On women’s reactions to harassment

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“ Women don’t want to come across as though they’re overreacting or hysterical – common accusations when you speak up about harassment. You don’t want to make a fuss because you know saying anything will just make the exchange last longer. Or get confrontational. And so you laugh and smile, nod and remove yourself from the situation as quickly as possible. Maybe because it’s easier, but often because it’s safer. Women have been berated, attacked – and, in extreme situations, killed – for rejecting men. And so smiling politely becomes like muscle memory ”

Jessica Valenti, ‘Trump was sleazy with a reporter. Her awkward laugh felt all too familiar’, The Guardian

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