If you’ve ever had your dream ripped from your hands by a man, please stand up.
If you’ve ever been made to feel like you are the problem and that it is all your fault,
This is for you.
If you’ve ever been shamed into silence because you figured it was just easier to deal with the pain than to cause a commotion, know you aren’t alone.
If anyone has ever made your living space feel unsafe because in their minds boundaries don’t exist,
I am so sorry.
It’s sickening to think about how many people have been silenced.
For being victims of something they did not ask for.
My blonde hair didn’t ask for it.
My make-up didn’t’ ask for it.
Your physical appearance is never asking for “it.”
The only thing you’re asking for is to be left alone.
Take the train in peace.
Walk to work in peace.
Work your job in peace.
Wake up and repeat in motherfucking peace.
I was only 20 years old and living in a new city for an internship at my dream job. I didn’t realize how young and naïve I was until I stepped off that plane and woke up in a world where harassment was “just the way things are here.”
That’s not “just the way things are.”
Yes, you knew you were making uncomfortable.
And no, you cannot and did not ever give me a ride home.
I can’t even imagine how that ride would have ended.
You waited until the day I worked alone to corner me.
To come and find me in my workplace, to take my phone to save your number in it.
I had been putting up with it for a month through gritted teeth,
So why did you have to go and make it worse?
Why did you have to ruin my last few days there?
You shouldn’t have thought to look for me at the hotel I was staying at.
You didn’t need to come downstairs to talk to me
Or about me to my coworkers.
And you sure as hell didn’t need to start a conversation with someone else about how you would have sex with me while I was just trying to do my job.
(How could you say those things when you knew I could hear you?)
I was only twenty, and luckily it only went this far.
I’d never felt more humiliated than when my supervisors pulled me into their office and confronted me about everything.
How could I work with these people?
How could I face them the last few days I had left after
You tell them I’m lying.
You tell me I’m sorry, and you didn’t know you know were making me uncomfortable.
You tell me to be quiet so the new girl doesn’t hear us talking about it.
I’d hate to ruin your reputation.
There will be other interns, so I guess I did them a favor.
But what about me?
And about the others before and even now, because I know it didn’t end with me.
After all, this is just how things are,
One little dysfunctional workplace family.
I don’t think I could ever go back.
And I still cringe when I hear your name.