Protecting the Women in Our Community

Woodside community members and high school students express their personal feelings and share their stories.

Mercedes Mikhailov, Staff Writer

Sharon Mikhailov by Mercedes Mikhailov

Women in these smaller communities feel like they need to constantly be on high alert, especially of their surroundings, because of how much women feel like targets.

Sharon Mikhailov a 57-year mother of three who works within the community of Woodside, was generous to share her story with others.

“He got very close to me,” Mikhailov said, describing a male assaulter. “He came into my little personal bubble, came really close. Just his mannerisms- he was trying to intimidate me with his maleness.”

Angeline Zomora by Mercedes Mikhailov

Her thoughts on the issue and its currency have to do with people using more subtle tactics to sexualize women, but Sharon isn’t the only person who feels this way. Natalie Augustin, a senior at Woodside High School, speaks up about the harassment and catcalling from strangers she’s dealt with personally in our community.

Augustin voices her concern about the normality of sexism in our community.

“What if I’m surrounded by other people, and I’m just a female on my own, so it makes me look weak?” Augustin questioned.

In addition to Augustin’s outlook and personal experiences, Adrian Foresti, a senior and football player at Woodside, had some unique perspectives to add on the perception of women now, especially with the help of social media.

Tatiana by Mercedes Mikhailov

“I just dress like how I feel most comfortable, I guess,” said Foresti. “It doesn’t really involve any other thought process to it.”

On the contrary to Augustin’s story, Foresti feels little to no pressure to change his appearance to feel more comfortable in social and public situations. He adds that women are seen “differently” in the public eye.

Erykah Melancon by Mercedes Mikhailov

While this is still an ongoing and prevalent problem, especially in today’s day and age with social media being an added factor to the altered perception of women, we as a community are looking to find ways to bring more awareness to the vulnerability and overall safety of women in our shared community.