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Sexual Harrasment: The Hidden Truth This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   When most people think of sexual harassment, they think of a guy grabbing a girl.However, sexual harassment can be something as "insignificant" as beingcalled a slur. It is anything that makes a girl, or boy, feel uncomfortable abouthis/her sexuality.

According to the law, sexual harassment is anythingfrom unwelcome sexual advances and requests for sexual favors to verbalstatements of a sexual nature. It also violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Actof 1964 in addition to Title IX of the Education Code. The Sexual HarassmentPolicy which is in effect in all schools and work-places is aimed at providing anacademic and work environment free of harassment. This includes sexual harassmentand every form of intimidation or exploitation.

Sexual harassment is aliveand thriving not only in the workplace, but also in schools. Despite all the TVshows, headlines, news broadcasts and negative publicity in movies about theharmful effects of sexual harassment, it is still one of the most frequentlyreported complaints in the workplace and schools, according to WASH (WomenAgainst Sexual Harassment).

Most students have probably heard of thehighly publicized Anita Hill and Clarence Thomas case, or cases of women suingtheir bosses. But there is another form of sexual harassment that unfortunatelydoesn't get as much publicity. It happens where females should be learning theirrights as "citizens" and being educated about them ... in ourschools.

Girls often accept verbal insults on a regular basis. Even thoughboys say these are "in jest," it has become common (and evenacceptable) for males to refer to females derogatorily. Often males, as they walkpast a female's locker, will "reach out and touch" a part of her, andthe girl is too embarrassed to do anything more than

just laugh or ignoreit. Girls have to be aware of their rights. Recently, a high school girl sued herschool and won a settlement of

$600,000 because the administration tookno action to stop the sexual harassment.

Many females who have beenharassed face administrators and other adults who give them the "boys willbe boys" response. This encourages females to believe that sexual harassmentis acceptable in today's society. However, harassment at a young age can havelong-lasting, detrimental effects. It may have a severe impact on self-esteem and makegirls feel self-conscious about their bodies.

When a female does not takeaction against sexual harassment, not only does it negatively affect her as anindividual, but it also gives others, who see the abuse, the idea that it isacceptable to be treated like a sex object and humiliated. Ignoring this negativebehavior toward girls encourages them to accept mental or physical abuse, and mayencourage young boys to become rapists or wife beaters. So girls, SPEAK OUT!?


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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This article has 4 comments. Post your own now!

simplyalone said...
Feb. 14, 2010 at 6:34 pm
in sixth grade this guy grabbed my ass , i went to my teacher and told on him she told me to tell him to stop, that's it? really? thanks. so the next day he attempted to pull up my shirt. I slapped him across the face. he tried again. I guess a knee to the groin showed him.
 
kindyxkandy said...
Nov. 24, 2009 at 10:08 pm
Well, ladies, this isn't 1880, they should just stand up for themselves, it's not that hard. I never go to my schools office to complain about anything, because its a completely corrupt system up there, one that I would rather stay out of. Like the other day, a freshman who was at least a foot taller then me, came up and was...rubbing me. I politely gave him a warning to back off, and when he didn't...I punched him. Right in the gut.
Usually, it only takes one hit for a guy... (more »)
 
thejoyofrediscovering This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Apr. 10, 2010 at 10:51 am
I agree with you 100%. My school's aministration is so corrupt it's ridiculous. Just this year, a boy tried to sexually touch this girl (his age, but still) and the school DIDN'T EVEN KICK HIM OUT. School's need to work on stopping this, but when the administration can't even think about the students, it falls duty to the students. That's ridiculous IMHO.
 
caboose2585 said...
Dec. 2, 2008 at 5:15 pm
I read your article and believe it will inspire people to stand up to people who sexually harass them. Please email me some time
 
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