I am so excited to be writing for ShoutOut! I wanted to start my first post with something personal to me that I think finally has an outlet. I have not told this story to many people and one of our fellow bloggers tohellwithsugarandspice gave me the idea to speak out when she shared her story! Before I begin, I want to discuss briefly what I have noticed about the difficulties of speaking out and standing up for what you believe in. Finding your voice and a power within yourself is hard, especially for women! Situations like the one I am about to describe do not make it any easier. When you know what you SHOULD be saying or what you WANT to be doing, sometimes you find that you don’t have the ability.The power of this man and the inequality in the situation made it hard for me to stick to my values.
So, let me stop yapping and tell the story.
About a year ago, I was interning for a local establishment that had to do with psychology and counseling (my major). The head of the establishment (literally the head of everything) was my boss. He was about 40 years old at the time and I was 21. I had heard about how he went to the graduate school I wanted to attend and how respected he was in the counseling world. I was so excited to work with him and to learn all I could from the experience. It started out great and I knew I had done well enough for him to write me a letter of recommendation. However, one day, that all changed. My boss sat me down in his office (separate from everyone else) and proceeded to hit on me and tell me he wanted to take me out for drinks on Valentine’s Day. He also bought me a box of chocolates with the words “Tease Me” on it (vom). He would tell me how “hot” he thought I was and how he dates younger women all the time. He said since I was a “volunteer” intern our relationship was okay to take to the next level. UM NO!
I stayed at the internship because I wanted him to think well of me. What I felt I should have done, was stand up for myself and say no and possibly leave the internship. I was later mad at myself for not doing that and felt ashamed. However, I realized, that in those types of situations, the power difference and pressure to not cause a scene is very strong.
So from now on, for all my future blog posts, I will be sharing my voice and opinions with others. I am hoping blogs like this will eventually lead all women to find their voice and stand up to that man in their office who thinks it’s okay to buy them a box of chocolates with seductive words on it WHEN THEY ARE NOT DATING!
What do you all think I should have done? Is this a lose-lose situation for all women (and men in some cases)?