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Sexual Harassment and the consequences of a society based on male dominance.

by Sheri Yarbrough 2 months ago in activism

Years of harassment for women and some men begin very early. Can the psychological aspect of male dominance and complacency of women continue this trend.

Sexual Harassment and the consequences of a society based on male dominance.

For many women the ability to advance their career, get a better grade in school, get out of a speeding ticket, provide for your children when you are a single mother; may unfortunately put them in a place to use their sexuality to succeed. For some men all women are an easy target. Especially vulnerable, desperate women.

Hollywood is just one industry ravaged with sexual harassment but not the only industry. Sexual harassment is in EVERY INDUSTRY, in our SCHOOLS, in PRIVATE SMALL BUSINESSES, CHURCHES, NURSING HOMES, HOSPITALS, and on and on. It is the elephant in the room making those who are victims feel alienated.

My personal experience with unwanted sexual harassment.

My first experience with unwanted sexual attention came at the very young age of 4. One evening my parents were having a party and I was taking a bath. One of my father’s friends came into the bathroom drunk and said he had to pee. I tried to cover myself with my rag and he laughed. “You ain’t got nothing to look at” was his exact words as he continued to stare at me.

I screamed for my mother and father; my father was enraged and kicked the guy out of the house. He was no longer welcome in our home.

5th grade began years of harassment coming from male students and teachers. It began with bra snapping, smacking and grabbing my butt. Getting hit with a paddle by an another male student, having my skirt pulled up when not looking, and having my breast grabbed.

During High school I attended a co-op school which meant we worked 2 weeks out of the month and went to school 2 weeks out of the month. Our work grade was a requirement to graduate. My first job was with a small mom and pop print shop. Initially the owner appeared to be friendly; that changed after a month of working for him. I noticed he treated me and another girl differently than the others. While the others had to do bindery work, myself and the other girl were given office duties or helper duties. He approached me and asked me to wear a skirt to work every day as well as the other girl. I didn’t think anything about it because I thought “Well I’m not doing bindery work and usually office people dress up” That turned out not to be the case. One of the older gentlemen I worked with told me he was saying unsavory things about me and the other girl. He told me the owner asked us to wear skirts so he can see our legs and he liked how we looked in them. Plus other things he was too ashamed to tell me. So the next day I didn’t wear a skirt. The owner became irate and yelled at me. That day I had to work at the bindery table with “All of the other stupid N....G’s”. We informed our teacher about what was going on there. No other students had complained before us. But it was because only white males had been sent there to work. The company was banned from having any more co-op students.

Once I left the small company I was hired at McDonald’s and another large corporation. I would work McDonald’s after school and the other company during my work weeks.

One of the assistant mangers hired a friend. He was an attractive guy so all of the female employees had crushes on him. I was not one of them. He was much older than I. At the time I was 16 years old and he was close to 30. One woman who was a single mother in her mid 30's came forward with a complaint of sexual harassment. Because she was not young, thin, and attractive her complaints were stifled. In fact the manager made fun of her behind her back. Stating her friend would never want someone like her. He had higher standards. I felt sorry for her. I knew he was flirting with her and she was extremely happy. I found her crying in the break room and she told me he raped her. She had invited him to her home for a date. He took advantage of her.

Since her report was swept under the rug he saw it as a green light to prey on more females. Most loved the attention and didn't care. His first time harassing me was while myself and at least 4 other females and 3 other males were in the break room. He had a girl on his lap and everyone was laughing. He pushed the girl off and told me to come sit on his lap. I refused so he got up and grabbed me. Of course the girl who was on his lap got jealous and everyone in the room laughed. I was only 106 lbs. with a guy over 6 feet tall and over 200 lbs. holding me down. Not one person tried to help as I attempted to get away. He only stopped because his friend the manager came in the room. He always played the part of being an ideal worker around management so no one believed he was aggressive.

The last and final time he attempted to harass me was while I was working in the drive thru. He walked up and grabbed my butt. I turned around and slapped him. He got extremely angry and threatened to kill me. Luckily one of the guys saw the whole thing and reported it.

McDonald's corporate office sent a legal team as well as law enforcement showed up to arrest him. I had to make a statement with my mother present since I was a minor. All of the other females he had attacked made statements. Sadly not all considered his advances as harassment and refused to back any of us who did report the harassment.

Unfortunately, these are only a few instances. I have dealt with some form of sexual harassment throughout my life. Thankfully the #MeToo movement has called attention to these types of harassment and have made those guilty accountable.

Sheri Yarbrough
Sheri Yarbrough
Read next: The State
Sheri Yarbrough

Currently finishing a Young Adult Fantasy/Horror novel. Master's degree in Applied Behavioral Science with an emphasis in Psychology. I have a BA in Psychology with a minor in English. Writing is my passion!

See all posts by Sheri Yarbrough