Thankfully, awareness about sexual harassment has been spreading lately — and the more people who share their stories, the closer we will come to making harassment a thing of the past. David Schwimmer launched a new campaign to fight sexual harassment called #ThatsHarassment, and it comes in the form of six short films from director Sigal Avin (who herself experienced sexual harassment by a famous actor early in her career).
Based on real-life stories, each film depicts (painfully real) encounters that six different women experience in their day-to-day.
“I realized that I really wanted to see what sexual harassment was instead of hearing about it and reading about it all the time,” Avin said in an interview with Cosmo. “There was nothing on it, everything was much more violent, or unreal, but there was nothing that showed the gray area of sexual harassment.”
Here’s just one of the five short, incredibly compelling videos (warning, this is a little hard to watch):
In the same Cosmo interview, Schwimmer shared how his mom and sister — and every woman in his family except his six-year-old daughter — have been sexually harassed at some point in their lives, so these stories are very personal to him.
“When you’ve been objectified your entire life and become accustomed to being a second-class citizen in many, many ways — constantly told that you aren’t worth the same as men, basically, and that your body comes first, or what you look like comes first — it makes a lot more sense to me that a lot of women don’t even recognize when they’re being harassed,” Schwimmer said. “Because you spend your whole life not being treated with the kind of respect that men are automatically given.”
Make sure to check out the rest of the #ThatsHarassment video series, because each film depicts how quickly sexual harassment can happen and how common it is for women to repeatedly brush these encounters under the rug — or worse — blame themselves.
These situations are never okay, and should not be tolerated under any circumstance. We hope these films keep this vitally important conversation alive.