#MeToo in vet med
Here's your complete guide to sexual harassment, whether you're employer, victim or bystander. From personal accounts to professional advice, find out how the profession can fight backand find beauty in the strength of the words, "Me too."
#MeToo. It's a phrase we see daily in headlines across the United States. And it's one that's resonated with dvm360 readers, who've written us to share their own experiences with sexual harassment and discrimination in practice. Here's one veterinary professional's story:
I worked for a male veterinarian who would come up behind me when I was standing at the pharmacy workstation and press up against me while I was working. He would also lean forward and whisper into my ear. He was the owner of the practice, and he did this continually. I told him it made me uncomfortable and asked him to stop doing it. He told me to "loosen up" and said he was "just trying to have a little fun." I was fired by the office manager and another veterinarian in the practice. I had already started my own job search, but I could not help feeling that I was fired because, unlike some of my coworkers, I didn't play along with it.
Read our complete coverage on the topics of sexual harassment and the #MeToo movement in veterinary medicine here.
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Here's guidance on how to speak up if you experience sexual harassment, ickiness, creepiness or anything else that makes you uncomfortable in your veterinary workplace.
Veterinary professionals share their experiences with sexual assault.
What is the #MeToo movement?
The phrase "Me too" was first connected to sexual assault awareness in 2006 by civil rights activist Tarana Burke. When Burke, now senior director at Girls for Gender Equality and creator of Just Be Inc., a nonprofit that helps assault victims, was a camp counselor years ago, she was approached by a 13-year-old girl. The girl told Burke she'd been assaulted by her mother's boyfriend. In the moment Burke didn't know how to respond, but later she knew what she should have said. The words she would have used to respond to the young girl? "Me too."
Burke continued to use the phrase and the hashtag #MeToo to build awareness about sexual assault and, later, sexual harassment. In 2017 Alyssa Milano lodged allegations of sexual harassment and assault against media mogul Harvey Weinstein. On Oct. 17, 2017, Milano asked women on Twitter to use the hashtag #MeToo to identify themselves as someone who'd experienced sexual harassment or assault. By Oct. 24, CBS News was reporting that 1.7 million tweets included the hashtag #MeToo.
Don't believe sexual harassment happens in vet med? Our research says it does.