whistle while you work

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Microaggressions, stereotypes, double-standards, discrimination, unwanted come-ons, manipulation, isolation, bad jokes, and pithy comments: ABUSES OF POWER and SEXISM in the ARTS and in DANCE come in all shapes and sizes.

Using art as a backdrop is not an excuse.  Change the names, be anonymous, but don't let little perpetrations go unnoticed, no matter how big or small.

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I once worked with a guest choreographer while I was in school. He would harass many of my female classmates in front of everyone. He would go up to someone, get very close to her, and whisper things in her ear as he stroked her arms or back. Usually, he would whisper things about her talent or how attractive she was. No one else knew this in the moment because we couldn't hear what was being said. All we saw was that a big man was too close and acting too comfortable; I could see that my friends were evidently uncomfortable. He even bit one of my friends on the arm and bruised her. He would do weird things like this in front of everyone. One day, he told us that North American women are strong but, our backsides and thighs are two big, and that we should consider skipping lunch everyday.  Everyone hated the situation, but no one felt like they had the power to say anything. Once, we got the courage to speak with our director about it and she said, "Sometimes you have to put up with people like that, but you just need to focus on the work".  So, we just grinned and bared it and kept our heads down.