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Response to Diamond_Dog (Reply #4)

Fri Apr 2, 2021, 11:51 AM

32. So true that girls did not say anything

because we did not expect to be believed or feared retaliation or embarrassment, shame, or blame. We talked about it among ourselves, e.g. who to watch out for, but did not try to talk to adults about it.

I went to public schools. In junior high, there were various "monitor" positions that students could have if their grades were adequate. The positions were supposed to give kids some practical experience in the adult world, e.g. doing filing and answering phones in the principal's or counselor's office. Students could be excused from a class that was not a core curriculum subject in order to "work" certain days and time periods per week as a monitor.

In 8th grade, I was a library monitor - stamping and filing library cards at a desk next to the librarian's. Other girls warned me to watch out for the librarian because he liked to reach across the monitor's desk to pull a student's card from the file and always managed to "accidentally" brush his fingertips across the breast of female monitors. Girls would wear bulky, heavy sweaters on the days that we had library duty. Sure enough, he pulled it on me once. After that, I sat in positions that made it difficult or impossible for him to get breast access. So he would stand behind me and reach both arms around me to pull a card, putting me in the position of being hugged.

One day I just said, " You know, it's easier for me to reach the cards. Why not just tell me what you want and I'll pull it for you."

I passed this solution tip on to other girls. We had a collection of tips for avoiding his touch and advances.

Why did we put up with it? By junior high, we had already absorbed the message that that's just the way the world and men were, that it was our responsibility to look out for such things, and that we would be ignored or blamed if we said anything. In that respect, the monitor position really did give us practical experience for the adult work world.

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PCIntern Apr 2021 OP
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LineLineReply So true that girls did not say anything
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