#MeToo in Our Schools: Hearing Black Girls in the Sexual Abuse Backlash

#MeToo in Our Schools: Hearing Black Girls in the Sexual Abuse Backlash

 

Sexual harassment in schools often takes the form of catcalling, touching, ogling and being called out of one’s name. Terms like “bitch”, “ho”, “ratchet”, “thot” (that *h* over there) are frequently used to demean African American girls in ways that echo their specific history of institutionalized rape and dehumanization in the U.S. under slavery. As a form of sexual harassment, use of these terms reinforce a violent culture and climate that is normalized by a “boys will be boys” mentality. This mentality is often cosigned by teachers and administrators. As a result, girls find that simply walking around campus becomes a minefield fueled by widespread ignorance about behaviors that qualify as harassment.

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