Elli Stai: “Over the years I buried my own trauma of sexual harassment by a major publisher”
“Harassment in the professional environment lurks in every wicked implication, every disparaging behavior based on a woman’s sexuality. I will not forget the habit of a TV presenter telling every new employee… to make a turn to see her backside. “As I will not forget the tolerance, if not the support, of such behaviors of several male colleagues, who were comfortable in the arena of competition to weaken the opponent…” writes the well-known journalist Elli Stai today in the newspaper “Ta Nea”, referring to her own case sexual harassment.
Specifically it says:
“Why the confession is made after so many years, then, has an easy answer, from all the women who have suffered this kind of violence in all its forms: Because after so many years I stood on my own two feet, I realized many of my dreams, they learned to listen to me and respect me for what I created, I gained legal access to public speech.
I am no longer afraid of anyone and I am not ashamed of what happened. I grew up. The course of life takes time. And this time, unfortunately, is the space given to the six perpetrators, with a vehicle of any power, to continue to go unpunished, to find imitators, to be harassed and exploited even in magic, a tool for manliness and power . Why did the victim not immediately get up to run, to leave, to shout, to resign, at a time when someone was violating, even with an outstretched hand, his feminine status and dignity? So did he want them? And here the answer is easy, though more complicated, one that has to do with many factors. It has to do with how the harassment and the violent behavior, what were the conditions, how mature is the social environment of a country, but also the character of each person “.
“We do not all react in the same way”
The well-known journalist continues:
“We do not all react in the same way to the attack. Some lose them, some get angry, some get scared, some knock on the door behind them and run, others are paralyzed. The difference from verbal abuse, violent stupidity, to complete rape, after all, has a common denominator. The devaluation and humiliation of women through the power and cynical certainty of some that this is normal, and therefore unpunished. How ready a society is to discuss such issues, which are usually hidden in the dark and in silence, plays a large role in the spontaneous reaction of the one who receives such an attack. But when it is very difficult to confess it to your parents, to your own people, to your husband himself, because it is one of the unspeakable and “misunderstood” issues, then how to react in the way we would all like?
That is to say, to throw a strong punch, after you have sent the unscrupulous, to press the voices to be heard by those close by, to run away, to say it to your own, who without hesitation will have direct access to Justice, which will be addressed quickly and , since you are the victim, will logically justify you. But things do not happen so easily. And the most unsuspecting in life have seen movies in the movies or on Netflix about how difficult such a justification is. That is, there are no men and women who sexually exploit the “bosses” in any job or who accept their erotic dispositions to gain professional benefits?
Of course they exist, in the free will and choice of everyone for their life. This, however, cannot cloud the waters in cases where the incumbent finds a way to impose, and even violently, his erotic dispositions on those who depend on his power, with the floating threat that if “you do not sit on me” you will not progress…
“Why such a communication storm now?”
“Why now such a communication storm, after its denunciation Sofias Bekatorou, and not earlier, when other such stories had been heard from various professional fields? Is there any other expediency that we would like to know? ” wonders Mrs. Stai.
“Probably the communication storm has to do with a lot, apart from the obvious disgust for what the Greek Olympian complained about and the opportunity she gave to break the silence. However, nothing can undo the fact that the time of maturity is coming to Greek society to open a public dialogue on this abhorrent phenomenon. And this can not be overshadowed by anything. Neither those who will want to be featured in a “catchy” topic, nor those who will want to benefit in various ways.
About two years ago, on a show by Antonis Schroeter on Alpha, talking about the obstacles a woman faces in her professional field, I had spontaneously said about the harassment I had received from the major publishing agent of the time, 35 years had already passed. Although my own character made me open the door and run away, resigning under the threat that I would not find a job elsewhere, I had neither the strength nor the feeling that I could report it, say it anywhere. Then I buried it over time, trying to accomplish what I wanted in my life.
However, 35 years later, I did not have the feeling that the Greek public sphere (media, political parties, professional unions) were ready to face this issue with the attention and seriousness it deserves.
For this and only the fact that now there is not just the gossip dimension, as it was just two years ago, should make us hope that the time of maturity comes and for the Greek society to open the public debate on such issues, which are a crucial element for our quality of life towards the future “.
Source: διαφορετικό by www.diaforetiko.gr.
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