I’m Not That Kind of Girl by Nicole Pietsch : A Critique of the Article
In the article, Nicole Pietsch identifies power inequalities and discrimination as the obvious causes of sexual harassment. Women are depicted as more prone to sexual harassment in comparison with any other group in the society. Attempts to report cases of sexual harassment are not successful because it results into more sophisticated consequences (Pietsch 136). The perpetrators of sexual harassment are not strangers to the victims because they include co-workers, or friends who use certain threats and tricks in coercing the victim into sexual harassment. The close relationship of the victim with the perpetrator of sexual violence limits their ability to report what occurred. Eventually, the victim blames herself and ends up not reporting the scenario. The inability to resist makes the victim to feel responsible for what happened.
Undoubtedly, disclosing the sexual harassment incident has adverse repercussions. Since the victims often feel embarrassed, they fail to disclose the incident because they do not want it be known to anyone. Victims have a feeling that disclosing the story to one person will lead to the whole community, organization or school knowing about it. Other survivors of sexual harassment believe that even if they disclose their sexual harassment story, nobody will help them. Furthermore, survivors of sexual harassment in schools and places of work fear revenge from the victim especially where the victim holds a higher rank. Nicole skillfully reveals that women are more prone to sexual harassment compared to men because in organizations, they are given the lowest-paying jobs and consequently have no authority (Pietsch 138). Due to these reasons, women are often trapped in sexual harassment incidences as they try to maintain their jobs. Empirically, many victims choose to withstand sexual harassment experiences due to fear of sacrificing their jobs. Different victims handle sexual harassment incidences differently. While some women deny it, others try to minimize it and the rest ignore it completely.
Certainly, some myths connected to sexual harassment obviously make it difficult for victims of sexual violence to disclose their experiences. Such misconceptions include the belief that women often lie about sexual violence in order to take obtain revenge. There are also beliefs that men who are accused of sexual violence are often innocent. Such social myths often create an environment whereby perpetrators go unpunished for their actions. On the contrary, Nicole in her article “I’m not that kind of girl”: white femininity, the other, and the legal/social sanctioning of sexual violence against racialized women makes the readers believe that only women experience sexual harassment (Pietsch 137). She also makes the reader believe that sexual harassment between people of the same gender is uncommon. In reality however, the legal law fails to substantiate the victim’s gender and that of the perpetrator. As long as the perpetrator’s behavior explicitly impacts the victim’s performance in the workplace or in school, whether the victim and the perpetrator are of the same sex, it is considered sexual harassment.
In a nutshell, Nicole’s article enlightens readers on sexual violence and educates the victims of sexual harassment in many ways. She successfully addresses barriers to reporting cases of sexual violence in the society as well as the consequences of reporting such cases on the part of the victim (Pietsch 139). Furthermore, Nicole skillfully highlights the different ways in which different victims of sexual harassment handle such incidences. Although her article consists of some misconceptions about sexual violence, much of Nicole’s work on sexual violence depicts what is happening in the modern day.
Pietsch, N. “”I’m Not That Kind of Girl”: White Femininity, the Other, and the Legal/social Sanctioning of Sexual Violence against Racialized Women.” Canadian Woman Studies. 28.1 (2010): 136-140.