I have been harassed only twice in my life, but when it did happen, I felt shame, disgust and horror. I didn’t understand why I thought it was my fault, and I still don’t.
What happened was I went to help an old teacher out at a prom where he was taking pictures. He was a respectful elderly man, and I was happy to do it for him. I decided to dress up in a nice dress and I felt really good about myself. And then when I got there, his ‘associate’, an older man (but not as old as him) pinched my butt. Everything froze and I felt so dirty. I stayed the whole night helping my old professor, but I could see the other guy trying to catch my eye all night long. It was so disgusting and I felt really betrayed even though I knew that my professor wouldn’t have condoned that type of behavior.
And when I got home, I didn’t know how to tell my mom. When I did she was so unmoved and I didn’t understand how she couldn’t see what was wrong but she thought that I should take it as a compliment. WTFFF? Even worse, she told my dad that an elderly man had complimented me, and I couldn’t even talk to him about it. I know how small a thing it is to be groped, but it hurt so much because it made ME feel like the one that was wrong.
Location: Poughkeepsie, New York