There’s something I need to get off my chest:
I am really angry.
I’m about to post something inflammatory, but it’s weighing on me and I think it needs to be said, and strongly.
Here is a hypothetical scenario that illustrates why I can’t prevent sexual harassment – by sticking up for myself, or by any other means.
Harasser: I want to _____ your _____ until my _____ falls off.
Me: What you just said really offends me. Please never speak to me again. Also, go away.
Harasser: Sorry. (Leaves. Two weeks go by.) How about if you _____ your _____ while I watch?
BOOM. Just like that, I’ve been harassed – I’ve received repeated, unwanted sexual advances. Notice that it was totally out of my control – the harasser KNEW I didn’t want to hear anything like that ever again, and he didn’t CARE. He didn’t stop because he hadn’t yet gotten what HE wanted, and he hadn’t given up hope that he would.
And that is the core nature of harassment: it is all the harasser’s doing. And it is NOT MY FAULT.
It does NOT matter what I say or how I say it. It doesn’t matter what I wear or whether I venture out after dark. It doesn’t matter whether I’m sober, tipsy, or drunk. It doesn’t matter whether I’m single or in a committed relationship. If a harasser has targeted me, he’s not going to give up until HE wants to give up.
The only people who can prevent harassment are HARASSERS. So stop telling victims what they should do differently. Instead, start telling harassers to KNOCK IT THE FUCK OFF.