I’ve seen what harassment can do to a strong woman. It’s a myth that only weak women are targets of sexual harassment. Society took away the power for women to have a voice, and there was no place to turn for help. We stayed silent.
We are trusted to take care of children, but we are not trusted to tell the truth about harassment in the workplace. There are consequences to telling the truth that women aren’t willing to face because they need a job to take care of their family and pay their bills. We remain silent. Women have not advocated for each other for many reasons. There are only so many positions in a company, and men have most upper-level positions. You have to be part of the good ol’ boys club to get ahead, so you overlook the bad behavior. You stay silent.
Just because you were not harassed, does not mean your co-worker is lying about their experience. The truth is that sexual harassers and predators don’t harass everyone, so please stop blaming the victim.
To hear stories coming out now, and see that women are believed, is encouraging. We don’t want to be silenced anymore. There should be due process for everyone, but the scale still seems to tip in favor of men, because we have a long way to go as a society. If everyone told their stories, if women supported each other, the scale could tip on the side of justice and fairness for women.
My friend on campus is starting to laugh and smile again. She has wounds, but you don’t see them on the outside. They’re on the inside and take longer to heal.
Please don’t be silent anymore, let your voices be heard.