The topic of my project is the sexual harassment girls face in high school. I decided to choose this topic because I have seen this problem take place in my school and have experienced it as well. Also, it is important to spread awareness on this topic because it is an ongoing issue that many schools do not take seriously. As I have learned, this type of behavior interferes with a girl’s learning ability, as well as her overall mental and physical health. These effects can be long lasting. Many of these girls who experience this are also reluctant to report incidences because of the fear that they will not be taken seriously, or that the school would fail to help them.
The Equal Rights Amendment is relevant to this issue because it is unjust for girls to be exposed to an environment where they endure harassment and feel unsafe. Sexual harassment creates an obstacle to continue a girl’s education. She is not able to learn in an equal way, as compared to her male classmates.
Potential solutions to this topic are: educating students about the importance of consent, and boundaries, and training school staff to look out for signs someone is getting harassed, and having students identify someone in school they can trust. If schools take this issue seriously, creating measures that will encourage girls to speak up if they are being harassed, they will do a better job at ensuring the harasser will not get away with it.
You can view Enid’s full project here.
I decided to create my project through painting because I believe it is the best way to convey emotion, and my paintings represent the emotions of girls who experience sexual harassment. Through my process of doing this project, I conducted interviews with people who have either experienced this or know about this topic. In my interviews I learned more about my interviewees’ points of view and feelings towards this topic, especially those who have experienced it first hand, sharing with me the way they felt. This was important for my project because I wanted to not only include my own feelings, but also the feelings of others.
In both of my paintings the message is the inability to speak up when you experience sexual harassment. Many of these girls either feel ashamed, guilty, or feel like their school will not take them seriously. As a result, they suppress their emotions and pretend they are fine. This is why, in my second painting, you can see all the girls’ faces holding back tears and smiling, faking they are fine.
This project was made in collaboration with GlobalGirl Media-Chicago, The ERA Coalition, and The Fund for Women’s Equality. You can learn more about this collaboration here.
About the Author
My name is Enid and I live in Chicago. I enjoy being outside and
exploring new places in my city. When I’m not outside, I enjoy
writing, listening to music, or sketching.
Connect and Follow Us
Video on the ERA: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y-s61h1FH2E&t=1s
History of the ERA: https://www.eracoalition.org/the-amendment
We are the Fund for Women’s Equality: https://youtu.be/8ogt45BN_SY