In a post-Weinstein world, the spotlight on sexual harassment in the workplace shines hotter than than ever before.
But the recent barrage of swift actions to hold powerful men accountable can obscure the everyday harassment from men who are neither rich nor famous that many women endure. For many women, those unwanted sexual advances start long before they are old enough to work.
For one Portland girl, it started in her middle school.
In a profile for The California Sunday Magazine's "Teens Issue," longtime WW contributor Leah Sottile lays out the ongoing suffering of a 14-year-old Portland girl, Nicole, whose phone will not stop buzzing with texts from other students demanding she send nude photos.
"'Can I see a full pic of u?' her iPhone buzzed. Nicole knew what Cody wanted, but it made her nervous. 'I look so bad rn,' she replied." (Nicole and Cody's names were changed, and the middle school she attended was not identified.)
The girl's mother, identified only by her first name, Alexis, said she approached the school with the texts, but nothing happened.
"There were no repercussions. It was very much accepted as 'boys this day and age,' " Alexis told The California Sunday Magazine. "The nude pics become like a trading card."
Like women in the workplace, girls in school are protected from sexual harassment and abuse by federal laws.
Title IX of the Education Amendments passed in 1972 requires equal access to educational opportunities and bars discrimination on the basis of sex. But Title IX investigations in K-12 schools are extremely rare.
In August, only 137 K-12 school districts in the US were being investigated for Title IX violations related to sexual violence by the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights, according to data the office released this year. There are 197 school districts just in Oregon.
The digital violence followed Nicole to North Carolina, where she now lives.
"While it was happening," Nicole told the magazine, "I was playing it off and telling my friends, 'He asked again!' Like it was a chill thing, but it wasn't."
Read the full story here.