Hey lovelies! The other day I was invited to moderate a room on Clubhouse (the social media platform that’s all the rage of late) and the title was “Sexual harassment: can women ever win?”. My girl had been sexualized to the point where HR had summoned her to offer her hospital overalls because other members of staff felt “her body was distracting other staff members too much”.
Shock. Distaste. Absolute horror. All words that couldn’t really encapsulate how I felt hearing what my friend was experiencing at work. What?? I was gobsmacked. We had a few conversations about ways forward for her but really what can you do when the system is stacked against you, whilst in this present economic climate where good jobs aren’t so easy to come by?
The whole conversation brought back a few memories from my own experience with Mr. P and I’m happy to say that I don’t blame myself for that occurrence. In the past, when men have sexualized me, I’ve found myself blaming my very self. Asking myself if there was anything I could have done differently to have had a different outcome of that interaction. Could I have worn this…could I have smiled less…all these things just eat at you and take from your peace of mind.
So this article is a reminder that whatever harassment you may have experienced is a reflection of the vile character of the perpetrators and not anything to do with you. You did not force them to misbehave. You weren’t “asking for it”. So, when you’re alone and traumatic flashbacks come to mind as they tend to do, please don’t beat yourself up, you’re only delaying your healing and internalizing the damaging things that society has said about women. You’re worth better than that and deserve to live free of guilt that the man who caused it should be bearing – not you.
I hope this helps you, or helps you to help someone that’s affected by something related to this.
Till next time,
Dr. ETP xo