Sophia Bush Shuts Down Harassment Through An Empowering, Must-Read Letter
Many women are faced with blatant, unwanted sexual advances from men every single day. For female actors, the problem can be compounded when they encounter "fans" who believe that famous women owe them attention because they watch their projects. It's completely disgusting behavior, and Sophia Bush shut one such creep down in an epic open letter posted on her Twitter, written to a man on her plane who refused to stop harassing her during their flight.
Bush, star of NBC's Chicago P.D., was just trying to enjoy her flight when she encountered the seatmate nightmares are made of. In her open letter, Bush noted all the ways she tried to politely ask the man to stop engaging with her before she had to resort to moving seats. Nothing, though, would stop the man from making unwanted advances — not Bush opening a book, putting on a hat, or even directly asking him to stop. The experience not only sounds irritating, but scary. It's all too common behavior for some men to continue to pursue a woman even after she has made it clear she is not interested. The unfounded sense of entitlement that Bush's seatmate demonstrated is something no woman should have to put up with, but unfortunately, so many do.
As completely frustrating as it is that Bush had to go through such an uncomfortable ordeal, her shutdown of the man through the letter is a thing of beauty. Bush's anger is palpable and justified as she offers the man some advice on what not to do the next time he feels the urge to treat a woman so disrespectfully. "Stop turning around and looking at her," Bush writes. "Stop leaning out of your seat and towards her body when she has to grab something out of the overhead bin above her original seat, and sadly also above you, mid-flight."
Women, whether they are famous or not, often find themselves on the receiving end of unwanted and inappropriate attention. Having it happen on a plane where there is little you can do to get away from the aggressor sounds like an actual nightmare. By sharing her story, Bush turned a terrible situation into a talking point for women and men alike. For men, her story should be taken to heart. It is not OK to make a woman feel unsafe and uncomfortable whether you have seen her on TV or not. And for women, Bush showed there is power in speaking out.
Even if the creep from the plane never sees her letter, many others will, and Bush's refusal to let an awful man's behavior go unchecked is inspiring. Bravo.