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Breaking the SilenceJasmine LopezComment
Photo by: Jazi Photo Makeup: Jacqueline Gamache

Photo by: Jazi Photo Makeup: Jacqueline Gamache

My story isn't one that should be reported to the police because it is an everyday occurrence. I'm sure most women have experienced some version of it making it important to still discuss.

I was at my first job and was warned that the male owner had a history of hitting on the female staff. It only took a few weeks for him to start making inappropriate comments that I would laugh off (my main coping mechanism). Once he cornered me against a wall and leaned into whisper in my ear.

Nothing happened, but I was intimidated. If he had done something, I'm not sure how I would have reacted. I'd like to think I would have pushed back and stood up for myself. But honestly who knows. I'd seen shorter shifts given to some staff he didn't like. I needed the job to save for college. He had the upper hand and I hadn't ever let him know his behavior was actually unwanted.

Would it have been his fault if he had made a move? Or mine? Would anyone have supported my claim? Or instead thought "she was asking for it" or "she flirted back"? The power of female sexuality and subsequent mixed messages make it hard to take action if one is victimized. 

One could argue that I haven't learned my lesson 10 years later. Flirting is a tool I use regularly to get my way. Why? It isn't my fault it's effective. But by using this as a competitive advantage, am I also blurring the lines of implied consent?