Have you been harassed before?
“Yes.” -every woman, ever.
No matter what industry you’re in, no matter where you are, no matter how you dress – if you identify as a woman, you will get harassed. It’s something that happens everywhere, all the time, and it has yet to be resolved.
It’s gotten to be a normal thing and honestly, women prepare themselves for the worst. There are some women who avoid wearing certain outfits or avoid taking certain routes on their commute to avoid the comments from men on the street, the subway, etc. In the workplace, some women are very hesitant to speak up about things because of fear of what could happen. Still, it’s something that’s hard to accept. We don’t want to deal with it, but we have to. It’s a matter of survival.
If you’re a woman in the creative industry (even if you’re a freelancer, you’re still in this industry), harassment is a lot more…intense. There are so many different roles that women are taking charge in and with – creative directing, photography, writing, filmmaking, design, modeling – and yet, there are still power-hungry, dominating men who want to bring these women down.
So what exactly is harassment? It’s belittling. It’s humiliation. It’s intimidation. It’s force. It’s molesting. It can be a physical and a verbal thing and it’s one of the scariest things to deal with for so many different reasons. Sexual harassment is scary, but dealing with it and the backlash can be way scarier.
So, how do you deal with it?
…To an extent. If you can physically or verbally defend yourself, do it. It might be risky, but honestly, what isn’t a risk for us? (Seriously, why can’t women do things without them being a risk to our lives or our careers?) If you can get yourself to fight back, fight back. Don’t let yourself be belittled.
If it’s possible, talk to someone with more power. They might be able to do something about it. It’s not tattle-tailing, so don’t let anyone make you think it is. It’s you filing a report of something that made you uncomfortable, afraid, belittled, and incapable. You’re standing up for yourself.
Don’t let it control your worth.
Don’t let it make you feel as if you’re unworthy of work, promotions, or anything else you aspire to accomplish. You are so worthy of everything you strive for, and harassment shouldn’t be something that tears you down. Let it make you stronger.
Don’t let things slip by.
Believe in yourself.
Fight for what you want and what you don’t want. Fight for what you stand for.