a thought (who knows)

The uncertainty that haunts stories about harassment is an effect of harassment itself — it is an effect of the relational and social nature of harassment. Harassment’s intensities can escalate to a point at which the truth feels not only unknowable, but irrelevant. This does not mean that the identity of the agent and the object of harassment is unknowable. This information is knowable for the community of people impacted by harassment. It is knowable to harassment’s victims.  It is not always knowable, however, to the agent of harassment — some people are driven to harass by persecution complexes. Nothing you say will convince them that the victim (or the system) isn’t out to get them.


[Orphaned paragraph from an essay on harassment dynamics.]