Have you ever experienced sexual harassment as a woman of color, and felt that discrimination and stereotypes worked even more against you and kept you from coming forward?
Let me explain…
After I uploaded my last post about sexual harassment against women, I thought of an interesting perspective. Funny enough, it was my perspective as well, but I felt that it was more important for me to express what we have all gone through as women, regardless of our race.
As a black woman, sexual harassment has victimized me in a.. let’s say… unique, yet disturbing way. In an office where I am not well represented, being a black woman, scientist, and immigrant, I’ve felt some additional pressures.
It’s funny how the terrible actions of others can make you question yourself. So many irrational fears have crossed my mind, and maybe yours too. We’ve all heard the typical stereotypes of black women. That we’re loud, angry, and overly dramatic. That we make a big deal out of everything. That we’re aggressive and intimidating.
So because of those stereotypes, and even how others have made us feel, we may be less inclined to report any harassment because of the fear of “fulfilling” the stereotype. Or even worse, the fear of the loss of our job, status, and livelihood. So we stay quiet. I know I’ve both thought and done this at least once or twice…
Real talk. OFTEN.
Or maybe you just have an extroverted personality, like I do. You’ve professed to yourself, and maybe even to the world that if you were ever sexually harassed, you would shout it to the rooftops! Others have looked up to your boisterous courage in the past, and that is the pride you have within yourself. So you feel shame in having acted differently than what you thought you would have. Like you’re all talk and no walk. This definitely describes me to a T.
But no matter your place in life, you must stand up for yourself.
No matter what others may think, you must stand up for yourself.
Why? Because you are worth it. And you are NOT a victim, but a survivor and a victor in your own truth. You chose your path and you’re strongly walking forward towards it. You have the power to control and change the outcome and your future. And no matter your thoughts about who you are or how you want to be perceived, only one thing matters.
That you don’t let such disgusting behavior go unnoticed. It’s up to you.
If you have any similar experiences or want to share a different perspective, please take a minute to comment! And take a look at some of my other posts about sexual harassment.