Jewel says she’s been sexually harassed by men since she was 8 years old

Jewel

Jewel has a new memoir coming out (like everyone else) called Never Broken, which will detail her twenty year music career. Twenty years? Time really gets away from us. Jewel found fame in 1995 with her debut record, Pieces of You, and she’s also preparing to release a bookend album called Picking Up The Pieces. The title likely alludes to the end of her marriage (in 2014) to Ty Murray. She also tells Parade that both the memoir and the album acted as “my mechanism to do what I called an archeological dig back to my essential self.” This is her 12th record, which is also amazing.

Jewel has a new interview with People about the sexual harassment she experienced long before she found fame. She used to sing in her childhood Alaska town (Homer) and even sang in biker bars, but she says businessmen and executives have always harassed her too:

On sexism in entertainment: “The music industry is a very male-dominated business. I never slept my way to the top, ever. There was never one time I’ve ever compromised anything. I was always willing to walk away. … And I think that type of spirit that you bring just informs everybody that’s around you. You know, I’ve heard plenty of stories that the opposite happens. I saw what women would give up for a compliment. I felt men were willing to take advantage if they saw something vulnerable. I’ve had men hitting on me, sadly, since I was really young. At 8, I had men putting dimes in my hands saying, ‘Call me. It’d be so great to f*** when you’re older.’ And just horrible stuff.”

Using he prior experience after she signed a record deal at 18: “In the music business, it ended up serving me very well. I learned to keep my energy to myself, where there’s nothing about me that seemed approachable. And as men did approach me, I got very good at handling men in a way that sort of didn’t anger them. … And at the same time using wit and usually humor to defuse the situation and to inform them, ‘P.S. Not available that way.’ ”

On being homeless as a teen: “I’ve never been more propositioned by businessmen in my life. It was almost like they were sharks that could smell blood, like of vulnerability. I’d go back to my car, writing songs, and men would literally come up and proposition me. They would be like, ‘Hey, do you need rent money?’ you know and things like that. It was pretty wild. I never took anybody up on it, but it was interesting to see this side of men that basically would prey on somebody vulnerable.”

[From Hollywood Reporter]

Jewel also says her homelessness was a result of being fired by her boss after she refused to sleep with him. Then she slept in her car until someone stole it, and the sexual harassment continued throughout and long after she became successful. Ugh. Jewel never mentions Sean Penn in this interview, but people often credit the guy for “discovering” her. There are rumors that they had a relationship, but who knows. It sucks that Jewel has had to put up with harassment for her entire life, and especially when she was only a kid. Creepers really are everywhere.

Jewel

Jewel

Photos courtesy of Fame/Flynet

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128 Responses to “Jewel says she’s been sexually harassed by men since she was 8 years old”

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  1. DebDebP says:

    I sat next to her in sixth grade. She was always honest and has always been beautiful. I have no doubt that everything she’s saying is true.

    • Lake Mom says:

      I’ll never forget when she was on the Tonight show and the other guest was political consultant James Carvelle. He leered at her the entire time, staring at her chest and making what I felt were somewhat suggestive comments. I’d never seen such blatant ogling on a talk show before. Jewel handled herself with class but you could tell she thought he was disgusting. Never liked him before but ever since then, I can’t stand stand to see his smug, pig of a face. I totally believe her.

  2. Esteph says:

    Wow I really feel for her. I can’t help but say what I say at work all the time, “people suck”.

  3. Emmygrant says:

    I’m gonna share that quote about keeping her energy to herself to not seem approachable to men with my daughter. I think my daughter naturally does that because she’s always been quite shy. She hasn’t had much trouble with guys harassing her, but then again, she’s only 17. I feel putting this into words could possibly help her in college.

  4. waitwhat says:

    Believe it a hundred percent. I’ve been hit on since 6th grade by grown men and women still blamed me. It’s a problem everywhere, and men for sure prey on the vulnerable. Trips to Thailand/Brazil anyone?

    • Giddy says:

      We have a neighbor who has taken several trips to Thailand without his wife. In mixed groups he talks of the beauty of the country etc., but with just men he brags about the sex tourism with young girls. He is disgusting and he used to coach our sons.😟

      • Nicolette says:

        That is so sickening. What kind of person wants to have sex with a child? Apparently there are a lot of them out there or Thailand wouldn’t have such a booming industry in that department. There are way too many creeps inhabiting this planet now.

      • ds says:

        One of my professors from Uni felt no shame in bragging about the trips he took to Thailand; almost every year and would “hint” what they were about. I felt like womitting every time.

      • capepopsie says:

        Yes, it´s disgusting. Everytime I hear someones going
        on holiday to Thailand, this comes up in my mind!

      • bettyrose says:

        Child rapists, that’s who. And any man who goes to Thailand for that purpose needs to hear that he is a child rapist, no different than any other predator listed on the sex offenders web site, and not delude himself that he’s not a sicko.

      • Jayna says:

        Is his wife an idiot? After watching 20/20 type shows or reading in-depth articles in magazines about the underage trade over there and tours that are set up for men and take them to these very young girls, how could she not wonder why he has taken “several” trips to Thailand without her?

      • Cindy says:

        That’s awful and the sad thing is, I am not surprised. The reason the sex trade, particularly with underage girls, flourishes is because it is high demand. Men are the ones driving this market. Sad but true.

      • FLORC says:

        Out of University a friend went to thaiiland to teach english. He got to the airport, was met by someone explaining his job there and within 10 hours he was on a plane home. That’s all I’ve really heard of thailand 1st hand.

        I’ll give a side eye to any man who travels there for a vacation and some who claim business, but have no business going there.

      • Bella says:

        My 4th trip to Thailand is booked for next Feb, to help break up our long, brutally cold Canadian winter. Though there is certainly prostitution in red light areas, that can be found in most holiday hot spots and is actually illegal in Thailand. It is a beautiful country with amazing culture and the FOOD!!! Or, how about a weeklong, 5- star spa holiday, in your own private villa, with butler and chef, on a small island for the same price as weekend at Disney back home. Average folks can vacation like a Kardashian in the Far East, that’s why most tourists venture so far.

    • Imo says:

      Waitwhat
      I’m sorry that happened to you. I distinctly remember being in grade school and the girls who were early developers were bullied shamelessly. Girls mocked them, boys did everything from leering to actual grabbing/groping. The worst part? The role many of the female teachers adopted. Some were complaisant and some were complicit – punishing the girl or openly favoring the boys involved.. There was one girl in particular who used to come in from recess often with a tear streaked face, disheveled hair and dirt on her clothes because the boys made a game of surrounding her and running at her in order to fondle her. The teachers tsked tsked and rolled their eyes because the girl was ‘shamelessly’ enticing the ‘poor’ boys. As an adult I can’t think back to those days without feeling sick with rage for her. I just really hope the girl ended up having a wonderful life.
      I wish something very different for those teachers.

      • sally says:

        @imo that is such a sad story. i hope the young girl has a happy fulfilled life. unfortunately those type of events stay with u forever.

      • Imo says:

        You are so right. And many of these objectified girls grow up to be broken women, wives, sisters, partners, daughters and mothers.

  5. Ladybird83 says:

    It’s really not surprising. I started getting hit on by grown men and teenagers when I was 8. I developed early. I remember a 16 year old boy catching me staring at him on the bus. He came over and whispered in my ear to “come see him in a couple years.” I was in second grade, he was a sophomore.

    • Deb says:

      Ew! I had a grown man catcall me from his vehicle as he drove past when I was 8. We had a pool in my backyard, and I had been swimming. I was wearing a two piece suit. I was walking from my house to a friend’s house a few houses down to invite him over. To this day, I can’t believe some creep had the nerve to catcall 8-year-old me in a swimsuit.

  6. Who ARE these people? says:

    And will the men in that industry (or any men anywhere) hearing this feel ashamed of themselves and make some effort to clean things up?

    • RuddyZooKeeper says:

      Nope

    • Nicolette says:

      No and they never will either. I keep saying this over and over but I really believe with the technology available now they have the ability to view porn in the palm of their hands 24/7 and it has changed the way they view women and young girls. Their sickest fetishes have come out of the closet and are there front and center. Women and girls have been objectified by men for a long time but now it has reached epic proportions.

      • littlemissnaughty says:

        I hear you about the p0rn but on the other hand, there are a lot more men these days who do respect women. You can go back 40/50 years and instead of porn, you see men viewing women predominantly as baby machines and maids. And women had fewer options fighting that or simply saying “I’m not playing that game, I’ll find one who’s better than that.” Even from a legal perspective, men – whether in marriage or in general – had the upper hand and most thought nothing of it. Sex was not generally viewed as something women enjoyed as much as men so women simply endured a lot more because they weren’t supposed to enjoy it anyway.

        P0rn and the easy access to it most likely have changed the way we view sex but I’m alwas hesitant to say that it’s gotten worse. We often feel that way about things but objectively that’s not necessarily true. At least now women can fight back.

      • frisbee says:

        Totally agree, read an interesting interview with Margaret Atwood the Canadian writer who said
        “Feminism is having a new wave. The first was about the vote; the second was about identity and came from the pressure cooker of women being in the home; this third wave is about violence. It’s about women being murdered and raped. It’s more self defence than self assertion.”
        http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2015/sep/12/margaret-atwood-this-much-i-know
        In Jewel’s interview this comment really stood out for me,
        “And as men did approach me, I got very good at handling men in a way that sort of didn’t anger them. … And at the same time using wit and usually humor to defuse the situation and to inform them, ‘P.S. Not available that way.’ ”

        That we have to develop tactics to placate and avert male violence demonstrates how widespread it is.
        “… 35 per cent of women worldwide have experienced either physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence or non-partner sexual violence. However, some national violence studies show that up to 70 per cent of women have experienced physical and/or sexual violence in their lifetime from an intimate partner [1]. – http://www.unwomen.org/en/what-we-do/ending-violence-against-women/facts-and-figures#sthash.EoYzAjtS.dpuf
        We need to be clear that harassment is unacceptable and the no really does mean no

      • belle de jour says:

        @frisbee: “That we have to develop tactics to placate and avert male violence demonstrates how widespread it is.”

        YES, this is what struck me as well. I was not an early developer, yet still had this problem from a very early age as well. When you’re that young, you don’t understand quite what’s happening, or why… if you’re ‘lucky,’ though, you develop a spidey sense that you need to avoid some sort of danger that makes you uncomfortable.

        It’s not so far removed from learning to mold your behavior by learning to dread and avoid – if possible – the anger of a drunk. In my experience, it certainly crosses all economic, career, friend and family lines, as well. And thus little girls begin learning to spend a lot of time and energy and emotion – at the expense of just being able to be safe & the best little girl people they can be – dreading and trying their best to get around the worst behavior of men who could be anywhere around them.

      • Guest says:

        I agree. I’m not anti porn. To each their own. The problem is that there are a lot of unhealthy fetishes and porn allows people to explore them instead of examining the nature of them. Earlier this week I was on Gawker and I had the misfortune of reading about how some despicable woman was convicted of making porn videos with animal cruelty. I read halfway through what this garbage of a person did to these helpless animals and I began crying. I was so effing angry.
        Going back to your point, I completely agree that porn has influenced the behavior towards women. The multiple men on one woman. The finishing on said woman. Like they’re desperately trying to control, overpower, and “brand” women because we should belong to them.

      • frisbee says:

        @ Belle de jour
        “And thus little girls begin learning to spend a lot of time and energy and emotion – at the expense of just being able to be safe & the best little girl people they can be – dreading and trying their best to get around the worst behavior of men who could be anywhere around them”
        THIS – I just wish I was that coherent!
        @ Guest. I don’t watch porn, tbh it makes me feel sick. I don’t care about other people watching it, it’s there, that’s there prerogative but to me the attitude that all women are ‘Dirty Sluts’ and all men are ‘Horny Studs’ is utterly demeaning to both women and men and it really can’t be helping.

      • Imo says:

        Frisbee
        Well said. Frightening stats :(

      • frisbee says:

        Imo – Thank you

        Edit: ‘it’s there, that’s there…’ should have read that’s their prerogative’ – drat!

      • Imo says:

        Frisbee
        What you said about feminism being fought in waves strikes me as true but I’m horrified that if you’re right women may be losing not gaining ground. Our safety/autonomy should be a given by 2015 while we focus on legal/financial/political/social parity. I’m actually really worried.

      • Jay (the Canadian one) says:

        Based on horror stories my mom told me I have a hard time believing it’s gotten worse today than 30-40 years ago. Look at the Bill Cosby stuff. It’s always been happening. If anything what’s changed is there is dialogue about it now.

        And re: porn there’s been a correlation between the increased availability of porn and a DECREASE in sexual assault, so I wouldn’t be quick to blame the availability of porn. (Before I get accused of speaking in self interest I don’t partake in porn myself. I find it shallow, but I don’t judge those that enjoy it.)

      • Anna says:

        @frisbee @Bell de jour
        “dreading and trying their best to get around the worst behavior of men [and women] who could be anywhere around them”
        I still feel this way and I’m 43. As a survivor and one who has been continuously silenced whenever I have tried to share my experiences, I know that the evil root runs deep. Thank goodness for counseling which has allowed me to find my voice and validate it, is a shelter when the pain is too much and has helped me to develop ways to stay strong and speak out without fear. I don’t know if I’ll ever learn how to deal with the harassment but I am working on ways to protect myself and to recognize danger (as I have a natural tendency to believe in people’s best rather than see red flags). Hearing about this makes me physically ill. I feel the same whenever I hear about R.Kelly who is celebrated like some kind of god. The little (black) girls he molested are forgotten in history, denounced, even. I’ve gotten the whole “why are you so angry with men?” question. Hmmm….being sexualized (and then blamed for it) from a young age will do that to you.

    • Cindy says:

      No. It’s a sh*tty world.

  7. H says:

    I thought it was the guitarist from The Red Hot Chili Peppers who discovered Jewel. Sean Penn? I hope not, guy is scum, but if he did help her, at least he has good musical instincts. Still scum though.

    • bettyrose says:

      The Sean Penn story was common knowledge in the 90s.

      • Ramona Q. says:

        I just listened to one of her Howard Stern interviews a few days ago. She said Sean Penn asked her to write a song for his movie The Crossing Guard, and they had a relationship that lasted almost a year.

      • FLORC says:

        Wow. Never knew.

    • Scarlet Vixen says:

      Sean Penn has a brother and sister-in-law who have been in the music industry for a really long time (Michael Penn and Aimee Mann) and have a similar sound to Jewel’s, so I wouldn’t be surprised if he heard her and passed her stuff along. Jewel also dated Steve Poltz, who was in a band called the Rugburns, so that may have been her foot in the door, too. I was a MASSIVE Jewel fan on the 90s, but she kinda lost me with her pop album (it just felt so sellout to me). And she can tend to come off as a bit phony in interviewsn but she is a smart and very talented lady tho, who has not had an easy life, so I respect her a ton. Her “Lullaby” album was my kids’ favorite bedtime music, so I will always love her for that and “Pieces of You.”

      • FLORC says:

        Same! Her pop album made me forget about her as an artist. But the girl can write and play.

        I’m only here commenting because I saw her face and Pieces of You is now on a damn loop in my head! It wouldn’t be so bad if it ended an hour ago. I don’t need backround music to my thoughts.

      • tealily says:

        I loved the Rugburns, and I remember my mind being blown when I found out they were dating (and he cowrote/ appeared in her video with her!). They always seemed like an odd couple musically to me because the Rugburns were such a goofy band.

  8. Jazz says:

    I definitely believe the bit about some men preying on the vulnerable. A friend of mine was homeless and living on the streets when she was 14. Guys would constantly hit on her and offer money for bl*wjobs and handjobs. She never took them up on it though. It’s just disgusting that someone would do that to a vulnerable child.

    • Imo says:

      It’s also sad to me that it must be mentioned that she didn’t take them up on it.

      • Huh says:

        I agree. That young woman wouldn’t have been less pure or less worthy if friendship if she ‘took them up on it.’ Even that phrasing of ‘taking them up’ is pretty awful.

  9. minx says:

    I believe her,

  10. Ginger says:

    My brother and I went door to door selling candy to raise funds for our school activities (mine choir, his soccer). My Mom thought it was safer to send us out together. (This was back in the 80′s) And I still recall vividly this older man at one door propositioning me because “he thought girls with braces were cute”. I was 13 and my brother 11 at the time. My brother (now a former Marine and LEO) wanted to kick the dude’s hind end even at that age! I just told my brother, let’s get out of here and go home. On another occasion, I was riding my bike to a friend’s house around 12 years of age and I had to ride past the prison in my hometown. There were orchards around it at that time and the prisoners on work detail were out there. They started to catcall and whistle at me. I rode as fast as lightning that day. After reading Jewel’s experience and knowing my own, I wonder just how many Women have had to deal with this at a young age? It’s scary!

    • North of Boston says:

      “After reading Jewel’s experience and knowing my own, I wonder just how many Women have had to deal with this at a young age? It’s scary! ”

      @ Ginger: Many, many, many women. I don’t think I know a single woman that I’ve discussed these types of experiences with who hasn’t had one of her own.

    • prettylights says:

      I agree with North…. I would say most women have had to deal with sexual harassment on some level, whether that be a cat-call, getting honked at, groped, propositioned, etc. For me it started at the age of 10-11. I’ve had all of the above happen to me throughout the years. Yes, sometimes it was just innocent flirting, but sometimes it was darker, like having my pants dragged off when I was 16 by a guy when we were in his room on a ‘date’ – and his parents were home. I grabbed my pants and took off running before it turned into something worse. I had guys at school staring down my shirt if I bent over, ‘tickling me’, and a male teacher hitting on me so obviously that other kids made fun of me for it and a female teacher I was close with had to tell them to stop/have a talk with the male teacher. I was groped while sleeping next to a male friend and woke up with his hand down my panties. That one tore me to pieces – the loss of trust in someone who I considered a very good friend and who I thought had more respect for me than that.

      So many things and why should women have to put up with that? I have been weird about my body ever since. I rarely show cleavage or dress sexy. When I was a bartender for a while in my 20′s I actually was reprimanded by my male boss for not dressing sexy enough to get more tips – but I thought, f*** you, I can get tips based on my personality. My boss’s business partner would ogle me with his friends if I did wear something slightly low cut which made it even more uncomfortable. The other girls wore tight clothes, low cut shirts, and heels while I mostly wore jeans, tennis shoes, and t shirts. He kept cutting my hours until I finally quit.

      I am 30 now and I should be comfortable with my body but I’m not because I wasn’t given the chance to be comfortable with it – it was always what caused me to be objectified, and I consider myself an intelligent person who would rather be noticed for what I have to say and my personality than the size of my chest or the shape of my butt. I wish the next generation of girls growing up would never have to deal with any of that, but that won’t stop until society and our pop culture stop emphasizing sex basically all the time.

  11. bettyrose says:

    As the comments show, this is a common experience of growing up female.In junior high, there were girls who would compare notes on how many creepers had hit on them recently.

    • Cindy says:

      Yes yes! I am so glad for this thread. I was largely on my own as a child and I cannot count the number of times adult men creeped on me. Or pulled up in their car beside me in broad daylight. And I was not an early developer. I learned to run, avoid, and humor men at a very young age. It’s a reality of life and I am shocked when people are so taken aback by this reality. It must be nice to be in a position where you can be naive to this basic fact.

    • laura in LA says:

      Oh, yes, first year of middle school, I remember hearing stuff and feeling like girls my age were being preyed upon by creeps, though I accepted this as just part of growing up. To be honest, I don’t doubt that there were many boys who also went through this, too, perhaps to a lesser extent, but it still happens.

      Fortunately, most of the adult men I knew, from relatives and my parents’ friends to teachers and coaches, were decent people. However, I also had my fair share of encounters with strangers, enough to know that I should always be aware – because the world can be a scary place.

  12. Samtha says:

    It’s sad but doesn’t surprise me in the least. Look at all the times creepers have put up website “countdowns” to when girls like the Olsen twins or Emma Watson will turn 18. It’s really disgusting.

    • Sofia says:

      Yeah, it started as early as 12 with me too.
      I remember the first time this old man was staring at me while I was walking in the city with my mother. About half a year later on a holiday with my parents a man as old as 24 tried to hit on me. It screwed me up for a long time, I was afraid to show my body (conscious when men were walking behind me, thinking they’d be looking at my butt, I would cover it up with a sweater at all times). I was grossed out by men for a very long time in my teens.

  13. Jaded says:

    Joining the club – I was harassed countless times growing up, even by one of my parent’s closest friends. I babysat for his wife and he’d make excuses to come home early and try to maul me. When I finally told my parents my father went silent, walked out the door and up the street to their house. I can’t imagine what he told this guy but we never saw them again and his wife divorced him shortly thereafter.

    So many men still behave shamelessly, and it makes me sad that in this day and age we are still subjected to the indignity of sexual harassment and have to be on our guard constantly. *SIGH*

    • FLORC says:

      I don’t think I was ever harrassed…? I’ll go with no or not to my knwoledge in my child years.

      However, a few years ago at a charity function I was working a woman and her (too cute for words) daughter approached me. There was someone very shady inside the party who wasn’t on the guest list. He put some change in the hand of a statue and propositioned it. The little girl took the change and he said if she was going to take it she was going to earn it. That was the story relayed to me and I got security/cops to take it from there. The man was not well and needed help from what I saw and was told.

      It happens everywhere for a variety of reasons and it’s disturbing.
      I totally believe Jewel as she’s also lived a seemingly honest and drama lite life.

      Worse though. When they know what they’re doing. Sick.

  14. MG says:

    My daughter is 13 and I have seen grown men look at her while we are out and about. It scares the shit out of me. She has a male soccer coach and basketball coach and I’ve talked to her about never being alone with them etc. She also a male teacher that offers tutoring in the morning before school starts. I’ve talked to her about him as well. I don’t want to scare her but I want her to be safe. All these guys are probably great men….but you never know.

    • bettyrose says:

      It sucks that you have to make your daughters distrustful of their authority figures, but it’s necessary. My mother was the same with me and it was helpful for me to understand that adult male attention was predatory, not flattering. Men will make young girls feel “special” for attracting their eye, and sadly girls can’t afford to be naive about such things.

    • Who ARE these people? says:

      It’s hard. We have to teach them to trust their instincts and not be so concerned with being “nice” to everybody. We have to model it, too. My daughter used to think I was just a big blue meanie to solicitors who came to the front door. Now she knows why I don’t open it, often don’t even answer it. The advice from safety experts is to be slow to let people into your kids’ lives and quick to kick them out. They do need opportunities to get to know boys as friends and to date normally so they can develop their instincts, recognize the good guys, be comfortable taking things slow and setting limits, and simply know what they want – otherwise they are actually more vulnerable.

      Jewel was impressive for knowing her boundaries early and knowing how to handle it as best she could but it should never be on the girls to have to figure this out. What are boys being taught that they think this is okay?

      • Crumpet says:

        “We have to teach them to trust their instincts and not be so concerned with being “nice” to everybody.”

        Hear hear.

    • Scarlet Vixen says:

      Isn’t it so sad that we have to warn our children so young? My 4yr old in particular is so friendly and trusting-I’ve tried having the “stranger danger” talk with her, but she just assumes everyone is a friend. It breaks my heart that way too soon she’ll learn how terrible people can be. She is a beautiful girl who is very tall for her age, so I know she’ll be a target way too soon. I was also. I became aware that men were looking at me inappropriately around age 10, but it probably happened before that and I just wasn’t aware.

      It can alao come from men you’d never expect. A few years ago I spent a day at an amusement park with a long-time male friend and mentor I deeply respected. We were there with a performing group (musicians) and I was pregnant so I couldn’t go on rides, so he kept me company. He spent the entire day ogling teenagers and commenting on their “hot little bodies.” When I asked him to stop he argued that they were scantily dressed so they were “asking for it.” It made me ILL. I knew his wife, his adult son, and had known him for over a decade and never suspected he was such a creep. Darkness lurks in all kinds of people, and it’s sad that sometimes you feel you can’t trust anyone.

      • Ripley says:

        I found a terrific article about a year ago called “‘Tricky People’ Are the New Strangers” with regards to stranger danger.

        Highly recommend you read it. I would share the link but afraid it might not come through…. (I think it’s on Checklist Mommy) just google “Tricky People” and it’s the first article.

      • analee says:

        There are cases where a young girl begins to dislike and mistrust, most of all, her *own* body, once it becomes the walking target of painful and unwanted male attention. Though painfully shy, I was an early developer, and rather than chiefly fear and dislike the boys and men who verbally and physically harassed me daily by age 12, I grew to mistrust and loathe my own body, instead. I felt conspicuous and ashamed, when grown men propositioned and ogled me, and I longed to be invisible or, at least, to have a child’s form again. To that end, I spent my teen years struggling with anorexia and bulimia, in the attempt to reverse puberty, to starve away the landmark flags of physical maturity which, in my mind, were what had caused men to mistreat me to begin with. I internalized everything, to the point where I believed myself to blame for the men who behaved as though my body were on perpetual display, like clothes in a store window, purposefully and invitingly available to be touched and tried on at the will of any stranger who passed by. And the less in control I felt of my own body–and of the eager, often almost hostile seeming response it evoked in many men– the more devoutly I worked to control the one thing about my body I *could* feel I controlled, my weight. Fasting and throwing up became my way of existence, to the exclusion of a developing, full, independent young life itself.
        Body image and self image more than overlap, they are indivisibly connected, and when a girl feels physically fearful or ashamed, in her own skin, she can become inherently ashamed of and disgusted by herself as well.
        It’s why I think, especially in girls who mature physically while still children, special parental or counselor’s guidance is important, so that male treatment of their emerging woman’s bodies does not misdirect their response of fear and anger towards themselves. I wish I’d had guidance myself, as all girls need someone to tell them their body is not a public or purchasable object, not shameful but something utterly sacred, that needs to be cherished and loved and respected, and is deserving of protection not only from men but from the misfiring of anger and alarm turned in onto itself, and the resulting, varied forms of self loathing and self destruction.

    • Jayna says:

      My friend has a 14-year-old daughter who is tall and looks cute in jeans or whatever, but is small busted (so it’s not the boobs they are looking at), but is pretty with thick long hair. But she looks like a kid still in that she laughs about beeing geeky. She doesn’t date yet.. She doesn’t dress sexually, has an innocent, clumsy quality to her. My friend says still she will see grown men even into their 40s turn their heads looking back at her daughter often and it freaks her out.

      • laura in LA says:

        Jayna, I don’t suppose there’s anything that can be done except for the girl to get used to this and learn to handle it. That’s always been true.

        What really bothers me is how some of my friends post photos of their young daughters on social media, one just today taken a few years ago of a girl – covered up but still naked. While it may have seemed cute or innocent and beautiful to my friend, there could be any number of men with access to her page who might see it as arousing.

        Why expose and sexualize our daughters (and sons) online and possibly invite unwanted attention this way? I don’t understand it.

  15. Nicolette says:

    Boys were no better when I was a kid. I was the first to develop in elementary school and on my way home a group of them would follow me, corner me and grab a quick feel. I never told my parents because I mistakenly and ignorantly thought somehow it was my fault as crazy as that sounds.

  16. j.eyre says:

    Raising a young daughter, I cannot thank you all enough for reminding me what’s out there for her.

    • Imo says:

      I wish it weren’t. Even if she is fortunate enough to never have to deal with this 100% one of her friends or acquaintances will and your daughter will be that much better able to help them cope.

  17. Dena says:

    We know this happens to girls. It’s a silent epidemic with boys. We need to teach our boys how to be safe from sexual predators & local pervs too.

    • frisbee says:

      Exactly, I posted my comment above before I read yours (should have scrolled down!) but it is, literally, an epidemic, the figures are terrifying. If I had a daughter, she would be going to an all -girl’s school.

      • Who ARE these people? says:

        Girls can bully, too. Bear in mind that the safest thing for girls is for them to be able to have boys as friends so they can develop better antennae for who can be trusted vs avoided. Cloistering is not the answer. Raising boys to respect females and censuring men for disrespecting females is the answer.

      • bettyrose says:

        Who are these people: Well said. My co-ed social group of nerds was so tight knit in high school we had co-ed sleepovers. Totally platonic. We all talked about sex, etc, but were not getting it on with each other. So many boys are sweet, dorky awkward kids who totally benefit from having female friends and knowing us as real people not just forbidden fruit. And vice versa, of course.

      • frisbee says:

        I hear what you are saying but the educating boys/men to respect girls/women doesn’t seem to be working. Girls can indeed bully but they tend not to rape and sexually assault. I do agree with you, girls do need to develop an excellent antenna but just how good is that going to be when studies show that 84% of women who are raped knew their assailants whilst 57% of rapes occurred on a date?
        https://www.k-state.edu/media/webzine/Didyouhearyes/daterapefacts.html
        ‘Raising boys to respect females and censuring men for disrespecting females is the answer,’ yes, 1000 times yes, but the question is how do we do that whilst still protecting our girls from assault? Girls aren’t usually cloistered at a single sex school, there are usually joint activities with local boy’s schools allowing socialisation so it’s not entirely a nunnery!

        @ Bettyrose – this all may depend entirely on what sort of school you are going to, a really good school might have none of these issue, a bad school all of them.

      • Who ARE these people? says:

        Good questions and thoughts, frisbee. I don’t have the answers – all of us are trying to find them. It’s true same-sex schools aren’t cloisters and rape/assault is most often by an acquaintance but maybe it’s more a game of odds, reducing the probabilities here and there, and it’s something worried parents can do.

        It’s institutional, it’s cultural, how do you turn around the military – the commercial complex – advertisers – sports leagues – business – entertainment? None of these institutions have put their money where their mouth on this issue. Women have so much buying power: How much do we have to do to get the men who run these powerful institutions off the sidelines? Don’t they have daughters? Do they think they’re exempt?

        And it starts so young. As the parent of a daughter, I saw clear differences in the expectations of little boys relative to expectations of little girls — starting with behavior around the house and among company. How many times I wanted to tell someone else’s son: Put down your Nintendo and go clear the dishes! Pick your jacket off the floor! There was just more slack and we see the result in adulthood.

      • laura in LA says:

        Who ARE these people? Yes, I think I was at an advantage, having a mother who was tough, a feminist in her own right, and a father who, though he went to all-boys schools, still raised us girls to be strong and smart.

        In our first neighborhood, the only others my age were boys, and they were my best friends. Even at preschool, I played with both girls and boys, didn’t really feel different, until I went to gradeschool, and we became separate, sad to say.

    • byland says:

      Yes. As documented in the terrible Marlon Wayan’s post a week and a half ago or so, I word vomited about my sexual abuse by a cousin as a child. So, I’ve got something of an idea on this subject. There was also a skeezy uncle, but luckily he was interrupted before he could do anything and then caught before he was able to give me the candy he was coating with cocaine.

      My big brother, though, he was abused as a child, as well. He was in a government-sponsered camp to help deal with behavioral issues caused in part by dyslexia and childhood epilepsy. He was there for three years, living in a tent for most of the time. The last six months he was allowed to live a cabin. One of the counselors who had been such an active part of his rehabilitation and therapy molested him during that time. As a result, he began drinking at 13 to help deal with what happened and never said a word to anyone until his twenties. He’s in his fourties now and still drinks to excess at times, but refuses to seek treatment. He’s the nicest man I know, has always been there for me, has literally given the shirt off of his back to someone and never hesitates to help someone when they need it. Unfortunately, his molestation still haunts him and I’m not quite sure he’ll ever work past it, simply because he is so afraid to confront the thoughts and feelings surrounding it.

      Moral of this story? Make sure your children know they can come to you with anything. Question self-destructive behavior (mine internalized as severe depression). BOYS ARE NOT EXEMPT FROM SEXUAL PREDATORS. Simple as that. Your sons and daughters need to be aware of what is and isn’t appropriate behavior from adults and other children.

      Stopping now, the tears are welling up. I’m seeing my brother for dinner and thrift shopping later, so I’m going to hug him extra tight.

  18. jc126 says:

    The way that some men and older boys would talk to me when I was a kid gives me the shivers now. What was worse, though, was when it would happen in front of grown WOMEN who did nothing about it. I would NEVER stay silent if some creepy guy was inappropriately talking to a girl.
    I also think the predator-types can spot a quiet kid who won’t say anything from a mile away.

  19. WRO says:

    All this talk about creepy men explains why I love Kesha’s music so much. She treats men as sex objects who should submit to her. Or she outright trashes them for their disrespect for women. Listen to Sleazy, Dinosaur or Gold Trans Am. The sad thing is a lot of women bash Kesha for her music. I wish more people would realize she’s talking about men the same way they talk about women. She’s the only real feminist in music right now but people just write her off instead of appreciating what she’s trying to say about male mistreatment of women.

  20. Isa says:

    The difference in these comments and the comments on a Kylie/tyga story are startling to me. Every time I read an article about an older guy/younger girl I’m amazed by all the people being surprised and repulsed that a guy is interested in such a young girl.
    But it didn’t surprise me at all. I started getting creeped on by grown men when I was 12 and I’m still waiting to develop breasts.
    But I was stupid and thought the attention was flattering.
    Even respectable men, one friend of my parents was at the house when I came out to get a bowl of cereal. He has a wife and kids and is very religious. A few weeks later I meet his drunk brother that leered at me and upon finding out who he was said that his brother mentioned my family had a hot daughter.

  21. Applapoom says:

    I was asked out by a guy in his late 20s when I was 13…my best friend told to back off sicko she is just a kid. She had balls.

    I thought for years it must be because I looked older than my age but looking back…I looked my age and it is sick. Now I have a beautiful five year old and am already worried.

    • Who ARE these people? says:

      Teaching and modeling self-respect and not fear should help your daughter through. Having decent men in her life can also make a huge difference. So can becoming strong and athletic.

  22. Jen43 says:

    A businessman propositioned me when I was 13. I was in a hotel lobby waiting for my parents to come downstairs. I really didn’t even know what he was talking about until I was older. I have been pushed into the bushes, groped by a group of boys whom I fought off with an umbrella. A priest grabbed my a$$, but my dad didn’t believe it when I told him. I’ve been rubbed up against in crowds more often than I care to remember.

    Reading everyone else’s experience makes me aware of how often this happens. Why the f*ck do we have to deal with this? It enrages and terrifies me because I have 2 daughters, and I never want them to have to experience this.

    • Who ARE these people? says:

      I wonder how much is happening that our daughter’s don’t tell us … how much do they assume is normal, and how much fear does it instill about forming healthy relationships?

      Ugh. From Working Girl: “I’m not a steak. You can’t order me.”

  23. Sara says:

    Good on Jewel for being able to maintain her integrity for 20 years in Hollywierd where preying on innocent children is commonplace. Sick. I have really cut back on what movies I watch and what crap I watch on TV as I refuse to be a part of the sick sexualized world.

  24. bcgirl says:

    I love Jewel, and her family is just awesome, we really enjoy their show.

  25. LAK says:

    I never understand that aspect of human society. People see someone vulnerable or in a vulnerable situation and their first instinct is to make it worse for the vulnerable person. Human beings suck.

    • frisbee says:

      “Offenders choosing pre-traumatized victims
      In adulthood, the freeze response can remain, and some professionals have noted that victimisers sometimes seem to pick up subtle clues of this when choosing a victim. This behaviour can make the victim an easier target, as they sometimes make less effort to fight back or vocalise. Afterwards, they often make excuses and minimise what happened to them, sometimes never reporting the assault to the authorities.”

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victimisation#Secondary_victimisation

      Yes human beings do suck.

    • Imo says:

      It’s not something you will ever fully understand unless you’re broken, yourself. So there’s that blessing, at least.

    • Who ARE these people? says:

      It’s truly hard to understand how men who are not sociopathic can engage in this kind of victimization. Where is the satisfaction in exploiting the vulnerable? Or is it just that easy marks are just that — easy?

      This comes from a history of “getting away with it.” Mostly they must do it because they can.

      • Anna says:

        Because our society has not only normalized this “boys will be boys” type of behavior but also consistently silences victims especially when they speak out. I have tried to speak even with “close friends” of what happened to me and have been told that I was “acting like a victim”–except that I *was* a victim. But the silencing is real, being shamed for even daring not only to speak out but to even think that what occurred was any big deal. And this is by women friends regarding abuse by women. So this is not a male-only situation.

        So we and our children grow up thinking that there is nothing we can do except find ways to deal with it.

    • Jessica says:

      I fully agree with you that people suck. And I think men who prey on women are disgusting.

      But… it’s quite obvious why predators prey on vulnerable people. They are easier targets, won’t fight back as much, and won’t be as vocal about their abuse afterward, or they won’t be as easily believed, or people won’t care.

      Think of it this way, in the wild, when a lion attacks a herd of gazelle, they go for the sick one/the injured one/the slowest one/the weakest one, because that’s the easiest to take down.

      It’s the same for humans who prey on the more vulnerable humans.

  26. Amy M says:

    I’m sure I got ogled at as a kid but didn’t pay attention because I always had my nose in a book. Probably just as well.

    However I had a very vivid encounter with a man masturbating on a train. I was about 10 years old maybe and I was sitting with my cousin and sister. However I was seated the opposite way so I could see towards the back and they were facing me. My parents were seated across the aisle from us and the sketchy guy was seated right behind them so they couldn’t see him. I was the only one who could. I didn’t know what he was doing at first, I just remember his weird facial expressions which looked like grimaces of pain. Then I realized where his hands were and he eventually saw me staring at him. He put his fingers to his lips in the sssh! gesture. I immediately felt sick to my stomach and looked away. He would stop what he was doing when a conductor walked by but then he’d start up again.

    My mom could tell something was wrong but when she asked me what I just couldn’t bring myself to. I didn’t tell my parents until we got off the train. Understandably my parents were very upset especially my father who was livid.

    Oh and this all happened in France but this easily could have happened in the USA. There are creeps everywhere. Clearly the guy got off doing it in public places.

  27. teacakes says:

    Sadly, experiences like Jewel’s are almost universal – just look at the comments here. It’s especially bad for early developers – I had similar experiences when I was 10 and had just started to shoot up in height. Men are disgusting.

    I can’t even imagine the state of constant terror I’d be living in if I had children who had to face this awfulness every day, especially since so many kids don’t even tell their parents the worst of it. In my case, I quickly learned not to disclose anything to my parents – they were well-meaning and protective but their response was always a curtailment of my freedom to go out, or never letting me go anywhere without one of them. Which sucks doubly, because it felt like I was being punished twice for the crimes of the gross men who groped or catcalled me.

  28. melior says:

    I can’t imagine what growing up with that amount of sexual attention can do a woman. It’s not surprising so many of them end up in the sex industry. Their entire self-worth is wrapped up in those constant messages men sent them about their body. The few instances I was groped, cat-called or subject to a creepy uncle’s attention (who presented himself as a religious man to boot), I felt so cheap and soooo angry at the people who made me feel this way. Congrats to Jewel. A beautiful, talented woman who managed to navigate a men-dominated industry without catering to their whims.

  29. JustCrimmles says:

    In fifth grade, I had to stay in during recess one week, to catch up on all the work I’d missed while out sick with the flu. The boy who sat in the desk next to mine was also kept inside that day. Our teacher left the room; he whispered to me to look his way. When I did, I saw he had whipped out his penis, and was holding it out toward me, as though he was offering me some kind of treat. I looked away, in shocked silence, and the teacher returned shortly after. I didn’t tell anyone about that for years.

    Seventh grade, I was not only harassed on the bus by upperclassmen (the Jr high and high schools shared buses), who would sit in my seat, call me baby and basically not respect my desire to be left the hell alone, but also by a kid in my English class. It started out with us picking with each other, teasing, immature flirting. It progressed to him grabbing my breasts, twisting, hitting. I frequently had bruises on my chest from this. At the time, I thought it was flattering- because aren’t we raised to believe the boys who behave like rotten little shits to us only do so because they like us? I thought so. He eventually moved on to a more prim, proper girl, who was spared the kind of attention he gave me.

    All throughout junior high, older guys and grown men would comment on my appearance. I wish I had had the self esteem back then to not feel flattered by this attention that I was in no way seeking. Now, it’s almost a blessing that I am considered so fat and repulsive, except now I get the opposite kind of commentary about my looks. I never told my parents about most of these things, because their beliefs tend to be at the 1950 level.

    • frisbee says:

      ‘Now, it’s almost a blessing that I am considered so fat and repulsive,’

      If you’ve got a minute, have a look at what Naomi Wolf say’s about societal attitudes towards female ‘beauty’

      https://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/22393.Naomi_Wolf

      “A culture fixated on female thinness is not an obsession about female beauty, but an obsession about female obedience. Dieting is the most potent political sedative in women’s history; a quietly mad population is a tractable one.”
      ― Naomi Wolf, The Beauty Myth

      • frisbee says:

        I should point out I found your comment heartbreaking. I have been very heavy in my time and have had people say some really vile things to me, I know Exactly what that feels like.
        I came to the conclusion it was nothing to do with me, it was their way of punishing me for not conforming and not living up to their expectations. I decided life was far too short to try and live up to the expectations of strangers!
        And my favourite response? “I can lose weight mate, but you’ll always be a moron.”

      • Imo says:

        “Women who love themselves are a threat. Men who love them, more so.”
        - Naomi Wolf

        Love your beautiful selves.

      • JustCrimmles says:

        Thank you both! 😘

        I can say, being overweight is a good way to weed out all the assholes and duds one may encounter in life. My mom was constantly on me to “lose a little weight, fix your hair, put on some makeup, you’ll find a fella.” My response to that was usually “if they can’t like me fat, I don’t want them liking me thin,” as well as “who the hell uses the word fella these days?!” I’m fairly happily married to a guy I met while wearing zero makeup, hair merely brushed, and wearing a men’s T-shirt. Not bad for a fat tomboy, I guess ;)

    • Anna says:

      @JustCrimmles I am struck by your mention of how they “moved on to a more prim and proper girl”, the implication being that if we weren’t wild, improper girls, we wouldn’t be receiving that kind of attention. This kind of thing stays with you a lifetime, and it’s twisted.

  30. Sparkly says:

    Sad to hear SO MANY stories from all of the women out there. Yes, me too – and it was definitely worse when I spent some time homeless as a young adult. I was so naive. I was lucky that nothing worse happened to me than finding out my male “friends” (yes, usually older) had ulterior motives and had been ‘working me’ rather than actually being friends. One guy in particular got pretty frightening, but I was able to extricate myself. So prevalent, and so sad.

  31. Jenn says:

    This thread has really validated some of my experiences from childhood. For many years I felt like I was so out of place for having developed earlier than everyone else in my class. (I went to private school, very small classes)

    For the most part, I was (thankfully) shielded from these kind of experiences but I remember two separate incidences (with the same man, I think, oddly enough). I remember being in fourth grade and walking into a 7/11 with my parents, my friends and their parents after a football game and being in my pep squad uniform. The cashier was watching and staring at me as we were shopping around and had the creepiest smile, I felt like he was laughing at me or enjoying my sense of discomfort. I couldn’t wait to get out of there and I never forgot him or the creepy feeling he gave me. By sheer coincidence, about two years later, my mother bought me a lipstick and I put it on before I left the house to go drop something off at my friends house (in the same neighborhood). I got off the car to leave the package and as I was walking back to the car, I saw that man oogling and laughing at me as he was driving by. I never wore that lipstick again. For the longest time, I had no idea why the idea of wearing that lipstick disturbed me (I was much to young to seriously wear make up, but I used to like to play dress up at home).

  32. Snowpea says:

    Jewel speaks the truth. I remember being 5 and a man saying ‘God Id love to f*ck you’. I told my dad not having a clue what it meant and my dad chased after him.

    I’ve now turned 40 and the leering and harassment has finally tapered off but yes, men have indeed traumatized me!

  33. Mispronounced Name Dropper says:

    It’s not just girls. My thirteen year old son attends a miniature railway club. I used to go there with him and my younger son until my younger son got sick of going. So one of the guys at the club, who I thought was alright, started giving my oldest son a lift there and I ‘d pick him up at the end of the day. Then one day someone else from the club phoned and told me and that a visitor to the club had recognized the guy who had been giving my son a lift and informed the other members that he was a convicted sex offender. After getting the call I walked around in a daze for about an hour. I think I’d shut down because the ramifications of the information was too much for me to process straight away. Eventually I recovered and phoned my son to talk to him about it and he told me nothing had happened yet. The scary thing is that this guy had mentioned getting my son to come over to his house a couple of times so he could earn some pocket money by doing some chores for him which, according to the sex offenders website, was how he lured one of his previous victims to his house. The previous victim was also a boy who was the same age as my son.

  34. Theresa says:

    Hey, let’s not forget that this sh#t is happening to young boys too, If you’re going to worry about your daughter being alone with a man, well guess what, you probably better worry about your son being alone with a man – or a woman! Sick people can become teachers, coaches, etc. and sick people do not just abuse girls. Just saying…

  35. Naddie says:

    It’s so sad how common it is. The human being’s need for power and control is sickening, and that’s the one of the main reasons of these predators, I think (might be wrong). It’s also sad that we grow up thinking it’s just one more problem about growing up. I read Jewel’s words and I just felt sorry for her, as I didn’t remmember being harassed at a very young age. Then, as I read the comments, my mind brought some things back.

  36. yams says:

    I know this will sound horrible but I think Jewel is bragging. As much as I dislike being sexually propositioned by unwanted suitors, I have to be honest and say I also notice it makes me feel powerful and attractive. Sadly, I’ve caught myself bragging a number of times about the unwanted sexual attention and advances I received from men as a child, teenager and woman. I’ve bragged about it to boys I liked in order to prove to them I am attractive, and to girlfriends in order to prove this to myself. Feeling sexually attractive to men is important to Jewel- to the extent that she has had her chest cut open, not once but twice to enlarge her breasts. Major surgery is not a joke- a person doesn’t undergo it unless the result is very important to them. Rather than confiding hardships, I think Jewel is doing some self-esteem boosting. She’s not so different from the rest of us.

    Molestation is different, I’ve experienced that too, both as a child and a teenager, and it made me feel ashamed and devastated and was not something I wanted to talk about with anyone. To this day I do not talk about it.

    I’ve probably committed blasphemy here since the 35 or so previous entries are just supportive of her comments. Maybe I’m just jealous because Jewel is beautiful and got a lot of male attention. But if that’s true it kind of reinforces my point. All I know is I’m a woman too and I had an immediate and different reaction to her comments.

    • Naddie says:

      I get your point, but this is a dangerous point of view. Catching male’s attention is one of the “women’s goal” since the age of fairytales, so I can say we sometimes do feel flattered somehow, but it’s a trap. The thing is, whenever a girl/woman complains, we should give her the benefit of doubt, since bragging is not a crime, but sexual abuse is. And I’m sorry if I sound presumptuous, but there are so many warning signs in your speech, maybe you shold get some help (if you’re not into it already).

    • Margareth says:

      Yeah, it’s kind of funny that a lot of women complain about unwanted male attention until we’re 35-40, then we complain about being invisible to men after 40 yo. A lot of women complain about oppressive beauty standards, but then they get enraged if they are told they are not that attractive or that other women look better.

      My grandmother used to say: “Cat-calling is like having your periods. It’s annoying and irritating, but you’ll miss them when they are gone”.

      • Naddie says:

        As I said, it’s the lose-or-lose part of being a woman. Society uses us and spits us like objects.

      • Anna says:

        Hmmm…what about just wanting positive affirmation? Is it possible that women could just wish to be appreciated rather than “cat-called”, appreciated in a respectful way? The problem is that men are not taught actual respectful behavior and women are silenced when they complain. The silencing comes in the form of “she’s ungrateful for the attention”, “you’ll miss it when it’s gone”, “she’s overreacting”, “she’s bragging”, etc. And often this silencing is due to jealousy, as you shared so honestly, and a host of other reasons including fear of one’s own experiences with the same.

        “Damn, baby, I got $13 dollars” is a very different thing to hear walking down the street than a gentleman saying “Excuse me, miss, but I just wanted to say how beautiful your hair looks today.” A compliment can be nice; abusive behavior is not.

  37. Yeses says:

    It’s a sad state of things that an article like this one about Jewel and the comments below could really use a trigger warning.

    I have lost track of the number of times I have been propositioned as a child, a friend’s dad, another friend’s grandpa, my cousin and my uncle, the last one who ended up taking it too far when I was 9 and I never told anyone till I was well into my 20s. Somehow I always blamed myself for all of these men’s actions and words, wasn’t too bright back then lol.

    For a long, long time, I thought men as disgusting, vile creatures and sadly there is a little girl inside the 45 year old me who still thinks that…some scars do not heal.

  38. PennyLane says:

    So glad that she is being open and describing what’s happened to her in terms of sexual harassment. I lurk on the right wing blogs (know thy enemy, is my reason), and many of these right-wing writers insist that all sexual harassment and street harassment are figments of women’s imaginations. Seriously.

  39. Jessica says:

    Huh, I’m a 26 year old woman and have never been sexually harassed in my life.

    My first thought was “It’s because I’m fat and ugly”, which are both true facts about me. I’ve been overweight since I was 7 or 8. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but I’ve never thought of myself as pretty (nor has anyone else as no one has ever said told me I’m pretty).

    That’s a dangerous thought, though, I suppose. Because being sexually harassed should not be thought of as a compliment to one’s beauty, nor as some sort of standard that only beautiful girls get harassed. But still, there must be some reason I’ve never been sexually harassed when it seems like every other commenter on this thread has been. I wonder why that is.

    • Jenn says:

      I don’t know you, but I would suspect it may have to do with the way you carry yourself. I think that people that molest and assault others usually pick their victims carefully. It has less to do with physical attractiveness and more to do with “Is this someone I can control?”. Maybe there’s something in your body language that tells these people not to mess with you. Personally, I’m rarely approached because I have what’s considered a Resting B-word-Face.

    • Naddie says:

      JENN just took my words, lol. Body language is something creeps really know how to tune in. Or maybe you just didn’t realize what was happening. I once needed my cousin to make me see it.

  40. Slow down there says:

    I know I’m coming late to the discussion. This kind of harassment happened consistently to me since I was in 4th grade. It started with the boys at school and it hasn’t stopped yet. Now, I’m 35 and I just lost my job at the beginning of this month over my boss’s sexual harassment. I’m not a weak minded woman. I speak up, I stand up for myself. I had worked with my boss for years without incident but over this summer he crossed so many lines. I tried to pull his words and actions back by calmly talking him down, but it didn’t work. I went to see his boss to discuss what’s been happening. His boss told me that there’s an open position he would transfer me into so I wouldn’t have to work under my boss and then told me to give my boss two weeks notice. When I gave my boss my notice, he fired me on the spot (for no reason other than he was bitter and enraged at me. I’ve never had one incident of poor work performance because I pride myself on my work ethic). Within two hours, I heard from his boss and he said that he was sorry but the position wasn’t actually open but thanks for my hard work.
    I have kids. I would never had put my notice in without another job lined up. I feel so completely worthless every day now, it’s really hard to pick myself up this time.
    This bullsh*t feels never ending. What do we do? What the actual F are we supposed to do? Take it?

    • Jenn says:

      That’s terrible! Do you have documentation of the harrassment? Can you file a sexual harrassment law suit?

    • JustCrimmles says:

      1) KITTY!!
      2) If that’s not the perfect grounds for a wrongful termination suit, I don’t know what is. Also wondering if his boss wasn’t in on some plot, too? That’s terrible. Documentation is so important, pain that it is. Hoping things improve for you ASAP.