I view myself as a feminist and a strong woman. And honestly, you never think this kind of thing can happen to you, and then it does. This summer in particular has been filled with a few key incidents in which my personal boundaries have been pushed to the limits, my comfort has been violated, and many many unwanted comments about my body and me as a whole were made. It starts off innocent enough until you realize how uncomfortable you truly are. Today, one of my coworkers was fired for making inappropriate comments and actions against me and a few other girls in our workplace. We are lifeguards. I won’t go into explicit detail because its not exactly my place to but the entire situation has made me extremely uncomfortable. This incident and the others over the course of the summer forced me to examine myself to see if anything was provoking it. First of all, never blame yourself. Blaming yourself and saying “oh it’s because I was wearing such and such outfit so that’s why it happened” is literally the definition of rape culture and patriarchy. It is never your fault. If anything, its a fault in society that these boys (and even women that use excuses like that to justify it) are conditioned to act like this. But, we are society! People like you and I need to make a difference. If you feel uncomfortable, tell someone. Staying silent is what makes this continue. And I learned, more often than not, if its happening to you, he’s doing it to other people too. So speaking up is a selfless action. It’s brave and strong. Any woman who says the kind of comments I received are flattering should reexamine her life and everything she believes. Let’s get this out there: comments about your butt are not okay. Comments about your boobs are not okay. Comments about your body or the clothes you wear are not okay. If you feel even remotely uncomfortable, tell someone. It’s disgusting that this is still an issue. Luckily, I work in an environment where sexual harassment is taken very seriously. But I can’t promise every place is like that. I know it’s difficult, but really, say something.
If anyone needs to talk about anything, especially this topic, please don’t hesitate to message me. I’d love to help you or even just listen.