What happens when an artist and a data geek are sexually harassed by the same guy…?
…Well, if they’re also community advocates and writers like Rachel Richardson (Girl Parts Publishing) and I are, they devise a plan to take the harasser down—and write about the process they used so others can do the same too. Given that 25-85% of women have experienced sexual harassment in the workplace—and approximately 90% of people who’ve experienced sexual harassment never formally report it—we believe that it’s time to demystify what to do when you’re sexually harassed at work or in the Board room.
Rachel and I met in 2021 after a chance encounter on social media. We learned that we—and others like us—shared a history of being sexually harassed by the same local leader in Toledo, Ohio. We agreed it was past due for him to be removed from power after years of his behavior being swept under many, many rugs. However, our work was not quite simple: The Harasser was also a national figure at a heralded nonprofit he founded. His work was endorsed by musicians and celebrities alike. He had power in many arenas. We, on the other hand, did not.
Undeterred, we knew the question wasn’t if we could take down The Harasser; it was how and when. And our stories were just the tip of the #MeToo iceberg with this one person. We blogged about our process of taking him down, pulling up the rug under which all the other stories of harassment and abuse had been swept. With the help of female advisors, mentors, and the small but incredibly mighty following of supporters we gained via our blog, we achieved our first outcome: public disgrace for, and the eventual resignation of, The Harasser.
Now, Rachel and I are ready to share our experiences and the process we used to take down our harasser in our forthcoming self-help workbook, On Drowning Rats: How Two Women Took Down Their Sexual Harasser and How You Can, Too. [Sign up to get updates about the book here!] We talk about the personal and professional struggles we dealt with coming forward, the challenging conversations with our peers and family members, and the inevitable scrutiny from a community eager to keep the status quo. And while the subject of harassment is a heavy-handed topic, we are mindful of bringing levity and humor alongside a well of compassion and righteous anger as a way to connect to the generations of women and people impacted by all forms of harassment.
It is anticipated that On Drowning Rats: How Two Women Took Down Their Sexual Harasser and How You Can, Too will go to print in the spring of 2023 under Girl Parts Publishing. Want to see your name in print as someone who supported us to get our book published so others could take down their sexual harassers too? Donate here today, and we will include your name in the thank-you section of our book.
Sign up to get updates about the book here!
See our On Drowning Rats blog and interviews below to learn more about our work to take down our sexual harasser.
4 October 2022