Following my Facebook post about being sexually harassed, a male subscriber and supporter posted this below comment. I thought there is value in resharing (and have permission to reshare) it here.
“The underlying problem is this person’s objectification of you and his apparently blindness or indifference to it. He’s treating you like I treat a lovely fabric, an animal at a petting zoo, or some other thing that might be manipulated for pleasant touch sensations.
There is a culture, particularly around the sexual service industries, which exploits this objectification commercially. It is subtle, there’s a veneer of respect and admiration applied to wash away guilt and shame. “Treat a whore like a lady” and all that, and it misses that a whore _is_ a lady, in that she is flesh and blood, has feelings that can be hurt, she is someone’s daughter, or sister, or mother.
This gets diluted as one moves away from erotically charged areas like prostitution to things sexualized more subtly like spokesmodels, TV announcers, etc., but the attitude persists that women should be available for objectification in the way you eloquently complain about above.
Perhaps this is even more a problem in your profession because you are committed to assisting others in healing sexual problems. Many believe their only problem with sex is not getting enough opportunities.
In any case, you did the most honestly loving thing you could do, you shared your heart with him instead of passive-aggressively just cutting him out of your life without explanation or warning. His encounter with you is a real opportunity for self-improvement, it’s is up to him to recognize it. I admire you for your courage not only in confronting him but sharing your vulnerabilities here as well. You are indeed a brave, strong woman. I hope you are rewarded with better encounters for acting with such integrity and strength in this one.
Thank you for sharing this. I was educated and enlightened by it, and I will use it to better check my own behavior in the future. This is really helpful, since I can’t see the world through the eyes of a beautiful woman.”
– Richard O. DeWald, 1 April 2016
You may wish to read my story about being sexually harassed and 7 things not to do here.