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sexual harassment

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Courage and coming forward after a sexual assault

This article originally appeared on 10.12.17


"Why didn't she say anything sooner?"

It's the question that frustrates sexual assault prevention advocates and discredits the victims who bravely come forward after they've been targeted.

Stars Angelina Jolie and Gwyneth Paltrow — who both disclosed to The New York Times they'd been sexually harassed by movie mogul Harvey Weinstein years ago — are among the latest women now having to trudge through a predictable wave of victim-blaming following their disclosures.

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"Gilmore Girls" was set in the fictional town of Stars Hollow, Connecticut.

"Gilmore Girls" is one of those TV shows that's easy to judge negatively until you actually watch it. The fast-paced dialogue, quick-witted humor, colorful characters and surprisingly smart cultural references can take you by surprise if you're not expecting them.

The show was moderately popular when it aired on the CW, but it got a huge second life thanks to DVD and streaming services. However, like every show, not every element has stood the test of time. Since its creation, we've been through some major cultural shifts that have shone a spotlight on problematic tropes and forced us to reexamine what we find funny.

The "Me Too" movement brought into focus the ubiquity of sexual harassment and sexual assault against women. That conversation included the problems with objectifying women's bodies. But objectification can happen to—and hurt—both women and men, as "Gilmore Girls" actor Scott Patterson shared on a recent episode of his podcast.

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Heidi staring back at her harasser on TikTok.

When lifting weights at the gym, the discomfort you feel should be coming from the workout. Not from other people with no concept of boundaries. However, this is an all-too-common occurrence for women.

Personal trainer Heidi Aragon (@fit_with_heidi) is used to sharing her fitness journey on social media. Her video, which has now garnered more than 8 million views on TikTok, didn't go viral because of the workout. Instead, people are responding to how she confronted a man who not only wouldn't stop staring at her, but denied the fact that he was. Until Heidi beat him at his own game.

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Chelsie Gleason confronts a man who was harassing her.


A video on TikTok posted by Chelsie Gleason has more than 12 million views because of the way she assertively told a man who who was harassing her to get away. Gleason was filming herself lifting weights when a man approached her attempting to strike up a conversation. She ignored him and was wearing earbuds, but the man didn't get the point.

"I was just trying to work out when this happens," a voiceover says in the video taken at a Crunch Fitness gym. "I've never met this guy and he's been harassing me for months."

Finally, Gleason had enough and snapped at the man. "Don't come near me," she said confidently as she dropped her weights and took a step back. The man immediately turned and briskly walked away. You can tell she got her point across because he looked like he wanted to get out of there fast.

@justchesslee

being a female is fun(:

Registered dietitian Carrie Taylor says that Gleason did the right thing by telling the man to stop while he was harassing her. She says that if you tell someone to stop harassing you at the gym and they persist, to immediately talk to the manager and threaten to call the police if swift action isn't taken.

She says you should also get a restraining order if necessary. Anything to stop the harassment because it could intensify. Gyms should also prominently post signs that warn people about sexual harassment so that these situations don't happen in the first place.

After the video went viral, Crunch Fitness announced it had found the man and banned him from its facilities.

"Our philosophy at Crunch is 'no judgments,' where we promote positive self-esteem and respect all races, cultures and nationalities in a fun atmosphere," a spokesperson for Crunch Fitness told Newsweek. "All of our gyms are committed to creating a safe and welcoming environment for all members."

"He's been found and as been banned! Thank you @CrunchFitness," Gleason wrote in the comment section.


One person in the comments made an important point about why this type of harassment is so dangerous. "Imagine if a shyer girl is walking to her car at night and he's out there...he needs to be kicked out," a TikTok viewer wrote. Who knows what the man's intentions were and whether he was grooming her for something truly terrible?

This isn't the first time Gleason has faced harassment in the gym. She's tweeted about it several times in the past. It's clear from the video that she's hit a breaking point.

Gleason's brave decision to confront the man put an end to his creepy, threatening behavior in the moment. But the video may serve a greater purpose by showing women how to react to men who harass them. Further, it could also deter men from harassing women in the first place by showing them there are serious consequences for being a creep.