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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Lillian M.

“Yeah, I hit her, but I have anger issues. She knows I have anger issues, so she shouldn’t have made me mad.”

I am a police officer. This is one of the favoured excuses of domestic violence offenders.

genie

couldn’t post until today, yesterday on an early morning train- got to Surbiton and I was doing anything to keep awake, looking out of the window saw the reflection of the man and his ‘son’ opposite- they were both on phones and headphones. The father was tapping his crotch to the music I looked over and he stopped it. Then noticed the ‘son’ was stroking his crotch with two fingers- it was sort of covered so I looked over again and the dad said something to ‘distract’. but it continued until Clapham when I had to get up and move carriages. The ‘father’ looked as if he liked it.

genie

read a headline about “I had to prove I was bleeding-menstrually- to a male officer reminded me of a shaming event. I had to prove to a male consultant that I had a weak bladder by lifting my skirt and pissing on the floor!! necessary you might say but he had already established this with an examination of the examination table. absolutely horrified.

JR

It’s not really a story it’s more like re occurring incidents , in my school I quite often notice comments boys make to other girls such as ‘get back in the kitchen’ or ‘let the girls handle it’ and when a boy spilt something on the floor and was asked to clean it up they said ‘let the girls do it they should be used to it at home’ why do people think that’s ok ? I’ve never thought much of it before but once I watched the tedx it really made me think that maybe if we notice these things we can make a change .

male chauvinistic boyfriend

I was sexually coerced and harassed by my then-boyfriend last year. I was fifteen and he was eighteen and sometimes I still think about the things he did to me. He consistently and persistently made me aware of the “three-to-four month limit” I had to perform oral sex on him. He just expected this from me, and being that it was my first relationship, I thought it was something that I had to do, or at least it felt that way. He was verbally abusive over the phone and would constantly pressure me to have oral sex with him. After I did this with, I didn’t even know who I was anymore, what I was doing, or what I was trying to prove. It made me feel awful about myself. He destroyed my mental health and made me feel worthless. Now, I am sixteen in my junior year of high school. He is in college and I no longer have to see him. I am starting various programs now within my high school to raise awareness about sexual assault/coercion and I am a voice for healthy relationships. I really hate to know that this affects so many other girls and boys but I am happy now that I am able to do something about it. I no longer feel helpless as I did when I was dating that boy.

Sarah K. S.

I am a sixteen year old aspiring engineer, and am studying a lot of mathematical subjects.

I was once at a family gathering where the topic of women in STEM fields came up, and I was told that “boys are just better at those types of subjects naturally”, and I that I am highly unusual.

Another time, I was partaking in a robotics competition with another female friend, and we were walking around looking at the stands on our lunch break, when a group of strange boys from another school started wolf whistling at us. We were in school uniform at the time.

As a child,I went to an open day for the secondary school I now attend. When I was about to go into the metalwork and engineering room to take a look at it, my mother dragged me away saying, “That’s a boys subject!” She brought me to the home economics room instead. You might be pleased to know that I am taking engineering as a Leaving Cert subject, and she has completely changed her mind on women in engineering and is delighted for me!

Last year, I was leaving a party with a group of family and friends when a man I barely knew at all (who by now was quite intoxicated) draped his arm around my shoulders as I tried to walk back to where I was staying with my parents. His arm soon slipped from my shoulder to my waist, even though I clearly was very uncomfortable: my arms were folded, my expression was uncomfortable, and I was trying to turn away from him. No-one said anything, not even the family and friends who were walking with us, or my parents. I was afraid to say anything in case I would offend anyone. I was only fifteen, this man was middle aged.

My late grandmother lived a few minutes walk away from the city nearest which I live. I was walking from the city to visit her one day when a group of men, around their late twenties, started whistling and shouting at me from the other side of the street. They were looking me up and down, like I was a piece of meat. I kept my head down and walked faster. They kept on shouting and I was petrified in case they would follow me. I was fifteen years old.

Claire

I’m a 16 year old Junior in High School, and this experience will always digust me until the day I die. I was minding my own business, walking to the pool for Swim Team, when teo boys started walking in my direction. One of them said, “Do you like snowmen?” which I still don’t understand why he said that. He then proceeded to touch my vagina with his friend laughing while all of this was happening. I curled up and blocked his hand with my leg and hurried off away from them. I’m so happy they didn’t follow me. I then saw a woman, roughly in her 30’s, walking behind them and saw everything. So I was waiting for her to go off on the boys or ask if I was ok.
She just looked at me as if I was a slut.
I have many more but that one hurt me the most because someone could’ve helped, especially and adult woman, but she decided to put all the blame on me.

Heather

I used to be a keen runner. Not particularly good, but I enjoyed it. Then I lived in a nice suburban town, not much crime, high employment. You know the sort of place.

One evening after a hard day at work, I went out for a run. Nowhere rural, in the middle of town. Some men in a white van started following me slowly. Then, they started shouting abuse. “Run faster, fatty”. “Look at that f**king slag trying to run”. “You’re going to have to run faster to get rid of that arse.” You get the idea. I ignored them and walked home, though they followed for me for another 10 minutes for so. No-one intervened. I remained calm and in control, let myself into my house and broke down.

I’ve not been running since. I would love to. I’d had horrible experiences before. Some men threw some water over me out of a passing car. I’ve had horrible comments etc. But this was the most sinister.

Somehow the saddest thing of all, looking back, is that I didn’t report it. Now, I would have taken a photo of their number plate and phoned the police.

I have two little girls now, and sincerely hope they will never have to go through anything like this.

Claire

Once on the way walking into my house, a man on the street commented how he wanted to f#%k my big a#$ and made a bunch of sexual groaning sounds. He may have been drunk. I live in a very upscale area, homes are $1-3M. I was wearing a long maxi skirt that I thought could easily have been a church outfit. The man was a different race than me.

Nora

Just a few, right off the top of my head.

A friend and two of her relatives and I went sailing last summer, accompanied by a “boat captain”, a man in his 60s or 70s who knew how to sail and could help us during the ride. This guy kept touching my ass, and after about the 4th time, I’d had enough and told him to stop. At this point my friend’s uncle, a man in his early 40s, proceeds to defend the captain, telling me to stop being so serious and take things more lightly, while my friend and her aunt watch silently.

I cycle to work about 8-9 months of the year, meaning I ususlly spend about 2 hours a day on the bike routes. Male cyclists routinely zip all over the place, through red lights, in and out of lanes, going the wrong direction, all at lightning speeds, and no-one says a word, pedestrians just get out of the way. However, when I bike, at a reaaonable speed, keeping traffic rules, as a woman in her early 30s, who looks youngwr, people usually take forever to or refuse to get out of my way, and hurl curse words at me for not slowing down/stopping ON THE BIKE ROUTE, where pedestrians are not supposed to walk at all. And the best of all, is when a male cyclist cuts in front of me, assuming that I’ll be slower bc I’m a woman, and then doesn’t let me pass him when it turns out I’d like to resume a quicker pace. AND my other fave is when a dude cyclist goes on the wrong side of the bike route and expects ME to get out of HIS way when I’m the one going on the correct side.

Conversation on tinder: (between me, a 32 yr old woman, and a 24 year old gemstone of a match)
Dude: “so you like younger men?”
Me: “I like some people, it doesn’t have to do with age”
Dude: “so what are your intentions?”
Me: “maybe read my bio?” (Referring to extensive description of what I’m looking for/open to in a romantic relationship on my bio page)
Dude: “well none of that stuff sounds really interesting to me, tbh…”

So, what then, you were only interested in my body? What kind of a human being I am is irrelevant? And the age thing, being an “older woman” at 32… wtf