[The Best American Science and Nature Writing (2017)]
Kathryn Joyce’s article “Out Here, No One Can Hear You Scream” details the experiences of sexual harassment and assault women experienced while working either at the Grand Canyon or other places of nature.
Joyce captured one woman’s description of putting up with abuse in the workplace because “she didn’t want to be one of those women” and jeopardize her image or career. This statement represents the struggle women face when attempting to demand their rights as human beings without threatening the loss of their jobs or destroying their reputations.
After reading this article, which one of the changes made to discouraging sexual harassment at the work place that you thought was most important? Why did that change matter to you?
One of the changes made to discouraging sexual harassment at the work place that I thought was important is standard uniforms. "All employees are now required to wear "standard uniforms" on river trips"(269). This matter change was important because women where not comfortable with what they were wearing in their situation.
Reading this article was very difficult, because things like this still occur in every career. Reading the stories of these brave, strong women was hard but also thought it was inspiring. When the investigation went underway, the park finally made some changes and transferred the department head out of the district and filled his role with a woman. Policies were changed. There was not alcohol permitted and supervision were now required during expeditions. The park also was introduced with a detailed plan to improve its sexual harassment policies (pg 268). I believe that changes like this were great and a step forward to making work safe for women.
- Asher Denkyirah
I thought the fact that the role of Bill Wright was filled by a woman (268) was quite important,because that means that women are more likely to have someone who can be more empathetic to them because she understands where they are coming from better, and the situation is more likely to be taken seriously. The other thing that I thought was important is that since 2015, they have strengthened its protocols for sexual harrassment training,so hopefully people will be taught not only how to handle these situations when they happen but they can also prevent it from happening altogether before it becomes an issue (269).
I think that the biggest change that was made to discourage sexual harassment was " detailed plan to improve sexual harassment polices and considering disciplinary actions against managers who mishandle complaints. All employees are now required to wear "standard uniforms"" (pg 268-69). I think that this is a step into bettering the work place especially the uniforms because then females can feel comfortable in the clothes and not feel so different from me. I think that making changes is very important because women deserve to be treated with respect and like they are people and not just things. I don't really agree with them saying Considering disciplinary actions. I think they should get disciplined for mishandling the complaints because this is a serious matter this isn't just something to mishandle or push aside. These women are people who deserve to be treated with respect.
Sexual harassment is a very serious issue, especially in today's world. With this, any new rules made to prevent such an act are important. However, one of the best decisions made was "...supervision was now required during expeditions"(pg. 268). This is important because having someone else with you could deter a possible harassment situation.
While many actions were discussed in the article, I personally think this is the most important: "According to its response to the OIG, the Park is introducing a detailed plan to improve its sexual harassment policies, and considering disciplinary action against managers who mishandled complaints" (p. 268). While standard uniforms, eliminating alcohol, and other actions are important, I think it comes down to values of the park. Implementing a formal policy against sexual harassment is extremely important.
One of the changes that occurred that was most important to me was on page 268 when Bill Wright was replaced with a woman. This was important because the women will have more of a voice and they will feel more comfortable or forthcoming when they are sexually harassed. They will also have someone that takes action against sexual harassment and takes them seriously.
I believe that the best change was the plan to improve the sexual harassment policies because for one it raises awareness to those who either don't know about it or don't realize that what they are doing is wrong. Secondly, it enforces rules to try to keep it from happening anymore.
I honestly had no idea that this type of sexual harassment was so prevalent in the wild life field ,and it angers me that women have to be on their guard no matter what industry they are in. When the article said the woman ,"Somersaulted through the rapids."(pg 255) I thought it was crazy because not only has this man been constantly harassing her ,but now he is even putting putting her life at risk by telling her not to use a life jacket.
One of the most important changes the park plead to regarding the discouragement of sexual harassment was their plan to improve upon their sexual harassment policies, as well as their consideration to take disciplinary action against managers failing to take proper action when approached with sexual harassment complaints (268.). This is so important because there is such a large amount of sexual harrasment victims whose complaints end up down the drain. This plan would be a huge step in taking victims seriously, and therefore taking the problem serioulsy, and finding justice for victims.
In my opinion, it doesn't seem like the Park Service or the Forest Service did enough to discourage sexual harassment. Although banning alcohol and creating a standard uniform for everyone to wear is a start, I feel like so much more is needed. For example, more serious disciplinary actions should be executed towards those who were accused. A lot of the testimonies from the article stated that the men ended up retiring before they could even be punished for their behavior. Because of this, when someone files a complaint, it should be acted on immediately and taken seriously.
While reading this chapter I was so appalled by the type of behavior these women had to put up with. On Page 256 details how Lesa Donnelly’s complaints against her abuse led other women to speak up. It states “She received dozens of calls she heard from women who claim they were being threatened with physical and sexual assault and woman who said they been punished for making complaints”, and she was eventually able to gather claims from 50 women. It is unfair that the men behaving in such a way were only given slight punishments and were still able to work in the field. Women should not have to be scared they will be harassment and the zero tolerance policy they implemented is a step in the right direction
After reading "the park is introducing a detailed plan to improve sexual harassment polices and considering disciplinary actions against managers who mishandle complaints," on page 268-269, I felt this was the most important change made to discourage sexual harassment at their workplace. People usually repeat their behavior if it doesn't come with a consequence. I believe, especially in the instance of sexual harassment, that the crime will be repeated if not recognized which if why I believe disciplinary actions are most important to prohibit sexual harassment.
I think the most important change was when they began "introducing a detailed plan to improve sexual harassment polices and considering disciplinary actions against managers who mishandle complaints." (Joyce 268-269) I felt this was the best decision because this discourages future problems. Without proper consequences the offenders will continue to act the way they do because they know nothing serious will happen. By instating stronger protocols against those offenders, others will be less likely to continue the behavior.
On page 268 it says, "The policy for staff boat trips was revised. There would be no alcohol permitted and an outside supervisor would be required on all expeditions." I think this policy change is super important! Whenever we hear about sexual harassment cases, a lot of the time ( not always ) alcohol is involved. I think by eliminating alcohol on the trips, it could help prevent sexual harassment.
One of the changes that stood out to me was when the park transferred the Grand Canyon Chief Ranger, Bill Wright, out of the district. The fact that they replaced him with a woman was good to know because I feel like that would make it easier for victims of sexual harassment to speak out and share their stories. When men are in leadership roles, I think that definitely causes some women to shrink away from voicing their concerns. It was also good to see that they changed the organizational culture by removing a man who might've been contributing to it.
I grew up in an error where sexual harassment was not taken as seriously as it is today. I am so glad that times have changed. When given the time and space a predator will definitely take advantage of it. The change of making it mandatory to have.....supervision was now required during expeditions (on page 268). This is a great idea due to the fact that this will more than likely keep the predators from attempting to commit sexual assault with the fear of being caught. Having other people around is a great deterrent and can also serve a great witnesses.
First and foremost, harassment of any type is in no way, shape, or form acceptable, especially not in a professional workforce. The idea on page 256 about uniforms is, in my opinion, a feasible solution to this issue because it limits any possible desire/distraction one may have and it allows people as workers to focus on their career and not less important (exterior) things.
After reading this, I was alarmed about how many assaults happen in places like this. Of course they occur but it was a really wide opening thing to read. On page 268 they talk about rule improvements and standards they are rising and that to me is fantastic. As they say acknowledgement is the first time to improvement and the fact that it is being acknowledged is huge. There is a lot of overlooking that happens in situations like this so we are definitely on the right path.
A sad as this is sexual harassment still occurs in the workplace today. However reading this article brought light to the situation and was a reminder that things can always change. One of the most important things that I thought they did was to ban alcohol during the job as well as replacing and the chief with a female. On page 268 it says, "The policy for staff boat trips was revised. There would be no alcohol permitted". This type of change allows for the female workers to see that change is happening.
his article impacted me deeply. You really never know how it feels to be sexually assaulted until it happens to you. I would like to also say after experiencing it myself I would like to apologize to anyone that has gone unheard or is struggling with their day to day life because of this. One of the best changes was supervision being required on trips(268). Not only does a supervisor prevent sexual assault by their presence but it also gives the victims somewhere to go for safety if they feel threatened. Desmond C.
One change that discouraged sexual harassment in the work place that i found most startling was the one where continue court oversight was ordered over the forest preserve in 1995 and ended in 2006 (257). This order impacts my perception of society's opinion about women's confessions of assault. After the order ended the women who where verbally and physically assaulted were ignored. 50 women spoke up about the assault but the court felt that they only deserved 11 years of safety. This makes me realize that women's confessions need to be taken more seriously.
One change that discouraged sexual harassment in the work place that i found most startling was the one where continued court oversight was ordered over the forest Service in 1995 and ended in 2006 (257). This order impacts my perception of society's opinion about women's confessions of assault. After the order ended the women who where verbally and physically assaulted were ignored. 50 women spoke up about the assault but the court felt that they only deserved 11 years of safety. This makes me realize that women's confessions need to be taken more seriously.
As i was reading the beginning of this article, it seemed like it was going to talk about Cheyenne's experience while she was working in the Grand Canyon's. But as i read on i was shocked to learn that there was sexual harassment taken place. The change that affected me was on page 268 when no alcohol was allowed and a supervisor would have to be required for all expeditions. This affected me because of what i read about the victims not filing a complaint because of not wanting to lose there spot, or not wanting to show the attacker a weakness.
My initial reactions of the article were very judgmental. Women deserve to be treated fairly However, after finishing, I concluded that not only do they deserve fair treatment but fair aid when they are in need. From pages 267-279, it took a long investigation for the women who were sexually harassed to get some type of justice. Specifically, the two women were told that "their contracts would not be renewed,"on page 267, because of their attempts at justice. It took decades later for authorities to look into the incidents. I believe that having issues such as this discourages individuals from reporting crimes and currently, we are trying to better this system.
While reading this particular article, the change that stood out to me the most was on page 269 when it stated that “Employees are required to wear standard uniform on river trips”. I feel that this was an important change because people always make the excuse of how the women should have not worn a certain thing. Stating that a women was “asking for it”. Now they all have to wear standard uniform so they won't have that excuse anymore.
I would have to say that changing how managers are dealt with after not taking action when reports are made is one of the most important changes to be made. In the article, it says that "the park is introducing a detailed plan to improve sexual harassment polices and considering disciplinary actions against managers who mishandle complaints," (p. 268-269) which should be done. Unaddressing problems or not handleing them properly leads to more and more attacks because there are no real consequences for behaving in such a way. That is unacceptable and for those who allow these awful events to happen should be dealt with and replaced with people who care about making the park safe for everyone and a place that can be enjoyed by all and not feared.
- Marcus B.
One issue I have with this article is how the park decided to handle sexual harassment while on the job. The author states, “employees are required to wear standard uniform on river trips” (Joyce, p. 269). I understand that when a woman is sexually assaulted or harassed, a defense attorney of the assaulter/rapist will fault the woman based on how she was dressed. With this uniform policy, that sexist mindset no longer applies. However, it still reinforces the notion that men are incapable of controlling their sexual desires, and therefore it is a woman's job to make herself look "undesireable," (whatever that means), in order to protect herself from assault.
I would have to say that by changing the actual policies at work to address sexual harassment was the best policy implemented. Especially how now and days before you physically start a job you have to go through onboarding which addresses the issue of sexual harassment in the workplace. Many workers also have to sign a disclaimer to show that they understand the rules that were outlined, by having this it holds them accountable for their actions.
-James Beverly III
The change that resonated the most with me was, “There would be no alcohol permitted and an outside supervisor would be required on all expeditions” (Joyce 269). I picked this because, although sexual assault/abuse/misconduct/rape is NEVER EVER the victims fault, alcohol on a work/business trip should never be allowed. As women, we are constantly on guard when surrounded by men with alcohol due to the several instances where drunk men force there way onto women. Alcohol has no place on a work trip, bonding or not. I also loved that Bill Wright was replaced with a woman.
-Kytela Hill (Medearis)
I thought the fact that they actually changed the policy that was there to officially hold people accountable was important. "According to its response to the OIG, the Park is introducing a detailed plan to improve its sexual harassment policies, and considering disciplinary action against managers who mishandled complaints" (p. 268). So many situations in everyday life could be avoided if there was simply policies that could ensure punishment for failing to properly react as a superior, or at the very least an incentive to actually handle complaints effectively.
"All employees are now required to wear "standard uniforms on river trips"(269). I think this is important so women can feel comfortable and not be looked at in a sexual manner. Also, i think it helps every look and feel the same. it matters to me because women often wear different clothing then men and are looked at different. Lyric B.
“I had all the years I called the lost years with Mike when I ignored him. We had little tiny kids. I was working all the time, exhausted all the time. But I was like: We’ll have money some day. We’ll have time some day" (250). I was more interested in Seager's perseverance because she did not give up. She did what she had to do and that lead to her success. It shows how even when times get tough that you have to keep going at it to accomplish what you want. Lyric B.
I believe one of the best changes that occurred was replacing Bill Wright with a woman after he transferred. There could be a million policies in place for sexual harassment, but if the individual does not feel comfortable speaking about her experiences with the person in charge, then the policies are pointless and just for show. However if the harassment happened to a male, this change may not be in favor of his situation either. I think ensuring that the person in charge of harassment must build a relationship with all of the staff so everyone is comfortable coming forward.
While this article was difficult to read, I understand that this can happen anywhere, at any time and should be taken seriously - especially in the work place. The most important changes made to discourage sexual harassment, in my opinion, was changing and strengthening the sexual harassment policy. The statement reads, "detailed plan to improve sexual harassment polices and considering disciplinary actions against managers who mishandle complaints. All employees are now required to wear 'standard uniforms'" (Joyce 269). This would create for a safer work environment and make those who work on site - especially women - feel more comfortable. Feeling safe is a huge part, if not the most important factor, when working.
The change I thought best discouraged sexual harassment was the change of leadership on pages 268 and 269. With a woman now in charge changes were finally made to help women in fields that posed a threat to them. The rules that were put in place ensured that women were now protected whenever they went to job sites that seem so exclusive to the rest of the world. I am proud that these changes were made, but I'm disappointed that they had to be made in the first place.
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