PUBLIC HARASSMENT: I’VE BEEN VERBALLY AND…

I’ve been verbally and physically sexually harassed by strangers and colleagues many times. One issue that has always given me mixed feelings was being harassed on an evening in Austin, TX while I was with a colleague, who happened to be a gay man. A drunk man was particularly aggressive and started to follow me and the colleague back to the hotel. My gay male colleague put his hand around my waist and yelled back at the man, “I’ve got to get this gal back to the hotel while she’s still hot.” The pursuing man immediately apologized to him and said, “I feel you, brother” and continued saying innuendos while he turned around and walked away. When we turned the corner my colleague dropped his arm from me. To this day, 7 years later, I feel conflicted. I was so thankful my harasser never physically touched me, but I felt debased that a man who was a) a new colleague and b) not interested in me, was more valued as a human than I was. And though my bystander did act, the fact that it didn’t matter everything he said was untrue, it still mattered more than me as a human. It felt like hitting a home-run, but still losing the game. I want others to see I innately have value without having to be claimed by someone else. I want that for all humans.

[got_back]