“Everybody always talks about how when they got to their 16, 17, 18, and 19 years, and how they faced sexual harassment almost daily, but no one ever talks about how it starts much sooner. I’ve been experiencing sexual harassment since at least fourth grade.
In fourth grade (I went to a rough school), kids were discovering twerking, or, as it was called at the time, the “booty dance” (stupid, I know, but we were fourth grade). Guys would go to the curviest girl in the grade (me) and ask them to do the booty dance for them. If we didn’t, they would threaten us. Petty little things, like “I’ll steal your homework and shove it in the toilet” or “I won’t let you out on the playground” but in fourth grade, those were awful threats. So, I learned how to twerk and entertain the boys.
In sixth grade, I was walking to my desk, right in front of a teacher, and a guy slapped my ass and called me his bitch. The teacher looked away and pretended she never saw. I asked her why she didn’t do anything, and she said “boys will be boys”.
8th grade was awful. Guys figured out that the teachers wouldn’t punish them for harassment, so they went overboard. I remember a guy grabbing my backpack while it was on my back and humping it. Guys would walk by me and my friends seat and yank our hair and say “ya like that hoe?” guys would push us to the floor on the bus and pretend to fuck us. I remember a guy pulling a knife on me because I said no to his advances.
Everyone always talks about harassment in girl’s later teenage years, but people rarely realize that it happens when we’re young, too, we’re just to blind to see it.”
I agree with this author, and I think that a large part of the problem with sexual harassment and rape today is that issues like what the author are not addressed. Children are taught at a very young age that “boys will be boys” or that when someone sees an inappropriate action being done to another person, that the “correct” thing to do is look the other way. These types of attitudes must change!