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De Anza Women Are No Stranger To Sexual Harassment

By Pearl Curtis

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298feae90af23dfa0fa9470dd35187e4An informal study conducted amongst De Anza College students found that the majority of them have experienced sexual harassment.

Out of 110 surveyed students, 70% of women have experienced catcalling or unwanted touching.

Anita Ramirez, 28, biology major, is just one of the many women at De Anza college who has experienced sexual harassment.

According to a recent study published by the Harvard Graduate School of Education, of the 3,000 students surveyed, 87 percent of it’s young women had endured one of the many forms of harassment.

Ramirez said she switched to having a personal trainer at the gym because men would come over and touch her while doing squats, which is usafe. 

“Because I’m toned, guys think that they can touch my arms,” she said.

Victoria Rice, 19, nursing major, has also experienced unwanted touching from men.

“One time at work a man asked me If I had a boyfriend and tried touching my leg behind the counter,” she said. “I kicked him out.”

The study called “The Talk” has also linked a lack of discussion at home to the issues of rape culture and sexual violence. Without a discussion on what is appropriate, “The talk” explains that younger people tend to stray from respectful behaviors.

Lenore Desilets, statistics professor at De Anza, said she, too, has experienced sexual harassment.

Desilets said she experienced gendered discrimination at work. When it was hot out, her attire couldn’t match the weather.

“Women couldn’t wear shorts or dresses,” she said. “I was one of the only women.”

Rebecca Jeffries, 19, chemistry major, has experienced harassment as a dancer.

“Social dancing has so much unwelcome touching,” Jeffries said. She continued

“There are guys who won’t stop grabbing my ass, or they spend the whole time trying to grind on me. I’m used to that in the dance community.

“The Talk” suggests that conversations about respectful relationships and sex should start at a young age. The study says that advocating respect, personal boundaries, and asking for permission should be addressed as soon as possible.

Andrea Jimenez, 22, English major, experienced harassment at a young age.

“Boys would grab my brastrap,” she said.

Alicia Key, 19, sociology major, said that she’s had to have a friend intervene so that she wouldn’t be touched again.

“One time I went to a concert, and a random guy touched my butt and backside,” Key said. Her friend stopped it from happening again.

If the proper education doesn’t happen at home, younger people tend to pick up on the societal norm, which may not be positive nor healthy.

Of the 10 men interviewed at De Anza, Christian Monteverde, 23, civil engineering major hasn’t experienced sexual harassment himself, but has heard a lot from others.

“It’s pretty aggravating,” Monteverde said.

A 21-year-old health science major who wishes to remain anonymous was once separated from her friends and harassed. A large man grabbed her by the waist and touched her along her sides and lower back until she was able to get herself free.

“I usually get cat called and unfortunately I am used to it,” she said. “But when it gets physical, that’s when I start freaking out.”