A topic that can’t seem to escape the minds and constantly escape the mouths of today is sexual harassment. When I walk on campus, I could be wearing what I wore to bed or could be wearing a cute dress just because I feel good about myself that day, there is that constant, agonizing feeling that someone will say something to you that isn’t wanted.
Iliza Shlesinger is a popular, female comedian that, to me, defines what a strong, independent woman should look and act like. She’s funny, attractive, and stands for what she believes in and I admire that. When her new Netflix stand-up came on, I was eager to watch it. Her two previous works on Netflix are “War Paint” and “Freezing Hot”. This new one named “Confirmed Kills” left me wondering if I actually liked it.
Most of the jokes that were made by Shlesinger had to do with common issues involving women. Whether it was about strength, intelligence, or the right to vote, she pretty much covered all the bases. The one that kinda left me a little confused was her comments on sexual harassment. Her stand-up is on Youtube but the timing is off. So, if you would like to watch the little snippet on Netflix, the timing is 26:29-28:49.
Now that you have watched it (or not, I don’t really care) did you see the problem? If not, let me explain.
She mentions that, “Being sexually harassed by an ugly guy is the worst”. This was her corrected statement from saying,”Being sexually harassed is the worst” (this statement kind of depends on what a person’s definition is of ugly or not). Isn’t being sexually harassed just supposed to be the worst in general? Who likes being sexually harassed? I would hope no one. But then again, that’s not entirely my place to say. I had a friend that was, by definition, sexually harassed, but the way it came off to her it was a compliment.
I don’t know why this statement bothers me but it does. Shlesinger mentions in her stand-up that women need to stop making fun of each other and calling each other names. We shouldn’t have to put others down in order to feel better about ourselves. But why is it okay to tell a guy that he is ugly and therefor it makes sexual harassment even worse for him to do it rather than the “attractive” guy next him totally fine?
This is a touchy subject and I understand that. There is that fine line where someone could be at a bar flirting with another person and they are fine with it, to a point where it might get creepy and you want them to leave you alone. My general rule is if it crosses the emotional boundary that someone has set up for themselves to protect their safety and personal space, then it’s probably not okay to say it.
I don’t think it was right for Shlesinger to say that it was only bad if an ugly guy did it because what is the definition of ugly? One person’s ugly could be another person’s attractive. It’s not fair to draw a line around this subject based on a person’s appearence when this topic is so much more than just how someone looks.
As I stated above, a woman could be walking down the street in her pajamas or in a nice outfit and still get sexually harassed. A man that chooses to comment on this said woman, attractive to her or not, is still sexual harassment.