Seattle and I had promised to take her out once I got off but I really wasn’t up for it and needed coffee. He casually suggested half a dozen times that we find an open cafe and grab some together afterward. I pointedly ignored him to spare him the embarrassment and figured he would take the hint. He continued to jockey for an invitation, at one point suggesting that we take the leftover oversize bottle of tequila from the party and split it afterward. I continued to ignore him even though it was obvious that I had heard him. I realize that I should have verbally expressed my dissension but we had several hours to finish bar-tending and cleaning up and I wanted things to run smoothly for our host.

He crossed the line when he physically put his hands on me from behind, holding me with his hands on my shoulders. This was a purely flirtatious gesture on his part. He was not moving me out of the way and it in no way had any practical purpose towards the job at hand. I immediately ran away through the neighbor’s part of the roof that was partitioned off so I could get away as quickly as possible.

I’m not naive and I’ve worked at jobs where the relationship between coworkers allows that sort of contact over time. I had met Ryan that evening and was friendly but not flirtatious and I had given him absolutely no indication that he had permission to touch me in any way. I had just met him, I did not trust him and his behavior was completely inappropriate. He is also considerably older than me which added to my discomfort.

I felt uncomfortable at the prospect of leaving the building by myself in case he followed me as the task ended at midnight and was in a residential section of town. I called a good friend to come pick me up at the door.

At the end of the night he communicated to the host that we were done cleaning and she confirmed that we were good to go. This all happened 5 feet away from me and I heard their conversation. He then came behind the bar where me and the other runner were standing and put his hand on the small of my back and said that we could leave. I wanted him to exit first so that I could wait in the apartment for my ride to show up and to make sure that he didn’t follow me outside. This may seem paranoid but again, I had just met this man, he was older and larger than me, he had physically touched me twice after I had expressed my discomfort and honestly, in the pit of my stomach I felt very unsafe. He stood at the door which was ajar for several minutes seeming to internally debate whether he should openly ask me again to leave with him. I stared at my cellphone and waited for my ride to call, pretending I was engrossed in something.

He is a nice enough man and probably just lonely but he made me very uncomfortable in a situation where I felt powerless to openly reprimand him. I was ambivalent about writing this email at first, but the feeling of discomfort is still vexing me two days later.

I understand that (company name redacted) is unique and the nature of the system engenders an environment where interactions between your employees are hard to mitigate. I don’t want an apology from him and I don’t really care that nothing dangerous ended up coming of it. I would have no trouble classifying this as sexual harassment and want him fired. I absolutely feel afraid of seeing him again and disturbed at the thought of interacting with him, whether at a company party or during a two person job if he happens to get chosen as the other employee. This instance is interfering with my work as I will be weary bidding on two person events, which I usually really enjoy and pay the most.

I feel like I’ve been an valuable employee, picking up jobs whenever I have time, staying flexible to the senders needs, staying communicative with (company name redacted) if there were ever any discrepancies and being an excellent representative of your company. I have a 100% 5 star rating with 20 jobs and have met a few of the actual employees. There are no witnesses to the conversation or the physical contact described above other than possibly the party goers. The other bartender was downstairs at the time. My friend (redacted) who picked me up would be willing to verify my level of distress directly following the party and recount all of the instances I’ve described in this email. I had not met this man before, have no connection to him and will probably never see him again and assure you, I have no reason to fabricate these accusations.

I absolutely do not want to have any further interactions with this man so please make sure he does not contact me. If you have any questions please call me. I would be willing to come to the office and give you an in-person statement if you need one. Prior to contacting him please email me with the course of action you plan on taking. I’ve never had anything like this happen to me before and am still very upset and shocked at the lack of professionalism he exhibited towards me. If nothing is done I will seriously consider closing down my account.

Thank you so much for your time reviewing this matter. I hope to hear from you soon.

-Nadia”

My intention of posting this is to bring hope to some women that sexual harassment accusations can be taken seriously and dealt with appropriately. It was initially terrifying writing the letter and I was worried that I might simply be brushed off but the positive support I’ve received so far is truly inspiring and validating of my experiences and worth as a human being. Not all companies are as intelligent and empathetic to their employees but I thought I’d add my story to the pile and encourage women to report their harassers, even if a situation simply makes you uncomfortable. Regardless of gender, people need to learn respect of each-others boundaries or else sexual harassment will never end.

no comments 
Stalking, Verbal

Chelsea’s Story: “So much for having just moved here.”

I was 19 at the time and my dad had dropped me off at the bookstore so I could buy a book I wanted. On the way back a guy on his bike stopped and began talking to me. I don’t like being mean so when he began asking me out, asking for my number, and trying to give me his, I tried to be nice and say things like “I don’t really like talking on the phone,” and “my dad will be coming to pick me up soon so I need to go,” rather than saying “Your creeping me out, leave me alone.”

But he keep asking me for my number, and trying to give me his, and trying to convince me I should date him out of pity (He was said he moved to the area a few months ago and didn’t have friends yet). I was getting more and more creeped out and more rigid in my answers but he wouldn’t give up. I didn’t want to leave in case he decided to follow me, so it took 20 or 30 minutes of him repeatedly asking for my number and trying to give me his before I could finally leave. How many times does a girl have to say “No” before this guy gets the picture?

That’s not all though, when I was telling my dad about the creep (who has a very distinctive birth mark on his face), it turned out he had done the same basic thing to my sister a few years back at a carnival. So much for having just moved here.

no comments 
racial discrimination, Verbal

Hoda’s Story: You’re racism is not witty

Hi, I’m a Muslim girl and proud to be. I wear the hijab (head scarf) every wear I go and I have been told several offensive comments and this is one of one of the many encounters I’ve had with an Islamaphobe.
One day me and my friend were shopping at the mall and while we were walking to the next store we were walking by a man and his girlfriend and while we passed he stared at me and said “BOOM!” and him and his girlfriend started to laugh at us but we just ignored them and continued walking. I know that isn’t nearly as bad as it gets, I’ve known people who have been physically assaulted just because they were wearing a head scarf.
I really want to but a stop to this type of harassment and that’s why I’m here.

one comment 
Assault, Verbal

Sara’s Story: The importance of standing up for yourself

#1: I was fifteen years old, crossing a busy street in a small town. A young man leaned out the back window of a slow-moving car and yelled: “I want to f**k you!” I stopped in the middle of the street and shouted back “Marry me, Captain Romance! I want to have your babies!” He peeled rubber.

#2: I was sixteen years old, riding the # 16 bus to the ferry terminal with friends. I was the last one off at our stop, a young man stood up in front of me and started pushing me toward the back of the bus. He put his hand between my legs and grabbed my pubis. I picked him up and threw him across the bus.

#3: I was twenty-eight, walking out of a bar with a friend. A strange man tried to grab my breast as I walked past him. I grabbed his hand, threw it at him, and kept walking. When I looked back, he was gaping at me like a clubbed fish.

There were many, many more of these sorts of incidents in my teens and twenties, these are my favorites because they ended well. The others ended with me slinking off feeling contaminated and afraid. But I do think that it is perfectly okay to fight back, to hit, kick, punch and bite, if someone puts unwanted hands on my person. So I celebrate those times when I remembered to stand up for myself in the heat of the moment. It’s important.

no comments 
Verbal

Cathy’s Story: Not a blissful honeymoon

I was on my honeymoon with my husband RIGHT NEXT TO ME and some men approached and said they wanted to fuck me.

no comments 
groping, Verbal

Serenity Elizabeth’s Story: My night is none of your business

After a clumsy night with my friends that left bruises and scratches on my legs I was walking home with shorts on. An old man said “rough night,” pinched my butt and walked away.

one comment 
groping, Verbal

Flora’s Story: Don’t hug me, creep.

As part of a mixed sixth-form in an all boys school, I’m used to demeaning comments and harassment in the corridors by immature 14 year olds – but there’s one guy who’s in my year. He constantly hugs the girls, which is OK if you’re close friends, but he hugs really tight and slightly too long. One time he smelt me while hugging me,despite the fact that I was clearly uncomfortable and was trying to step away. In addition to this he has made incredibly inappropriate comments to my boyfriend, ranging from so-called “compliments” about my appearance to “can I join in?” and “I want to j*zz in her mouth”. That’s right, he said that to my boyfriend. Everyone was incredibly awkward and I was simply freaked out – I barely knew him! We try to avoid him from now on, though he still forces hugs on me if he does see me.

2 comments 
Powered by WordPress