There’s A Thin Line Between Love and Harassment

As I waited in line for my very overpriced coffee in a semi-crowded Starbucks on a Wednesday, I noticed two guys…two men checking me out. As I attempted to ignore their blatant staring, I noticed something else. These two men were old enough to be my father, they were with their young kids, yet their ogling of me never ceased. But my level of safety and comfort quickly diminished. I wondered what I had done to set off their staring. Was it what I was wearing? A quick glance down at my t-shirt and too-big shorts told me no. Was my bra strap showing? Again, no. What was it that I had done wrong that they were staring at me in this way?

Nothing. I had done nothing wrong to attract their very unwanted attention. The only thing I had done was step foot in the store to feed my caffeine addiction and to read my book. That’s it. I wasn’t flirting with them, I wasn’t planning to interact with them in any way besides standing in line, and yet somehow I thought it was my fault that they were looking at me. And this interaction didn’t happen in a new, strange environment. It took place in the white, middle-class suburbia that is my hometown.

Now all of this took place in the span of five minutes, but in that time, I realized something.

How can one tell the difference between what’s right and what’s wrong when it comes to harassment?

It’s a thin line…one that’s based on communication and societal perceptions. It’s forged from years of harassment and opposingly, years of kind words. The line is different for every person. But the line will always be thin between “love” and harassment.

The question is, is what do we do as a society about that line? Or is it up to the individual to understand their own boundaries? When does one cross the line?

In order to understand the thinness of said line, here are some examples of lines that I’ve heard in the past. Try to figure out which ones are “love” and which are “harassment.”

“Hey girl…oh you don’t wanna say hi to me? I get it.”

“You look beautiful today.”

“Hey, pretty mama how you doin’ today?”

“Hey, how’s it going?”

“You should be flattered that someone wants to compliment you.”

Think you have the right answers?

The answer was that all five of them could be considered harassment when you take into account the context they were in. Two of them included an attempt to touch me in some way (one grabbed my arm, the other went for my ass). Three included smiles and winks, none of which were reciprocated by me. All five produced the response of me walking quickly past them with my head down and my heart racing. See what I mean?

See what I mean?

In today’s society, the line is so thin that we are often hyper-vigilant in our quest to stop harassment. We are so afraid of making a commotion, drawing unwanted attention to ourselves. In the case of many women, myself included, we are wary to speak up against our harassers, because it could very well lead to more abuse or even physical violence.

If we expect this type of backlash and violence, what can we as a society do about it to prevent it from happening in the future?

I believe that we should teach people how to understand the difference between “love” and harassment. What I mean by this is that through education and prevention, we can help prevent everyday sexism and harassment. Of course, this isn’t a task that will be accomplished in a day. This is something that has been happening for decades, and sadly it may take time before we can truly acknowledge the irreparable damage.

Just because it’s always happened, doesn’t mean that it has to continue.

 

 

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What To Do When You’re Feeling Overwhelmed. 

10) Try to relax/take some time to take care of yourself. You won’t be able to get anything done if you’re too stressed.

This means taking a few seconds to stretch your body, read a post from your favorite blogger (wink wink), jam to your favorite song, shower if you need too. Whatever gets you out of your head, and relaxing.

9) Make sure you get some sleep. Being exhausted won’t help you at all.

Even if it means quick power naps, or a full night’s sleep, do what you can t0 make sure you’re in the best possible mindset to work.

8) Make sure you eat. If you’re hungry, nothing will get accomplished.

And don’t try to insist that “you’re too busy to eat.” Take 5 minutes, grab a bar, a fruit/vegetable, anything that can keep you nourished, and enjoy. Trust me, your body (and mind) will thank you.

7) Try to make a to-do list for what you need to accomplish.

Get out a spare notebook, a piece of paper, a whiteboard…anything you can write on and something that you won’t forget to check.

6) Accomplish the little goals, that way you won’t be distracted when you try to work on the bigger ones.

For example, take a minute to send an email or make an appointment (small goal), then work on your huge project.

5) If you need help with a task, ask for it.

Whether it’s friends, family, your work partners, your boss/professor. If you have questions or are confused, ask for help.

4) Try to avoid procrastinating.

Speaking from a lot of experience here, try not to procrastinate. It’ll only make you more stressed and overwhelmed, which isn’t what you want. Trust me.

3) If something doesn’t work out, move on.

Maybe you failed an exam, or forgot an appointment or a meeting that you were supposed to attend. Instead of focusing on what you didn’t do, try to move past it and onto the next task. The past isn’t something you can change.

2) Try to get outside if you can.

Taking a few deeps breaths of fresh air can do great things, even if you only have a minute to spare. Fresh air beats stale inside air any day.

1 ) You’re not going to always be overwhelmed.

Sure, you’re overwhelmed now, but there will come a time where all of the stress and anxiety will go away. So instead of panicking about what you have to do, keep in mind that it won’t always be this way. You can do it, I believe in you.

What To Do When You’ve Been Incredibly Busy

10. Try to find some spare time to write. For some, this may mean hiding out in the back of the library, frantically working with a large cup of hot chocolate by your side. Or is this just me?

9.If possible, take some time off to relax and recollect yourself.

8. Make sure you eat. Sometimes forget to eat when they’re busy, so if possible, pack some snacks.

7. Get enough rest. You won’t be able to accomplish anything if you’re exhausted.

6. Try to stay healthy! Being sick won’t do you any good, so try to keep healthy.

5. Take some time to socialize. If you’re like me, you work best in a quiet space by yourself. But spending time with friends and family can boost your mood, and will help you relax.

4. Prioritize. Accomplish little assignments first, then tackle your biggest projects. 

3. Take it one day at a time. If you’re freaking out about everything that you need to do, you’ll get nothing done. 

2. Motivation. Think about all the times that you’ve been busy or stressed in your past, and remember that you got through those times, so you can definitely handle it this time.

1. If you can, make it fun. Set a challenge for yourself, or use a reward system to finish what you need to complete! Good luck.

As for me, I might need to start listening to my own advice.

xxoo 

Chapters 417 & 418: Stressed, But Happy

Happy Monday!

Have you ever had times where you’re just so busy, that you have to find the time for little things? Sleep becomes a thing of the past, as does seeing family and friends. Well, this is the idea of what will be my life for the next few weeks, and I’m actually looking forward to it.

Not because I’m going to have a ton of work, but because I’m actually going to spend my time productively (hopefully), and once I’m done, I’ll be free for a month.  I’m going to be unbelievably busy with work for the end of the semester. But at the same time, I’m making sure to spend time with friends during the weekends, and spending time with my family for Thanksgiving. Because what good is being stressed, if you don’t have anyway or time to relieve it? At least for a little while.

So, I’m stressed, but couldn’t be happier to be. 

What stresses you out? 

Have an awesome week!

xxoo

Quote Of The Day: Nobody gets to be you, except you. Nobody has your point of view, except you. Nobody gets to bring to the worlds the things that you get to bring to the world – uniquely get to bring to the world – except you.” – Neil Gaiman 

Chapters 184, 185 & 186: I Can’t Explain…

Happy Monday!

Do you ever have those days where being productive turns out to make you more stressed? Those days where you want to throw everything into the trash and simply ignore it. Those days where you know you’re supposed to do this work, but looking at the assignment makes you want to burst into tears? Those days are some of the darker days during the school year, and yet, they seem to motivate you to work past the panic and get the work done.

Sorry for not posting this weekend, as I was having an aforementioned day (or two). 

Hope you all have a great week!

Image xxoo

Chapters 177 & 178: Car Rides & Ideas

Happy Sunday!

Everyone gets stressed. Sometimes, that stress can pile up until you feel like you’re going to burst into tears. But sometimes, getting away from the problem(s), if only for a little while, can make you feel like smiling instead of crying. Just take a minute to walk outside, take a few deep breaths and just relax, because even if you’re still stressed, I guarantee you’ll feel a bit calmer. 

Even though I’m still overwhelmed by school and work, I realized that if I don’t get a chance to step away from it and relax, I’ll probably end up bursting into tears in the middle of class….which would be pretty hard to explain to my professors and classmates. So instead, when the going gets rough, I’ll try to take a break, listen to some music, watch a funny video…or just sit quietly for a minute to clear my mind. I’d rather finish everything knowing I did the best job possible, rather than running around frantically doing a half-assed job.

Hope you all have a great week!

Image xxoo