"Do you believe any of this? It is not the stuff of fiction. It has no shape, it hasn't the balances so important in art You know, if one line goes this way, another must go that way. All these lines are the same. These lives are like threads that get woven into a carpet and when it's done the weaver is surprised that the colors all blend: shades of blood, shades of tears, smell of sweat Even the lives that don't fit, fit.
We half believed there was something terribly wrong with us. We crept into our holes and learned to survive."
Marilyn French, The Women's Room
To understand sexual harassment, one must listen to the accounts of its victims. Eventually there may be surveys that quantify the problem, but nothing can capture its meaning and truth better than the voices of women who have endured it. The voices are sometimes halting, sometimes angry, sometimes reproachful, sometimes selfdeprecating. They come from across the country, from all kinds of women, on campuses large and small, private and public. A professional writer, recalling her college days, depicted sexual harassment as a basic reality of collegiate life:
Any woman who goes in for higher education, unless she goes to Bob Jones University, is bound to tangle sexually with a professor.