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Looking for anonymous stories of sexual harassment

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by metooedu, Sep 18, 2019.

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  1. metooedu

    metooedu New commenter

    Hi, I'm a former teacher who built a website with resources for teachers who are experiencing sexual harassment. This website has caught the attention of some educational leaders and I thought it might be meaningful to collect some anonymous stories from teachers who have experienced sexual harassment and put them on the website. The hope is that these leaders will learn from your stories.

    If you would be interested in anonymously sharing parts of your story (no identifying details), please go here https://metoo-edu.org/tell-your-story/

    If you are experiencing harassment, there are resources on the website that I hope can help you.

    There's also a place to request materials to be sent to your school director if you think your school has a big problem!
  2. CWadd

    CWadd Star commenter

    How do you know they'll be true? People make all kinds of **** up.
  3. metooedu

    metooedu New commenter

    That kind of attitude silences women. I debated collecting email addresses with stories, but I decided it is too much of a data privacy issue.

    If you seriously think women fabricate stories of sexual harassment and are taking time to go to websites to anonymously enter fake stories...I just doń't have anything left to say to you.

    To the women on this site - there are resources on the website that I hope will help you. I see you. I believe you.
    tall tales, caress, Curae and 2 others like this.
  4. Shedman

    Shedman Star commenter

    I have to agree with CWadd here. This really is a very shoddy and iffy way of gathering written accounts of people's experiences. The recent fiasco regarding Carl Beech and his totally fabricated stories of sexual abuse by senior public figures has obviously had little influence on such ways of collecting cases of abuse. No doubt what is submitted will be regurgitated verbatim with no checking of veracity because the accounts are submitted anonymously. If you are going to gather such stories then the person submitting them should be interviewed face to face and at least some of the facts checked.
  5. metooedu

    metooedu New commenter

    Did either of you bother to even look at the site?

    Maybe the word "story" is a misnomer. This is not a request for someone to write up a detailed event history. No identifying details are accepted which I mentioned in my original post.

    It's a place for people to share their darkest moments, share what helped them and what didn't, and feel empowered to have a voice in some small way.

    I will take your comments into consideration as so far all of the stories I have collected have come from people I know. I just thought that getting it out to the greater TES community would reach a greater diversity of people. All of the stories collected so far have come from white women.

    Most of the people who have something to share probably didn't speak up about their harassment because they know they are going to have to deal with people telling them they are making all kinds of ***** up. It is incredibly traumatizing to be violated sexually and then to be told you are a liar.

    I'm not sure why you both feel the need to comment on this thread. What is your agenda? If you are concerned about false allegations and ruining innocent men's lives then,

    1) I stated very clearly that there are no identifying details published (no school, no names, etc)
    2) Have a go at this thread.
    3) Move on. No men's lives will be ruined through this site. But, plenty of women will share how their lives were.
    caress likes this.
  6. moscowbore

    moscowbore Star commenter

    I am male.

    In my first year of teaching I set work for a class and then asked them to come to my desk one at a time to give them feedback on a recent test.
    This worked fine. A girl came out to my desk, listened intently to my exam feedback, wrote down my suggestions and all seemed perfectly fine. She reached across me to pick up her exam paper which was on the desk in front of me and she pressed the exam paper against my chest and slowly rubbed it across my chest and over my shoulder. She walked back to her desk smiling like a Cheshire cat. The whole incident was no more than 2 seconds. She was 13 years old.

    I was stunned. Absolutely stunned. Luckily I had a great HOD who I went straight to to report the incident. I wrote my account down. The school followed it's own procedure, the girl was questioned and she agreed that my account was accurate. Letter went home containing a warning that anything like this again would result in exclusion. There were no more incidents.

    I now realise that my school was rare. Most would not even have registered my complaint.
  7. mm71

    mm71 Occasional commenter

    Interesting how the 2 comments you take issue with don't mention gender yet you do in your reply:
    "I'm not sure why you both feel the need to comment on this thread. What is your agenda? If you are concerned about false allegations and ruining innocent men's lives then,
    3) Move on. No men's lives will be ruined through this site. But, plenty of women will share how their lives were."

    I detect a bit of bias here. In my experience, some of the worst sexist comments and lechery in the workplace were from women. I remember bringing a newly appointed NQT to the office to sign his paperwork and a female deputy waxing lyrical about his "big beautiful brown eyes" in a really seedy way. I also remember 2 female colleagues talking about how big they thought the headteacher's penis was based on the size of his trouser bulge. Or the female colleague who always went on about how it was better to be with black men because of the "obvious reasons" and her making a beeline for a visitor I brought in who was young and black. I do struggle to think of examples of male colleagues doing the "Phwoar! I'd give her one" comments, but I'm sure it did happen.

    Sexual assaults happen to both males & females. Stories need to be told and people need to be listened to. People also make things up on the internet and in real life.

    Bias is a funny old game Brian.
  8. Curae

    Curae Star commenter

    In much the same wsy we accept that TESSERS issues are real otherwise how on Earth would anything function.
  9. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    I did.read the link.
    Why on earth would I want to send my school director resources anonymously?
    He's only in the next door office fgs!

    The problem with this website is it is very angry rather than very productive.
    Sexual harassment is a serious issue, but substantiating this fact requires complex legal process.
    If I am harrassed sexually I'd say the most productive options are-
    *tell them to stop
    *tell somebody else to tell them to stop
    *try to find witnesses
    *shame them into stopping
    *threaten them with procedural recourse
    *kick 'em in the jewels
    *film the harrassment and send it to their spouse

    and this is largely sound advice to anybody else.
    I don't know where sending anonymous stuff to my leaders would come into it.

    Anyway, I'm happy to share my story here. Once I worked with a complete lech who only leched at me when others were out of the room. So one day I followed him home and spent the entire evening on the pavement in front of his house staring into his living room.
    Job done.
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2019
    Laphroig, Shedman and Oscillatingass like this.
  10. Oscillatingass

    Oscillatingass Star commenter

    Sbk, do you do badges and other membership paraphernalia for your fan club members? :D
  11. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    No no no-.I just wave back at them when they're standing outside on the pavement staring into my living room.
    Oscillatingass likes this.
  12. Oscillatingass

    Oscillatingass Star commenter

    Well I promise you I wouldn't stare into your living room. I just find the quirky nature of some of your posts very uplifting. I don't mean to be a pest.
    sbkrobson likes this.
  13. Shedman

    Shedman Star commenter

    Yes I did look at the site and it's just a series of boxes to write in what you will. I did not mention race or gender in my initial response but you readily raise these issues which perhaps says a little more about your agenda than mine.

    You are collecting accounts of sexual violation to publish on your website but your method of collecting them anomymously means that you have absolutely no way of determining what you publish is true or not. Without a method of verifying what is submitted via your less than rigorous survey then whatever you publish may be true and accurate or just complete fabrication. This is hardly the basis for a reliable and factual website that 'educational leaders' would wish to be associated with.
  14. Skeoch

    Skeoch Lead commenter

    You could ask Carl Beech,,,,,
  15. Shedman

    Shedman Star commenter

    He got a mention from me in post #4.
  16. Skeoch

    Skeoch Lead commenter

    Missed that - all credit to you!
    Shedman likes this.
  17. metooedu

    metooedu New commenter

    There is a lot to unpack here.

    First, I am disturbed by the account of following a harasser home to stare into his window for a multitude of reasons.

    1) Women are killed every day by their abusers; confrontation and aggressiveness often leads to violence against women
    2) What if he had called the police? You would have been labeled the crazy one. You would have been accused of stalking and trespassing and probably would have lost your job and reputation. He would have received a lot of himpathy for that crazy woman who followed him home.
    3) If you were in parts of the US and probably many other countries and you were on his property, he could have shot and killed you with no questions asked.

    You accuse me of bias without examining any of your own.

    The fact that women (and especially women of color) are the main targets of sexual harassment is a fact. The site doesn't mention any gender. Stories from men are welcome, too. But, it is fair to acknowledge that most of the stories will be women and most of their male harassers will have faced no consequences for their actions.

    Himpathy comes from men, but it also comes just as much from women. I don't need to know your gender to call you out on himpathy. You repeatedly bring up a single case - Carl Beech, despite the fact, AGAIN, I mention that the point of the site is not to point fingers or even provide details about an individual's harassment. It's for people (and yes, mostly women) to be able to find comfort and a place to share something they probably didn't feel comfortable sharing.

    Yes, I know that women can be gross and make sexual gross comments about male coworkers/subordinates. But, rarely do these comments affect the professional outcome for the male recipient. At least not in the same way it happens to a woman. It does happen sometimes and in that case, the man has experienced sexual harassment and he is welcome to share on the site his story as well.

    I do admit you have given me some things to think about. I have many stories already from white women. I was hoping posting here would reach a broader audience before I make those stories live. But, your comments make it clear that this TES forum is not the right place to get those stories.
  18. TeachingBabylon

    TeachingBabylon New commenter

    "some of the worst sexist comments and lechery in the workplace were from women" Absolutely agree. I would be amazed, in any workplace in the country, if people said women were not at least equal in this regard - they must either work in a convent or are coming from a perspective of built-in bias. Males are greatly outnumbered in my school and some of the females, on a daily basis, dish it out. Firemen visiting - great excitement and talk of hoses. Interviews for new staff - ogling potential new talent. Commenting on the "qualities" of the parent body. It all goes on. And it has at times involved comments directed toward other staff. I think we all just see it as a bit of fun - something that keeps us all a bit more sane - and I would be shocked if anyone complained. I know I would never even consider it, because it doesnt offend me. I guess you can't tell people to be offended if they aren't.
    caterpillartobutterfly and mm71 like this.
  19. metooedu

    metooedu New commenter

    The kind of environment TeachingBabylon describes would be an excellent place for a harasser to work and get away with harassment or potentially even assault. It is loose, casual, and many would describe it as "fun."

    Now all the harasser has to do is harass and no one will believe the victim. If the victim complains, everyone will bring up the time she/he made a sexual joke when trying to fit in with the fun culture of their colleagues. Nevermind that the harassment they complain about would be more offensive than just fun jokes. No one will believe them and BOTH the men and women who work there will blame the victim in order to protect their "fun" work atmosphere.

    Will this environment always lead to harassment? No. But, many times it will. And most victims will stay silent because they know they won't be believed due to the "fun" culture of the workplace.

    ROSIEGIRL Lead commenter

    I accept all your points about the issue of sexual harassment and violence and I think research into this is very important.
    But I'm concerned that your website is very simplistic and open to anyone posting anything on there, with no way of verifying it? It's open to abuse, in more ways than one.
    Are there other avenues you could follow to research this, such as talking to the teaching unions for example?
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