There has been a lot of talk of harassment the past few weeks since, unfortunately, there have been many accusations of harassment and assault recently. First of all- that totally sucks. The fact that so many women are constantly harassed and assaulted just…sucks. It’s so important that women come forward and call out their harassers, but it’s awful that men have to be so terrible in the first place. Ugh.
Anyway, it’s also important for you to learn what things count as harassment so that you can be aware if it ever happens to you or someone you know. Being harassed is not fun, and there are little ways that everyone get harassed every day without knowing it. Some of them are more obvious than others, but each of them are serious. If you are confused about what really counts, check out these little things that are actually harassment.
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Being Told To Smile
This is the most annoying thing ever, but it happens to so many girls and women. It is actually a form of harassment, even if you just brush it off as an annoying occurrence. It stems from the idea that other men think that they have some sort of ownership over other girl's bodies. By telling them to smile, they are trying to control what she does. It's disgusting and even if it seems like a "little thing" it stems from a much larger issue. Image Source: Getty
Getting A Random Compliment
Women aren't there for men to gawk at- they are actual human being (shocker!) with feelings. Just walking down the street does not give someone the right to talk to you about your appearance. I know that it can seem like a "nice" thing, but unwarranted compliments from strangers are not cool. Image Source: Getty
Being Asked Out Multiple Times
Have you ever had a guy ask you out and you politely declined, but then he did it again a week later? That's not cool. In his head, a "no" doesn't mean "no." Instead, he thought it meant "try again later." This is a very dangerous mindset to have, and shows that he did not respect your decision. Image Source: Getty
Getting An Unsolicited Sext
Yes, being sent an unsolicited dick pic IS harassment! Anyone exposing their body to you without your consent is sexual harassment, even if it's something that seems like no big deal, like a dick pic or a sext. Image Source: Getty
Being Called Names
Fun fact- I was called a lot of names in middle school because my nose was broken and it made my face look funny. I won't repeat them here, but they were definitely a form of harassment, even though I didn't realize it. Even calling someone "sweetie" or "honey" can be super degrading! Image Source: Getty
So, leering is the term for a "look or gaze" that might make you feel uncomfortable. That can mean a number of things--maybe a guy is looking at your boobs for an unnecessarily long amount of time, or giving you a "suggestive" up and down look. Neither of these things are cool, but they are both forms of harassment. Image Source: Getty
This might seem obvious, but it's still important to note that any sort of unwanted touching is assault. Even if it's a guy trying to be "nice" and give you a massage (eek) it's not okay. You should always give consent before anybody touches you. Image Source: Getty