THINGS I FELT AFTER BEING SEXUALLY HARASSED AT MY JOB
I told my boss. He asked if I wanted him to say something. I thought, "Of fucking course, idiot!" I said, "yeah." He didn't speak to him. He told the company president. He didn't speak to him. I got a text from my boss saying "truly horrified. Sorry that happened" I had to work with the guy for 2 more weeks. He wasn't fired. His contract ended.
- •AngerI was furious. At the guy, my boss, the company president, and the system that makes this an all too common experience. I was mad that the company was acting like it had never happened. I was furious that the TV show was coming before me (someone who has worked long hours for years without acknowledgement, or complaint). I was enraged that he was walking around as though nothing had happened. Pissed that my employers preferred avoiding confrontation to doing what is right. Fuck those guys!
- •HateThis is like anger in many ways, but more seething. I hated my boss. I already thought he was a buffoon, but after this I started to wish the worst for him. I wanted him to fail. I wanted him to be humiliated. I wanted the worst for him. I hated the company I worked for. I hoped someone would expose it, burn it down, generally cause it ruin. I hated the guy who told me, "he's of a different generation" Fuck that excuse. I hated feeling hate, and anger. It's not healthy. I felt like shit.
- •UnsafeI avoided the guy on set, and always had a male employee in the room when he came into my office (BECAUSE, YES: HE'D STILL COME INTO MY OFFICE, AND PART OF MY JOB WAS TO ANSWER HIS QUESTIONS). I started to watch my back more in public, because if you can get sexually harassed at work, you can also get attacked anywhere. I knew this before, but I didn't feel the actual possibility of it until I was harassed.
- •OthernessI'm white, and because of this I have had the privilege of not really knowing this feeling most of my life. But Hollywood is a Boys' Club. If you don't have a penis, you don't fit in. Your male coworkers will call you "sweetie," and "hon" when they're happy with you, and "bitch" behind your back when you're stern, and think nothing of it. They'll harass you, and you'll be made to feel guilty. I like to think it's not like this everywhere, but I've known too many others that have experienced it.
- •ResentmentTowards all of my male coworkers. Even the feminists among them. Even those who were sympathetic. Because this is most likely something they'll never have to deal with. I resented my own femaleness: would he have done that if I was a man? These accursed breasts, and vagina!
- •ConfusionI thought, "I wasn't dressed provocatively, I wasn't flirty, why me?" But it doesn't matter. It's not about me. And I know that! But there's still the confusion. The wondering. "What if I had been elsewhere? Said something else? Acted differently?" The whole fact that it can even happen is confusing: why do people feel entitled to treat others this way? Why is no one doing anything? Am I overreacting? My gut, my heart, and my brain duked it out, and I just felt shitty.
- •UpsetThe anger, hate, unsafeness, otherness, resentment, and confusion culminate in feeling upset. Upset with everyone, and everything. Upset that this happened to me, and that it's happened to my friends, and my sister, and that it'll happen to more women that I'll know and love throughout my lifetime.
- •HelplessI'd taken the steps I was supposed to, hadn't I? And still I was stuck working with this man & no one was doing anything! How do we stop this sort of thing from happening? When my sister experienced a similar incident the man was given the option to quit, and she received a settlement. He's employed elsewhere now and as no formal charges were brought against him, I don't doubt another unknowing woman will be sexually harassed by him. How do we stop this? Can someone tell me? Because I don't know
- •WHAT THE FUCKI've said this several time since I was sexually harassed. It's my general feeling on the subject. And seems to best articulate how I feel and what I think. Sometimes when you don't know what else to say, when something has completely baffled you, when you can't deal with it, all that you can say is WHAT THE FUCK and people get it.