Personal Experiences

December 9, 2009 at 4:29 pm Leave a comment

In our group discussions, perhaps the most moving aspect is  individuals  sharing their experiences with sexual harassment. As the first of a hopefully ongoing series, we hope to highlight blog posts from around the internet of the very personal and real experiences of sexual harassment.

Michelle blogs as The Fat Nutritionist. Recently, she posted a story about how her appearance changed how people interacted with her in a post called Pretty Good Looking for a Girl.

There was another reason for this — when I reached puberty, but not quite fashionability, at age 12, I had my induction into the world of womanhood via the ritual hazing of sexual harassment. I was tormented, squeezed, hissed at, touched, groped, fondled, and pulled forcibly into people’s laps at school.

Do not misunderstand: this was not flirting. It was humiliation and cruelty. These people were not interested in me as a human being; they did not have crushes on me; they did not care for me. It was degradation, plain and simple. And I wanted no part of it. I physically and vociferously fought back. But I was confused — I did not understand why it happened, what I’d done to deserve it, and why no one came to my aid.

As bad as this was, it only got worse when I started dressing in beauty drag. I began attracting the attention of perfect strangers, of people much older than me, people who didn’t just mean to humiliate me, but who actually meant me harm. I went from feeling like an invisible person who was occasionally objectified for other people’s pleasure, to being a deer in hunting season. I was highly visible, something about me was now considered highly desirable, and I was no longer just vulnerable to attack — I was actively targeted because of the way I looked. My life and physical safety were threatened more than once.


Entry filed under: Personal Experience.

Title IX Intro & Athletics Human Rights Day

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The Coalition for Gender Equity in Schools is dedicated to eradicating sexual harassment in the New York City school system. We are NYC youth, educators, parents, and organizers working hard to eliminate sexual harassment and create safe schools.
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