In discussing the #MeToo movement in the office, we realized that every single one of us has at least one, if not multiple stories to tell. What this movement demonstrates is the pervasiveness of sexual harassment and assault. It’s not a symptom of just one industry; it’s everywhere. Despite considering only sharing one blog post, we soon realized we had too much to say. This blog post is one in a series of our stories, all of which can be read here.
Us too. Too much.
The feeling of being a victim of sexual harassment and abuse for the first time can only be described as bone-chilling. I was 16 when I was first touched inappropriately by another commuter on a bus. I should’ve screamed or fought back instantly, but for a few seconds I felt paralyzed with fear. After what seemed like an eternity later I immediately moved and got off the bus at the very next stop.
Wiping the tears away as I walked the rest of the way to high school all I could think was “he only touched me”, “it was nothing“, and “I’m fine“. They were the only words I found to deal with the overwhelming sense of violation I experienced.
The scary fact is that because I already knew of terrible incidents of unimaginable sexual abuse and violence, I considered myself lucky to have experienced only this. Unfortunately it was just the start of many incidents to come. Since then being cat-called, eve-teased, flashed and groped, became a part of what I and every woman I know deals with in one way or another. The frequency of these incidents has influenced us into subconsciously accepting this as normal. I hope that all the brave women and men sharing their stories impact us enough to affect a much-needed change.