I first discovered this video campaign, created by the government sponsored "internet safety program" ThinkUKnow, via Sexting and Slut-Shaming on Hoyden About Town. The more I thought about it, the more incensed I became (which is fairly unusual for me, as the incandescent rage that usually powers my ranting tends to saturate quite quickly).
(Embedded video is in the full text — you can see the video on YouTube).
Recently I have had cause to reflect upon sexual harassment and the effects that it can have on a person. As I mention in the email below, while I don't see it every day, it's damn near impossible to work in a technical field without encountering it at some point.
But that didn't quite explain my unusually visceral response to this, and eventually I realised that there's another reason that it touched such a nerve with me — it recalled an incident during high school when a female student was mercilessly bullied under vaguely similar circumstances. I found it absolutely disgusting at the time, and I can still recall my frustration at being unable to do much more than be a bystander. (It kind of scares me that my brain can throw up the emotional response a good day or two before the memory itself. I know a neurosurgeon-in-training, maybe I can get them to take a look at that for me.)
Of course, this little anecdote should not be taken as a disclaimer or qualifier for my letter. My reaction to that incident years ago was driven by the same thing that prompted me to write this email to ThinkUKnow today, and I mean every word of it.