Thanks for writing this, Brittany.
Manuela Leal

Thank you for your thoughts. I agree — it has to be a level playing field for colleagues to speak up about offensive behavior. The burden should not only fall on the woman to raise her hand.

A friend shared a story about being at a work event and one of the professional attendees was overly intoxicated. He was not behaving appropriately, especially towards the women in attendance. You could tell that one woman in particular was singled out and very uncomfortable. Two men in attendance saw this happening and stepped in. They told the guy his behavior was out of line and it was time for him to leave. They escorted him out.

The woman could have said something. Male peers could say something. Female peers could say something. It wasn’t a male vs. female, or victim vs. bystander. It just needed to be done and anyone could’ve stepped in to assist. Finding ways to do that even in aggressions can make a big difference too, the signals may be faint so it’s harder for allies to know when to step in.

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