The Systemic Barrier of Workplace Sexual Harassment
Women in the workplace face a variety of unseen obstacles and boundaries. For the majority of women speaking of these issues are considered unacceptable. The most taboo of these issues is sexual harassment. Sexual harassment is becoming a more discussed topic as women step forward to share their experiences in movements like MeToo or testifying against their harasser in a court of law. Powerful testimony about workplace sexual harassment by Anita Hill and movements like MeToo gave women inspiration and a platform from which to speak of their experiences, informing others that they are not alone. With a more broad-based discussion on what constitutes harassment we are seeing an ever-changing definition of harassment and even an adaptation in harassment itself. As a society we only hear what the media feeds us: what the men did to the survivors. What the media neglects to show us are the deeper, longer lasting effects that haunt a woman for the rest of her professional life: stigma and inaction from her peers, economic hardship, and the mental health effects from trauma and shame from the incidents.