Things I would like:
*If I never had to plan my route through my workplace based on which security guard is assigned to guard the escalator, for fear of an encounter that leaves me feeling disgusted and like I should be wearing a burka.
*If I could have a >50% chance of making it through the week without an inappropriate comment about my appearance or witnessing an inappropriate comment about another woman’s appearance.
*If I didn’t have to worry about staying late at work and being alone in a hallway in what is ostensibly an extremely secure building.
And most importantly,
*If the people whose job it is to listen to such complaints would actually do a damn thing about them.
*If the other men who witness these things didn’t give the harassers a free-pass because they’re “just that kind of guy”, or “that was just a little thing. You shouldn’t worry about it.”
It still amazes me how few people see these as problems. While each one taken separately really is just a minor annoyance, when you add them all together, these little bits and pieces of annoyance add up to a big, big problem. A problem that affects how a woman who deals with them is both perceived and perceives herself. Things that originally just caused them to roll their eyes become the many reasons why a woman can begin to wonder just how much she wants to take, just how much she’s willing to push for what she wants and knows is right.
These little problems are so little that it makes you feel petty and silly to complain, and you know it will make you look just as silly and petty if you do. However, they’re so constant and present that you feel like you’re doing as much harm to yourself by not complaining as you will do to your reputation (and possibly your career) if you do.
Yes, each piece can be brushed off with ease, but just like with physical friction, the continual brushing rubs a spot raw in the psyche. This raw spot remains and grows bigger and will continue to cause minor irritations and minor pains all the while masking an infection slowly eating away at even the strongest women.