Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Recent Sexual Harassment News

In the New York Times:

An immigration agent demands sex from a Colombian immigrant. He tells her: "I want sex...You get your green card." An Agent, a Green Card, and a Demand for Sex.

Mexico City begins running women-only buses to allow women an option to ride public transportation without being groped and stared at by men. Martha Lucia Micher Camerena, the director general of the Institute of Women in Mexico City says: "This is not against men...And it's also for men because it protects their daughters, sisters, and mothers." On Single Sex Buses, Relief from Unwanted Contact.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Misbehavior of an administrator

I work at an inner-city elementary charter school. There have been multiple accounts of repeated sexual harassment from one of our administrators. This individual has made inappropriate comments to my and my co-workers, including calling my voice "seductive" when I had lost my voice, and also warning another staff member that she might get a "chest cold" walking outside without her jacket (and wearing a lower cut, but not revealing, top).

The real problem is when two teachers quit due to his repeated advances towards them. He emailed them, called them, and asked them to go out to dinner with him in a non-professional setting. They refused, and he kept calling them and making them quite uncomfortable. He is married and has children. He talked to other staff members about how he wanted to have sexual relations with these (and other) staff members. Another teacher confided in me that she was also harassed in a similar manner the year before. He would call and text her all hours of the night and ask to get together.

We work at a low-performing elementary school where our focus is supposed to be on trying to help these kids get up to grade level. It is very disturbing that some people view this as a dating service.

--Anonymous submission

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Worried about a friend

My friend works at a law firm and I get upset when I hear her talk about how her bosses harass her at work. She laughs it off and genuinely doesn't seem bothered by it but it makes me uncomfortable when she talks about how they treat her at work.

They speak to her condescendingly a lot of the time and belittle her with smart-ass comments. She's also told me on more than one occasion how they talk to her about how good her breasts look when she wears tight clothing and one of the lawyers actually spanked her once. I feel bad because I don't want to push the conversation, especially if she doesn't see it as an issue, but I find it hard to hear her say these things and not react because I love her and she doesn't deserve that disrespect. No one deserves that.

--Submitted by: V

Friday, February 29, 2008

Singled out at work

I used to work for a law firm. I was the only female employee, and I was forced to work off the books even though I didn't want to. This gave them far too much power over me, including the ability to hire or fire me on a whim.

My boss was hardly ever in the office when I was, but he forced me to work long hours without a lunch break. The head of the firm frequently dropped pencils and files so that I would have to bend over to pick them up. He talked about how he liked much younger women and how he and his wife had an open relationship frequently when we were at the firm alone together late at night. Even though I made it clear to him that I was not interested, he would frequently talk to clients about my physical appearance or what I was wearing. I started wearing pants and high necked shirts only, but he continued to talk about me in a sexual way.

I later quit because I could not put up with the harassment and the unethical things that they did to their clients.

--Submitted by: Lauren

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

5 minutes of fear

This past summer, I had to walk 5 minutes to a St Louis metro link station and back to be able to get to work and back home. Weekly, I was honked at, whistled at, and given the hand telephone-sign to “call me.” Every day, I walked this 5 minutes back and forth from work in fear. I often talked on my cell phone thinking that it would be a deterrent from this harassment—it wasn’t.

--Anonymous submission

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Welcome to the speakout!

This project is being launched in light of International Women's Day: March 8th. It aims to empower those who encounter sexual harassment as well as raise awareness about sexual harassment. Speak out!