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Why do we only care about sexual harassment when it happens to famous women?

Ninety percent of women in the restaurant industry have reported some form of abuse in the workplace. This is their story.

Episode 12 of Divided States of Women: Sexual Harassment

At the 75th Annual Golden Globes, celebrities wore black to raise awareness about sexual abuse in Hollywood. In collaboration with a campaign called Times Up, they used their influence to convey the message: “Hey, bad men of Hollywood — your time is up!”

The campaign is comprehensive and inclusive, focusing partially on women that don’t have access to resources to report crimes against them or high-profile names that draw attention. But, this is a new turn and the media’s coverage of the experiences of celebrities is both exciting and illustrates a fundamental divide around when and where we care about sexual harassment in the workplace. The problem is hard to ignore when it impacts famous, privileged women, but what about the women that don’t have the spotlight on them?

This week’s episode of the Divided States of Women examines a different face of sexual harassment in the workplace: restaurant workers. According to the Restaurant Opportunities Center, 90 percent of women that work in the food industry have reported being sexually harassed at work. We dig into what that means, and what some people are doing to fight back.