I almost never mention it to women. It was unnerving, and, while I appreciated the compliments, which would occur every time we worked together, I began to feel a little uncomfortable in her presence. Something — dumb luck or the spirits of my long-deceased grandmothers — came through for me. Then she suffered a small injury. When I spoke to anyone about what happened, there was a sympathetic shrug and a change of subject. The interventions of other students saved my professional reputation, but I lost the job anyway.
Caroline. Age: 25.
Publishing MeToo movement features.
Aniyah. Age: 23.
‘I had to submit to being exoticised by white women. If I didn’t, I was punished’
The following day, someone in the company rang me up to inform me I had lost the job. I was perceived to have no recourse, no agency. After that second incident, I was left in freefall, jobless, with a child to raise and a mortgage to pay.