I would be shocked if there is a single woman you know that hasn't been sexually harassed or assaulted.
Yet, here we are trying to "prove" the magnitude of something that most of us have undoubtedly talked about before, asked for help about before, confided in to you about before. As always. The onus is on us somehow to prove that we get followed home, that we get flashed, that we fend off unwanted advances at the bar or the office or our coffee shop or a date, that we get groped, that we get raped, that we get hurt. Perhaps you believe us when we are talking about a stranger, but a friend? A loved one?
It is not about us. It is about YOUR friends, YOUR coworkers, YOUR acquaintances, and maybe sometimes, about YOU. It is about what you DO. Call out this behavior where you see it. Call out people who enable this behavior. Call out environments that cultivate and reward this behavior. Listen when you hear things you don't want to hear about your friends. Watch.
If you are not with us in this, you are letting it happen, again and again. To people you care about and people who you might not care about but matter just as much.
Me too and YES ALL WOMEN.
(Remember how we've already had more than one catchy phrase about this? Why do we keep having to have this conversation?)
-Julie Herlihy BlueWaveNJ Member