eumelia: (Default)
There was a small conference about Sexual Harassment on Campus.

It's a subject that has been hitting the Israeli Blogosphere (both feminist and otherwise) over the past month or so because a very brave Master's student by the name of Ortal Ben-Dayan (אורטל בן דיין) published her experience as a BA student and the affair she had with her Sociology Professor at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.
Her biting and humour filled article can be read in Hebrew here.

Ms. Ben-Dayan breaks down her experience with this man and contextualizes it within the prism of Ashkenazi Academic Elite and her being a minority woman of colour (she is Mizrahi, specifically of Moroccan descent) and how that affected the unequal balance of power already present within the Professor-Student dynamic.

Ms. Ben-Dayan was one of the four speakers at this little conference and she spoke with dignity and without shame, though she admitted that speaking aloud about her experience is much more embarrassing than just writing about on a social commentary on-line magazine - Ha'Oketz.

All four speakers were excellent and touched on different issues concerning power, identity and the treatment sexual harassment receives in the public and how despite University campus' being considered the same as any other work place under the Sexual Harassment Law in Israel, almost no legal action is done to prevent it. There are no workshops for lecturers, students and campus workers in the subject, when there are supposed to be.
At this point getting a complaint to even be addressed is difficult - there is a hot-line students that have been sexually harassed (women only volunteers) can call, they give counseling and information on what can be done.

But it seems like such a drop in the ocean.

Another great thing about this panel was that three of the women were of colour; two of them Mizrahi Jewish women, one the aformentioned sociology MA student (Ortal Ben-Dayan) and a lawyer (Dr. Yifat Biton); the other (ha! pun) a Palestinian social worker (Ragjda Alnabulsi) and the fourth woman was a Lesbian Ashkenazi women (Dorit Abramovitch).

I was really impressed with what they had to say.

It also brought to my mind all the little sexual harassments I've experienced over the years. I've never been raped or sexually assaulted, but that's because I've been insanely lucky - no more, no less.

All women have been sexually harassed. It's an everyday thing. I've been stripped (by that special gaze) more times than I can count, I've been "accidentally" touched more times than I can remember while I've stood in a crowded bus, train or street. I've been deliberately groped once when I fell asleep on a train. I've been told to smile. I've been told, while working for my father, cleaning his windows, that I'd look really good cleaning your windows. During gym classes I was whistled at and told I had a great rack. After those gym classes my bra strap would be pulled and snapped - my breasts jiggled. I was called bitch, whore, cunt, dyke, etc. etc.
I could go on.
But these are everyday things.
There is no need for anyone to be held accounted for.


eumelia: (Default)

June 2015

 12345 6

V and Justice

V: Ah, I was forgetting that we are not properly introduced. I do not have a name. You can call me V. Madam Justice...this is V. V... this is Madam Justice. hello, Madam Justice.

Justice: Good evening, V.

V: There. Now we know each other. Actually, I've been a fan of yours for quite some time. Oh, I know what you're thinking...

Justice: The poor boy has a crush on adolescent fatuation.

V: I beg your pardon, Madam. It isn't like that at all. I've long admired you...albeit only from a distance. I used to stare at you from the streets below when I was a child. I'd say to my father, "Who is that lady?" And he'd say "That's Madam Justice." And I'd say "Isn't she pretty."

V: Please don't think it was merely physical. I know you're not that sort of girl. No, I loved you as a person. As an ideal.

Justice: What? V! For shame! You have betrayed me for some harlot, some vain and pouting hussy with painted lips and a knowing smile!

V: I, Madam? I beg to differ! It was your infidelity that drove me to her arms!

V: Ah-ha! That surprised you, didn't it? You thought I didn't know about your little fling. But I do. I know everything! Frankly, I wasn't surprised when I found out. You always did have an eye for a man in uniform.

Justice: Uniform? Why I'm sure I don't know what you're talking about. It was always you, V. You were the only one...

V: Liar! Slut! Whore! Deny that you let him have his way with you, him with his armbands and jackboots!

V: Well? Cat got your tongue? I though as much.

V: Very well. So you stand revealed at last. you are no longer my justice. You are his justice now. You have bedded another.

Justice: Sob! Choke! Wh-who is she, V? What is her name?

V: Her name is Anarchy. And she has taught me more as a mistress than you ever did! She has taught me that justice is meaningless without freedom. She is honest. She makes no promises and breaks none. Unlike you, Jezebel. I used to wonder why you could never look me in the eye. Now I know. So good bye, dear lady. I would be saddened by our parting even now, save that you are no longer the woman I once loved.


-"V for Vendetta"


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