One woman who came forward about being sexually harassed by her driving instructor said she had tried to report her experience to the driving school. But her account was doubted, with the manager implying she had no proof and might be lying, telling her: “With all due respect, it’s only you two in the car.” She said she was too afraid to report the incident to the DVSA, “because the driving instructor knows where I live”.
A recent study of more than 1,200 female teachers by NASUWT, the teachers’ union, revealed that one in five has been sexually harassed at school by a colleague, manager, parent or pupil. Nearly a third (30%) of those who have been sexually harassed have been subjected to unwanted touching, while two-thirds (67%) have experienced inappropriate comments about their appearance or body. More than half (51%) have been subjected to inappropriate remarks about sex; 21% have been sexually propositioned; and 3% said they had suffered upskirting or “down-blousing” (photos taken up their skirts or down their tops).
Enloe, whose work has long spanned intersectional analyses of gender, race and class, is pleased to see that the feminist movement is “much more diverse in its voices now”. But here, too, she cautions against premature self-congratulation. “I’m hopeful, but I’m not comfortable. There’s much more work to do.” Social media, she says, though a breeding ground for misogyny, also opens up the discussion. “It is an opportunity to ask: ‘What does a Kurdish feminist sound like and what does she want me to take on board?’