The Everyday Sexism Project exists to catalogue instances of sexism experienced on a day to day basis. They might be serious or minor, outrageously offensive or so niggling and normalised that you don’t even feel able to protest. Say as much or as little as you like, use your real name or a pseudonym – it’s up to you. By sharing your story you’re showing the world that sexism does exist, it is faced by women everyday and it is a valid problem to discuss.

If you prefer to e-mail me at laura@everydaysexism.com I can upload your story for you instead. Follow us on Twitter (and submit entries by tweet) at @EverydaySexism.

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Anon, via email

Last week a two of the women I work with were talking about something that I found a bit inappropriate and embarrassing to be stuck listening to (my desk is between theirs), when out of nowhere one of them asked me a very personal question. I told her I was not willing to answer and did not want to be involved in this conversation.

Later she pulled me to one side. I thought she was going to apologise, but instead she asked the same question again, I told her I didn’t want to talk to her about my personal life with her and that even if she thinks this is just a harmless joke, I did not see it that way.

She seemed to snap at me later in the day when I made a mistake, when she would normally be quite patient about those sort of things. Now I am stressing because I am on rota with her this Saturday, so it will just be the two of us in the office together all day.

I spoke to my boss about what happened and asked if I could switch with someone so this had a chance to blow over, but he was no better. He just told me to grow a pair and stop bothering him with my crap.

I am thinking of calling in sick now. Even if it means I don’t get paid.

C

When I was 12, I had D cup breasts and remember being stared at/hit on by older men. Though I didn’t like it, I considered myself to be grown up looking and so didn’t find it completely creepy. Now I’m 15, get the same looks but recently I saw a photo of myself age 12. There was no way anyone could’ve mistaken me for an adult, or even an older teenager. Makes me wonder what all those grown men were doing staring at a 12 year old like that.

Sophie

I was on a train coming back from an evening shift at work and there were a group on boys on the seats opposite me. I had my earphones in but had my music quite low. I knew that they were talking about me and looking my way. I had flip flops on and i heard them noting about how ‘cute’ my feet were and one stated that he would like to suck my toes. They continued to talk about how i should add them on facebook and shouting their names at me. Towards the end of the journey one shouted out ‘i bet she could suck a golf ball through a hosepipe’. I continued to ignore them and made my way to get off the train. Although the train was not busy, i found it hulmiliating.
As i was waiting to get off, another male had overheard what was being said and tried to start a conversation with me about ‘boys being boys’ and that they think they can chat anyone one up. He then continued to talk to me about what i was doing and where i was going, almost completely contradicting what he had said.
The whole situation made me feel uncomfotable, the train was not busy and it was late at night. Not only this but when i got to the train station i needed to walk through a multi story car park to get to my car.

This is not the first time that i have recived this type of behaviour in public and its now the case where i am not suprised if there is a comment made about the way i look by a male. Every time it does happen i feel uncomfortable.

Grace

I was walking with my friend and it was just a normal day. And i got cat called. Again. I find it is only when i wear tight fitting tops that this occurs. Pisses me off so much.

Jennifer Cole

I have just returned home from the Roehampton Asda Store – I was there at approx 2.30pm on sat 1 October. While I was in the checkout queue (No 7), in the next checkout queue was male customer who was loudly hurling sexist abuse at his partner, shouting at her that ‘women can’t catch… you can’t drive… can’t play sports….’ and which ended in him telling her ‘you’re all f*cking c*nts’. At this point, I turned round and said I was not prepared to listen to that sort of language, or have it in front of my daughter – it would be illegal between colleagues in any workplace and neither customers nor staff in a shop should have to listen to it.

While I would have expected his response – to continue with the language but to hurl it at me – it was the attitude of the checkout assistant that I found shocking – she (a middle aged woman) responded ‘it’s just banter’.

When I asked her if she would find racist abuse acceptable her response was ‘some people like to have a laugh’. Calling a woman a f*cking c*unt is not ‘having a laugh’. it is not in any way acceptable. I understand that staff are probably discouraged from getting involved in customer altercations, but this was beyond behaviour that should be considered acceptable in any public area.

I spoke to the customer services manager immediately afterwards but I did not feel he was taking the complaint seriously either (he did not seem to care which checkout it had happened at, for example). The sexist abuse alone was reason to complain – the language around it was totally unacceptable. Asda staff need to be trained to be able to ask abusive customers to stop, and to call security when they do not. As I said to the assistant at the time, I doubt racist abuse at the checkout would have gone unchallenged, so why does sexism not?

Tom Fitton

I found this post on a Crystal Palace supporters forum and it disgusted me:

‘Intelligent Rachel Riley is a football bimbo

What is that self obsessed stupid bitch doing on this show? A plastic Man U fan from Essex who is obviously getting told what to say or ask through her earpiece. Piss off back to your spelling and sums on Countdown with your piss stinking geriatrics.

And before anyone replies and says ‘but you would though wouldn’t you’, seriously no I f*cking wouldn’t. Rather stick her in my dungeon with my baseball bat. Hate women like her. And it was her fault we had a perfectly good goal ruled out.’

Anne

Nearly every time my boyfriend and I are talking to stranger men for whatever reason, they will look at and talk to him as if I am invisible, even if I initiated the interaction. An example of this was yesterday when we were in an electronics store and I asked a male employee a question about tablets because I wanted to buy one that day. The employee glanced at me but then proceeded to make his sales pitch to, and make eye contact with, my boyfriend, because apparently even a silent man is more important and worthy of respect than the woman talking to you. I only noticed this recently, but now I pick up on it so, so often. I actually feel embarrassed for the men who do it.

anonymous

i recently saw a meme on the internet saying “walk like there is 3 men behind you”… what does that even mean?! That i should be shaking my booty as i go along the street or be scared/anxious that there is 3 men right behind me… because if for me it will certainly be the latter and not the former

Alice

Men across the board, from the workplace to the doctor’s office to pretty much any situation, stare at my chest or body while I speak to them. I understand that it’s human nature to check out other people, but it makes me so uncomfortable and small when say, a coworker or my doctor chooses to take extended pleasure from my body by staring or glancing up and down when they finish talking and I begin.

It happens even when I wear a loose t-shirt, pants, or sweater, and I don’t have large breasts. It’s disrespectful, disconcerting, and makes me feel like a piece of meat instead of a person whose opinions and comments deserve full attention and consideration. My opinion of these men immediately changes when they do this, and when they explain that cannot help but stare, I wonder why they would want to insult themselves and their self-control like that.

anon

i work in a bar at a hotel, we have boxing events each year which i hate doing but i can’t avoid them because they are always so busy. One time working one, i was told to get back onto the bar and stop cleaning the room – which was understandable it was quite busy – but then i was told to make sure I smile, be chatty with the customers and look presentable so that the guys will stay at the bar and buy more drinks.. I felt pretty annoyed and grossed out how my boss pretty much was using my face/body to get more customers in buying drinks…