The topic of today: At what point is a sexual “joke” taken too far and why does society normalize something that can make someone feel so uncomfortable?
To set the stage for this, it started at the beginning of my sophomore year when I turned down a guy who I truly just wasn’t interested in, but we have two classes together so of course I planned to try to stay friendly. For some reason, he couldn’t take no for an answer and wouldn’t leave me alone about it and how “great” he is. Flash forward to now where he has continued from then to make sexual and also derogatory comments to me in class.
Today crossed the line for me after he proceeded to say *in front of the class* how the whole class can see my butt hanging out of my shorts and attempted to demean me. However I know my worth and I don’t need someone sexualizing my clothing to make me feel like I can’t wear what I want. I’ve noticed a growing problem in today’s society with girls who are automatically shamed and looked at as promiscuous for their clothing, even at school and in their younger ages.
So at what point are these comments considered crossing the line? Because I know for sure if I marched myself up to the office right now, justice would not be served and all of it would be looked at as a joke. I shouldn’t have to feel this way at school out of all places, where it’s supposedly a safe environment. No one should have to feel uncomfortable in their clothes or around a certain person in class, just because of their fear of being put in an uneasy situation like such. I don’t want my future child one day to have to experience any kind of harassment; especially at school where I will sending them for a big chunk of the day.
I refuse to feel put down for my clothes or as if my body is just an object. Let this be known, I am more than my appearance. I am strong, intelligent, and worthy of respect. I refuse to let this boy continue to make me feel uncomfortable in and outside of class just because he thinks sexual harassment is okay and “just a joke”. Do not tell me to calm down; do not tell me to let it go, because I refuse to be a victim to this constant sexualization. It has happened before, not just to me, but my close family and friends.
Sexual harassment, whether it’s verbal or physical, should not be put aside. I understand it can be confusing at times to differentiate an inappropriate joke from sexual harassment, since it is often a fuzzy line, but if you genuinely feel like troubled from it speak up. I’ve put off talking about this for far too long and now I believe is the time I should bring awareness to it and speak up. Thank you.