Portlanders can’t stop talking about the sexual harassment, assault, and harassment that they’ve faced from strangers on the street and on social media.
The harassment is often from the men themselves, and they’ve had to deal with it for years.
For some, the harassment is just a part of life; for others, it’s a daily grind.
And while the harassment and abuse are not new, the public has been slowly growing more open to talking about it, says Rachel B. Kagan, director of the Sexual Harassment and Violence Project at the University of California, Berkeley.
“It is something we’re starting to talk about more and more,” she says.
“There’s more openness about it.
People are more open in general.
There’s more recognition that there are consequences for being out in public and making these kinds of comments.”
The #METoo movement, which was launched in late March, has been gaining momentum.
A hashtag with more than 500,000 tweets, #MeOut, was launched as an attempt to bring attention to the problem.
Many women are speaking out on social platforms.
The hashtag is currently trending on Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, and Instagram.
On the day of my interview with a woman who worked at the National Guard, she told me she’d been raped by a male coworker in her 20s.
A day later, she was told she’d be fired.
In some cases, harassment is physical.
A woman who works in an elementary school was harassed at work.
She reported it to the principal, who threatened to file a lawsuit.
The same woman was harassed by a man who told her that she was too fat to wear pants.
She also told her supervisor, who told me he’d report her for harassment if she did not stop harassing.
Other women have been stalked or harassed by strangers online.
They’ve been told that they’re “creepy” and that they “should be ashamed of themselves.”
Others have been targeted by online trolls.
They say they’re not the ones who should be afraid.
One woman, whose name I’m not sharing out of fear of retaliation, says she was repeatedly harassed on Twitter and in the street by an online acquaintance.
She was called names like “stupid whore” and “fucking cunt” and told she should stop being a whore.
She says the harassment came from an acquaintance, but that she also experienced threats of violence and death.
Other people have been harassed on Facebook.
On March 15, the hashtag #MeOwls came into being.
The word “Owl” is also a term for someone who is a victim of sexual harassment.
On a Facebook page for the #MeNotOut campaign, women have shared their experiences of being harassed online and in real life.
Some have shared that their stories are inspiring, while others have shared how they were harassed for simply doing their jobs.
It’s a growing movement.
And it has been fueled by the power of social media to connect people.
People can post pictures of their harassment and comment anonymously.
But the anonymity has also made it easier for women to avoid accountability.
“This is something that has been going on for years, but this is the first time it’s been so openly addressed,” Kagan says.
And the fact that it’s being discussed at all shows the public is coming around to the issue.
“We are seeing a shift, but it’s not over,” she adds.
The #meowls hashtag has been trending on Instagram.
The Women’s March on Washington is set for January 21.
It is expected to draw as many as 20 million people to Washington, D.C. The hashtags #MeIn and #MeTogether have been trending online.
“I think that a lot of women are realizing, this is real,” Kogan says.
They’re recognizing that harassment is not just happening to women, but also to men.
“Women are in positions of power, and we’re the ones that need to be protected,” she explains.
But for many women, it doesn’t feel like that.
“Sometimes we feel like we don’t matter, that we’re not a part or part of this conversation, that the only people we care about are the guys we know and the guys that have the power,” Kaman says.
Women are also afraid that if they speak up, they’ll lose their jobs, and their friends.
“When you hear from other women, ‘I’m afraid my friend is going to lose their job because of me, I’m afraid their friend is also going to have to lose his job because I’m going to be silent,'” B.
Kagan says, “you don’t realize how much this affects us.”
The hashtag #MEOut, meanwhile, has already been trending in the U.S. The movement, for the first three days, was only on Twitter.
The U.K., Germany, Canada, France, Australia, and New Zealand have all taken up