This is how Ashley Judd shuts down sexual harassment

In light of the recent #MeToo movement, many women are stepping up to speak out about their experiences with sexual harassment and abuse. In a brave and important move, Ashley Judd shared how she stands up to sexual harassment. Following her decision to go public with allegations against Harvey Weinstein, Judd shared her coping techniques with Teen Vogue. And they seem easy to model.

How does Judd shut down imaginary harassers? The actress and activist practices a series of phrases and hand gestures.

At home, or with friends, Judd will practice saying “that is inappropriate and unwelcome.” Or, she will simply hold up a palm in warning, commanding the would-be abuser to “stop.”

Judd didn’t always practice fighting against harassment.

She says there was a time when she didn’t recognize it for what it was — she just knew it made her feel horrible.

"I didn't know what sexual harassment was. I didn't know it was criminal," Judd told Teen Vogue. "But I can tell you how it felt: 'Yuck.'"

Now, she practices saying “no” as a way to feel empowered when she encounters sexual harassment. But Judd also recognizes that any way of reacting to harassment is perfectly acceptable.

“I practice. It’s the world we live in,” Judd continued. “I get big. I get really big. Some people get small and that’s OK.”

What’s most important is that you feel safe.

"Our bargaining strategies and things we do in these moments are normal. Anything we do in these situations is really OK," she said. "Feeling safe is everything. That's essentially what is taken from us when we experience sexual harassment and micro-aggressions."

Thanks to women like Judd, many industries are taking steps toward eliminating situations where sexual harassment occurs in the first place. Until then, we’ll keep fighting and supporting one another.

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