by Jenn Mahan, SPARK Reproductive Justice NOW!’s inaugural If/When/How Law and Policy Fellow SPARK’s 2020 policy report, Shifting the Narrative: A Reproductive Justice Analysis of the Health Inequities Affecting Trans and Gender-Diverse Folx in Georgia and the Policies Necessary for…
By Nourbese Flint
In a classroom at Gardena High School, just outside of Los Angeles, a group of young Black women and women of color stand in a row and listen to a prompt: “If you don’t think young men respect you, step forward.” Each of the young women takes a step.
“If you’ve ever decided not to wear something tight or short because you thought men may talk to you or about you when you walk down the street, step forward.” Again, the young women all take a step.
Sexual harassment disproportionately impacts young Black women and women of color of all sexual orientations. Harassment can include physical, mental and emotional abuse, ranging from a stare that makes a girl feel unsafe to objectifying remarks to unwanted sexual contact. As one high school student explained: “Sexual harassment to me is tearing down anyone, really. Physically, by touching; mentally, by calling them [sexualizing] names.”