Is Sexual Harassment Real?: Victim vs. Victim Mentality

Thursday, April 20, 2017


Have you ever felt disempowered or discriminated because of your gender (think 'gender pay gap') or the intersectionality of your gender, sexuality, race and faith? Do you know what it feels like to have people dismiss your concerns and be told that looking attractive is the reason people of the opposite gender sexually harass or assault you?

Welcome to the world of women and women of colour. Don't get me wrong - I love being a woman and embracing my strengths as a woman but I won't pretend it's easy even though I know some of us make it look effortless. The art of being a woman in the 21st century consists of an overwhelming amount of pressure to have it all while facing the challenges of living in a world where masculinity and whiteness are set as the standard. It took me years to understand that sexual harassment or assault is not about desirability but power, control and a sense of self-entitlement. Yes, sexual harassment is real and no, wearing the hijab doesn't prevent it. It's the gender dynamics in our societies and cultures that makes the mistreatment of women pervasive or not.