new zealand

The Everyday Sexism Project exists to catalogue instances of sexism experienced by women 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 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. I can upload your story for you instead. Follow us on Twitter (and submit entries by tweet) at @EverydaySexism.

add your story

Security code
new code

live feed   

#74440 Evie 2015-04-21 12:49
I was sitting on a bench in Singapore at about 7pm at night. There were lots of people around and I was just looking over the harbour. A man sat down near me and started talking to me. I was a bit nervous but I answered politely. He then moved closer and closer while staring. I ended up trapped against the side of the bench. He asked me if I would be his friend. Then he asked if I wanted to come back to his hotel. I was so so uncomfortable. I tried to catch the eyes of people around but everyone just ignored me. In the end I just asked him to leave me alone and said he was making me uncomfortable. He left but I was pretty freaked out. I was wearing normal clothes, I did not engage him, I was in a well-lit and crowded place, he looked normal etc. I just kept asking myself what I'd done wrong to draw his attention.
#74439 J 2015-04-21 12:19
About 2 years ago, I was drunk for one of the first times in my life. A guy and I started kissing. That's all we were doing for a while, but all of a sudden his hands were reaching under my knickers. Despite the fact that I was intoxicated, I still had enough awareness of what was going on to tell him 'Stop, I don't want to do that.' I pushed him away, but he forced his hands on me once again. My friend and another guy were in the same room and he abruptly told them to leave. This is when I knew something wasn't right and told my friend I wanted to go home now. Thankfully we did. Another thing is that despite being very drunk already, said guy tried to get me to drink even more. He'd already bought me a drink earlier that night and I wouldn't be surprised if he spiked it to be honest. I was feeling worse for wear in the morning and only now do I realise what a dangerous situation I was in. Had my friend left that room, the chances are he would have sexually assaulted or even raped me. It sounds pathetic but it still affects me to this day. I felt cheap and used and now I'm scared of what some people can be capable of. I'm also terrified of seeing the same guy again. I've stopped drinking now as I hate the lack of control I feel when I do, but the fact is sexual assault/rape cannot be justified by a victim's drunkenness. I've never told anyone about this happening to me because I know what their reaction would be. That I asked for it. That it's my fault because I was drunk. That I'm a slut/whore. There's too much victim-blaming in this society and it's got to stop.
#74438 Jayne 2015-04-21 12:03
I am a Marketing executive in bank. I also happen to be pregnant. walking up a few flights of stairs to my office, I decided to check in on a colleague am collaborating with, as well as catch my breathe before I proceed the next two floors to my own office. In walks a supplier who provides some media services for us. And after a few minutes of business talk he abruptly turns to me and says
"make me some Tea"... no "please", no "may" in his request.
After an awkward moment I decide since hes elderly he may be really pressed for some. So I waddle over and when I make him his tea, he simply mutters "thanks" without even looking up at me.
I walked away feeling insulted and offended, and chances are I will discourage our business from further business dealings with him.
#74437 Anon 2015-04-21 11:44
At Sixth Form College, a boy in my Maths Class said that he would like me to meet his friends.
I am female and was very naive at the time. The way the boy phrased the message was friendly and open, so I assumed that he wanted to introduce me to his friends in a platonic way.

I was bored and didn't want to seem unfriendly so I said: "Okay."

He led me to circle of boys who were sniggering in the corner of the courtyard.
"I'd like to introduce you to my friends," said the boy to me with the demeanour of a smarmy used car salesman.
One of the boy's friends looked me up and down. Ogled me, flashed his eyebrows then made clicking sounds. He made gestures mimicking the shape of an hourglass female body. He gaped at me like a hungry dog with his tongue lolling out. This was unnerving.

The boy's friend then lunged at me. He got me in a bear hug and tried to stroke my hair while the other boys cheered and egged him on.
I struggled out of his grip, pushed him away and said: "Stop that!".

The boys laughed. Then I said severely to the boy: "Your friend is a prat. He does not act like a gentleman. He does not respect women. He behaves badly. He deserves to be put in a cage or tied to a tree."
The boy said: "That sounds a bit extreme...but...Yeah, I forgot to tell you, my friend just escaped from the Gorilla enclosure at London Zoo."
"If you think this is a big joke, it isn't. I found your friend's behaviour very disturbing and offensive," I said incensed.

Another friend of the boy came up to me and said kindly, with a conscience:
"I'm sorry that my mate behaved like this. I'm sorry that we laughed at you. We weren't thinking. Are you okay?"

I said that I was okay, but that incident made me feel nervous and unsafe about meeting new people. I socialised a lot less afterwards and became very depressed and withdrawn.
#74436 Beverley 2015-04-21 10:32
It was a Christmas party put on by my fathers employer. A picnic by a river. Kids were swimming, I swam with my sisters. He worked alongside my father, he was 19, good looking and popular by all accounts. He grabbed me by some sunken branches and started kissing me, shoving his tongue down my throat. I scratched his face and got away. I felt really bad and yucky. I never told a anyone. I was 6 years old.
Through puberty harassed about my breast size,, at 15 dragged into an alley and nearly raped, saved by people walking by.
At 22 sitting in an interview for that great job and the man asked when am I having kids, he doesn't want to waste time training me if he can have a man in the job, I'm not even married, why is he asking me that. Heart sinks. At 24 I get on a bus, plenty of seats, guy gets on, stands next to me where I am seated. 5 mins into the journey I turn to see him masturbating near my face. Scream out to him and people around me, they all turn away. He catches the same bus in the afternoon. They catch him, he has lots of pornography tapes on him. Crappy stuff continues on throughout life. sexists comments, sleazy co-workers, lower pay for the same job as a male employee. Why hasn't it changed. I am now 51
#74435 Anon 2015-04-21 09:28
A female social worker was counselling me about my mental illness.
She desperately wanted me to have "high self esteem", so she told me that I was "pretty and sweet".
She ignored me when I tried to discuss my academic qualifications with her.
It was hard to engage in any logical or sensible discussion with her. I am female and she treated me like a stereotypical little girl and not like a grown adult.

As for "self esteem", I much rather not have any and strive to improve my mind than be as happy as a clam just because one person told me that I look superficially "pretty" on the outside and have a "sweet" temprament.

The concept of having self esteem before you achieve anything or just for being alive is deeply suspect in itself.

I notice that she never told any of the men in the support group that they were worthwhile because they were "sweet and pretty".

The only advice she ever gave me was that "Women are from Venus and Men are from Mars" which wasn't helpful to me at all.
#74434 Anon 2015-04-21 09:16
Some men have talked to me as if I was a slice of meat in a butcher's shop.
Some said that I had "nice legs", "nice thighs" and a "nice bum".
This made me feel so uncomfortable and under physical scrutiny.

I would never say those sort of things to men.

I notice that the men have commented much on my ideas, opinions or academic work.
They ignored me and talked to their male friends/colleagues.
#74433 Anon 2015-04-21 08:49
I once had a kind and friendly PE teacher who would try and act "down with the kids" by copying phrases the boys said.
When he coached the boys at football he'd yell: "Oi stop kicking that ball like a girl!".
He'd also complain that famous football strikers were pathetic and missed the goal because they: "Kicked the ball like a girl."

The weird thing was, he never told the girls he taught in PE that they "Kicked the football like girls."
He was in fact one of the most friendly and supportive PE teachers I have met. When he taught the girls, he simply told them to kick the ball harder and would offer helpful advice on technique.

The male PE teacher would frequently say: "That's so gay!" whenever he thought something stupid had happened.
He wasn't a mean person, but I do wonder what some of the male students with different gender identities thought of him.
The PE teacher seemed to engage in inadvertent, thoughtless sexism and homophobia. He was trying to "get down with the kids" in a laddish way. In retrospect, perhaps I should have called him out on this.

But I thought he was a qualified teacher and a responsible, friendly adult, who'd never said anything bad to me or the girls, so I didn't feel comfortable issuing a complaint.
#74432 Nina 2015-04-21 06:06
Ok, so I'm stood chatting to my husband having a drink in a bar, note not with big group of girls dressed provocatively (like that should matter...aren't we in the 21st century?!? We can dress how the hell we want!) anyway some complete a**hole decides when walking past me that I need not one but two slaps on the backside. Very generous matey but I won't tolerate for that! To say he looked surprised when confronted is an understatement and his mates we're pretty mortified! Ladies this kind of behaviour is NOT ACCEPTABLE! I thought this kind of behaviour was past but obviously not!
#74431 T 2015-04-21 04:41
Being an eighth grader the whole big eighth grade dance is coming up. Of course it is spring here so many dresses are going to be strapless or spaghetti straps. Yet those types of dresses aren't allowed, also any "tight" or revealing dresses are not allowed. My math teacher brought up the subject and she said that those rules were to prevent any "accidents" that may happen. But there are no dress codes for the guys, all they need is a suit and they are good. While the girls with spaghetti straps or strapless dresses will need to wear something to cover up our shoulders. I just don't understand how spaghetti straps would arouse a guy… like oh my gosh here shoulders o: I've never seen shoulders before. I don't get it
#74430 jd 2015-04-21 03:56
Walking through town to go on a night out with a friend when a guy started repeatedly shouting "You girls are fit." We ignored him, but once we had our back to him we heard him say "You should expect this sort of thing if you're going to go out dressed like that." I generally feel quite confident when my friends and i are out and dressed up, I don't feel i should have to dress more "modestly" just so that guys keep their mouths shut.
#74429 Kendra 2015-04-21 02:43
There was a bunch of guys who online kept telling me that they wanted to suck on my breast or get nudes from me so I went online pretending to be a guy and nobody took a second look at me.
#74428 K 2015-04-21 02:13
It was the weekend after my boyfriends birthday, and we'd planned a night out with many of our friends to celebrate. We had a lot of fun, and I know and respect all of the people we were with, however something happened that really...made me uncomfortable and ashamed.

One of my boyfriends closer friends from school, a guy I've recently gotten to know and who is a very nice guy, started touching me. We'd all had some to drink and we were walking to the next bar when it started. In the beginning it was really small things, like draping his arm over my shoulders, pulling me closer and such, and I didn't really think much of it until he grabbed my ass.

I didn't know how to react to that, so I sort of just brushed it off. I did however make more of an effort to keep distance between us that it wouldn't happen again, and it didn't. At least not to me.
He did, however start "hanging" on one of my girlfriends. I noticed, but didn't say anything. After a while she came up to me, telling me that he was touching her and that she didn't like it, and that she wanted my advice on how to deal with it. And again I brushed it of. That's just how it is. He's just had a little bit too much to drink.

And I'm really ashamed that I didn't confront him about it.
#74427 Melissa 2015-04-20 23:24
In my final year of college I was being stalked. Everyone's heard of their friends having a stalker who, in reality, is just someone who perhaps texts harmlessly every now and then and doesn't get the hint to back off.

I had an actual stalker. This man texts me constantly (Even when I wouldn't text back for months on end) set up around 15 fake Facebook profiles to monitor my profile, started FB messaging my friends when I blocked him on FB and found out my favourite bar and followed me out on several occasions. When I say followed me out, I mean that by that point he knew that I considered him to be a full blown stalker and yet, he would appear quite literally by my side, trying to strike up a conversation, when I would be out with friends.

Also, my laptop was stolen when my house was broken into that year. Out of all the electronics owned between myself and my three housemates, my laptop was by far the least valuable. Whoever broke in and stole it stole none of the other valuable, easily transportable and expensive electronics that they must have passed by to go to the living room where my laptop was. This leads me to believe that it was specifically my 4 year old, crappy laptop that they wanted and thus, must have been my stalker cos who else would bother?

Anyway, I overheard several of my male friend say "She thinks she's being stalked. If she starts on about it, don't mind her. She just want attention". I had Facebook messages from the stalker admitting everything from setting up fake profiles to following me out and I also had several hundred harassment texts from him by that stage too. In spite of this overwhelming evidence, my male "friends" thought I was lying or exaggerating for attention.

One of them told me I brought it on myself by replying to his texts and that he'd stop if I just ignored him. He ignored my own explanation of "I'm texting him to ask him to leave me the hell alone since maintaining absolute silence for FOUR MONTHS in response to his constant texting hasn't worked!". That's right, I didn't answer Mr. Stalker's messages, not a single one of them, for 4 entire months and it didn't make a difference. And I was still told my my male "friends" that I was either bringing it on myself or lying.

Eventually, 8 months after the stalking initially began, some female friends who feared for my safety took me to a police station and I got a restraining order against him. My male "friends" never apologised for the things they had said to/about me.
#74426 Alexandra 2015-04-20 23:06
A few years ago, I was at one of my favourite metal bars with some friends. A band came on and we moved to the front of the stage to listen and enjoy. We were't there 5 minutes when I began to feel something. I was wearing tight,black leather looking leggings and a t-shirt and I could feel someone gently caressing my ass. That kind of gentle touching that's so barely there that you think you might be imagining it. But I was SURE I was being felt up by someone in the crowd behind me so I whip around without warning. No one stands out as doing it so I go back to focusing on the band when, a few seconds later I feel it again! I whip around again and catch no one. I go back to watching the band when I feel someone touching my ass a third time and I whip my gaze around quickly enough to see a hand being swiftly retracted by its owner!

I do NOT normally condone violence but I was drunk and outraged at the man who thought he could get away with violating my space and my body like that so I turned around and kicked him in the balls. Direct hit. It was then that his friends rallied to his side and started screaming at me about how fucking dare I do such a thing and so on. I wasn't having any of it and yelled over the music "If your friend doesn't want to be kicked in the balls, maybe he should refrain from groping women he doesn't know!". I know they heard me and understood the situation and they told me that I had no fucking right to have reacted the way I did etc. "Keep that pervert that you call a friend the hell away from me!" I growled and turned my back on them.

Ladies, do not tolerate sexism. Your body belongs to no one but you. Feel free to remind those who need reminding of this fact!

Subscribe to our mailing list


Everyday Sexism.. Book The Everyday Sexism book is out now and is available from Amazon, Foyles, Blackwell's and Waterstones!