Before the age of 14, I was offered cunnilingus from strangers, followed for blocks and called every form of "slut" one can imagine.
Despite how far the U.S. is moving forward with recognizing equality in same-sex relationships, parenting and employment rights, the notion of two people of the same sex harassing or abusing one another is considered a joke.
We are socialized to think that sexual assault, and having to bear the costs of avoiding it, is "normal." Children and women are socialized to fear it and we adapt our behavior to avoid or, if exercised by loved ones or friends, to tolerate it.
For hundreds of thousands of women, escaping their ruined homeland was only the first step in a journey of grinding hardship. They have run out of money, face daily threats to their safety, and are being treated as outcasts.
Most people I have worked with in my career are very rational, responsible people. And yet, I have found the discussion, and the training, more necessary than I would have expected because of unintentional harassment rather than deliberate unpleasant behavior.
Street harassment isn't merely a quality of life issue; this is a human rights issue and the US needs to treat it that way. Most harassed women reported changing their life in some way, including avoiding locations where they had been harassed, no longer going places alone, and even moving neighborhoods or quitting jobs.
Sexual harassment was the norm. Pornography was prolific and the giant blue and gold penis painted on a training facility could be seen from space. It finally took a bold whistleblower to come forward to reveal the misogyny and sexism that Capt. Gregory McWherter condoned and encouraged.
What were they all thinking? Oh yes, I know, that they owned me, that I was theirs forever and always and they could do whatever the f*ck they wanted to me.
According to the report, 65 percent of women and 25 percent of men reported experiencing at least one type of street harassment in their lifetime, and many more men who identified as LGBT than men who identified as straight reported experiencing it.
When trust is breached, those even slightly involved with the targeted fabricator panic and recoil. The fight or flight response kicks in: Does one stay silent and hide; or support and defend?
We could teach men to have respect for womanhood. Teach them that they are not entitled to a woman's body. Tell them that harassing women on the street is not only intimidating, it's very much undesirable. And make it clear that when a drunk woman says "no," she means "no."
I know I am not alone. Misogyny, harassment and verbal abuse toward women goes beyond what's trending in social media.
Being a woman (cis, trans or otherwise) means that you grow accustomed to men and sometimes women commenting about your body on a regular basis without provocation.
n an industry like domestic work, which is even less regulated, the conditions for harassment are ripe. Domestic workers in Chicago have started to speak out about their experiences, like being groped by clients and subjected to exposure, derogatory language and sexual requests.
When I sat down to write this, it was the first time that I was able to fully understand the staggering courage behind the people who participate in Project Unbreakable.
Few young women today have heard of the person who transformed their professional world; that includes Anita Hill's own students at Brandeis, where she currently teaches. Even those Americans who were glued to the televised nomination hearings don't know the complicated backstory.