Exposure Therapy: Maddie

Maddie Goman, Guest Writer

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When I tell others that my experience at EPHS has been positive, it does not mean that I do not struggle on a day to day basis with some aspects of my school day. The way I am viewed by those around me, specifically, my male peers often gets on my nerves.

The boys in our school, (I say boys because they are nowhere near being called men,) seem to believe that catcalling a young woman empowers her or makes her feel beautiful. In reality, I feel disgusted and want to go change my outfit. When I walk by a group of boys, I quicken my pace to pass before one of them decides to try to impress the others with an obnoxious comment. These include things such as “damn,” “come over here little girl,” “hey you lookin’ good today,” “aren’t you a pretty little thing,” and many others. One specific moment that has stuck with me was when I was walking out of practice and a group of guys started to walk behind me. One of them called out, “Hey, you’re looking pretty tired. You want to go back to my place?” This was followed by laughs from the whole group and the snickering of bystanders. Throughout this whole ordeal, I had to keep my head high and ignore them. The worst part about it is that there was staff in the building and just around the corner from where it happened who heard the whole thing and did nothing about it.

The fact that before I leave my house, I have to check my outfit to make sure that I won’t get harassed by these groups of students is enough reasoning to believe that something needs to change. Perhaps they do it because they are not aware of how their comments make others feel or because they just don’t care, but any reason they give is no excuse. There are ways to inform these young adults of how their actions affect others, and those steps need to be taken.