Sophie Lester Warwick Daily News.
Sophie Lester Warwick Daily News. Warwick Daily News

Young journo fed up with sexual harassment

THIS past weekend I covered the Warwick Cup, by and large an easy job of photographing happily intoxicated racegoers.

I had learnt to avoid the overwhelmingly drunk from past coverage, but unfortunately, one lascivious young man thought it appropriate to request a photo, then my phone number, and tell me he wanted to "f**k me".

Stunned, I quickly made my exit.

It's not the first time I'd experienced harassment in this job or elsewhere.

I've met men who have placed their hands on my lower back when I've tried to converse with them; men who make unwarranted comments on my appearance or inquired about my relationship status; men who call me sweetheart or darling, words that seem innocent but do not denote respect.

These moments are, thankfully, few and far between but have put a dampener on my career as a female journalist in a regional centre.

Many of you may think I should pay no more mind to this than the fool who said those words.

But I'm tired. Tired of encountering men who think this lurid behaviour could ever be perceived as flattery.

Tired of being whistled, beeped or yelled at on the street, and feeling uncomfortable and disrespected when I am trying to do my job.

Ignoring these attitudes will only perpetuate them for generations to come.

Sophie Lester, reporter