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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Fiona

About two years ago (I was around the age of 14), I was walking down the road in my town which is mostly middle aged to elderly with my older sister (around 17). It was dark, yes, but we were walking to a restaurant with our parents and family friends behind us.

We stopped at the traffic lights and a car with two or three guys in it drove past, the passenger in the front stuck his head fully out of the window to catcall at us.

This was the first time something had ever happened to me and it made me feel uncomfortable, so I looked to my sister for what I realise now to be comfort. In a situation which made me uncomfortable, I looked to my older sister because I thought that she would know how to react, how to just shrug it off. That was the first time I noticed her shuffling in discomfort about her appearance.

My sister will always be the slimmer one (and fair enogh, she has amazing metabolism) and she’s always the confident one even when I know something makes her uncomfortable, she doesn’t show it.

That night, I realised that this wasn’t the first time she had felt this. Had experienced something which made her feel as though her skin was crawling.

I wish that I had screamed at the guys (who were, by the way, around 20+) or at least stuck my finger up at them in defiance, but all I could do was freeze and look for help.

Molly

When I was 14 I was desperate for friends and lonely and thought that if I had a boyfriend or was pretty then I might have friends but I wasn’t and I didn’t. So I did what every lonely gen z teenager does and tried to find friends online. I found some but I found many many more who just wanted to see my boobs or my ass. I also found a guy that, on a post I made about being depressed and alone, dm’ed me how he would feel me up in my sleep. I also found my self in 2 emotionally abusive relationships. One was with a guy old enough to be my dad who sent me videos of little girls dancing cause he got off to it and he wanted me to as well. He made me feel gross and disgusting and suicidal but I couldn’t leave him because he was the only one who talked to me. The other relationship was with a guy that would pretend to rape me and then cry about he would never do it again and he was so sorry and I didn’t leave because I had been conditioned to go along with what other suggested and never say no. Another guy who was 18 told me he loved me but only texted me when he was horny or occasionally when I injured myself. I still feel sorry for the fact that I might have hurt them when I left and I’m still terrified that I might actually be the type of girl these guys wanted. A desperate slut that does get to say no and ok with being abused so she’s not alone because for a while that’s what I was. I still haven’t found the courage to report the pedophile because I’m afraid my parents will be ashamed and blame me and I feel guilty because by not reporting him I’m enabling his continued abuse.

J

I teach private music lessons. My student’s dad just tried to come on to me, saying “don’t be mad, I’d really like to kiss you.” I can help sort of blaming myself; since we’ve been friends for 3 years and have a close relationship with his daughter. He broke my trust. And I was scared. And now he’s begging me not to drop his daughter from my studio. Saying his daughter doesn’t have to pay for his mistakes. He was being a creep!

What did he expect was going to happen?? That I would say “oh sure” and kiss him, start an affair, and have to face his daughter and his wife every week? Or just forgive an inappropriate and unprofessional advance, and let it slide by without doing anything? That we would still carry on being friends?

I’m scared to tell anyone, because I’m scared they’ll ask what I was doing in his house. See that I made a dumb mistake. After 3 years of getting coffee with my friend, we decided to get some dinner and watch tv in his home. Which I’ve been going to for years. So stupid. Or lecture me about how to be more safe in my work. I think I’m projecting my self judgement into others, that I’ve probably internalized myself.

I don’t like that the solution is – never be alone in a room with a man. Never. We inform and reflect our own projections and judgments about what women should and shouldn’t do to avoid being sexually harassed.

I said “I feel unsafe and uncomfortable. I like teaching your daughter but I have to think about what to do. Don’t follow me.”

Why didn’t I just say – I’m flattered, but no thank you. Because that SUCKS. I shouldn’t have to nice my way pout of those shitty situations.

Why can’t women just exist? I don’t want to feel scared doing my job to the point where I can’t be alone in a room with another man.

I feel like I have a responsibility to myself and to women to drop this guy’s family from the studio. His daughter losing out on my teaching isn’t the consequence of my actions. It’s his. He’s emotionally manipulative, and taking advantage of our friendship. I shouldn’t let harmful actions that have become the norm go unchallenged by letting it slide, even if it disappoints my student. Am I being selfish by dropping her? I don’t think it’s realistic to keep her in the studio. And I feel like I have an opportunity to make a larger stand about what’s right.

The boundaries are weird, because he’s my friend AND my student’s parent. He is both.

He needs to learn. If you sexually harass your daughters teacher, sorry no more lessons. Its a professional matter. It’s not good for you or your daughter. She’ll find another teacher, who you hopefully will not come on to.

How do I frame this? Were his actions deliberate? Has our friendship and professional relationship been a lie? Did he just feel so open that he felt we couldn’t talk about it, without judgement? Am I naive? Why am I blaming myself and taking responsibility for someone else’s problems?

Emma

I gave my seat up on the tube for a slightly elder man with a walking stick, he then offered me a seat on his lap…

One of my housemates groped me inapporpriately in front of his mates when we were all hanging out.

Ellie

When I was 13 in 7th grade there was a high schooler who would continuously sexually assault me. It was just miner things at ferst I would brush it off and tell my self I was over reacting. But that was befor my major assault. One day I stayed late after school to work with a teacher. When I got out I was walking down the stares and he came down the stares behind me. He grabbed my hair pushed me agenst a wall and reached down my pants. I told him to stop but he did not. After a minnet I pushed him away and ran down the stares to get on the bus. I struggled getting up in the morning to go to school I was failing my classes and I was in sutch a bad emotional state. I felt like it was my fault. I convinced my mom to let me switch schools for eighth grade so I never had to see him again . 11 years later now that I am 23 I have just came to term with the fact that I was assaulted and I don’t need to be ashamed. It was never my fault and it never will be my fault.

Jordan

When I was 13 a man dropped his trousers in broad daylight and began to touch himself in front of me in the street where I lived. I told my mum and she phoned the police but they never caught the man.

When I was 14 an older boy grabbed my bum in front of others me boys and they all laughed and jeered.

When I was 16 men in white vans used to whistle and shout things out their work vans when I would be walking home from school wearing my school uniform.

When I was 19 a guy sexually assaulted me in a nightclub and put his hand up my skirt. I turned around, shouted and swore in his face to leave me alone and what he did was assault.

When I was 26 a former boss grabbed me inappropriately from behind at a works Christmas nightout.

All this behaviour is unacceptable and because I call men out for their sexist behaviour I get called a crazy feminist because I fight against it. I believe in equality and I will continue to fight for equality till the end.

Anonymous

In Nepal I got told I’d be prettier with black hair rather than red hair. I know this may be a cultural difference, but why should I feel the need to be ‘pretty’ for others?

Chris

I work as a limo driver in houston. Carrying bags for people man or woman is apart of the service we provide. I would like to also add that I grew up with wonderful parents that taught me to treat everybody with respect and to live in love with my fellow human beings. I as a man have never disrespected a woman based off her Gender. I in fact stand against those who do. I have always lived respectfully with all in my community. I never thought this would happen to me but here goes the story. Just last week I got a call from my boss on Monday. He calls to tell me that we have received a customer complaint. My crime? I helped bring in a ladies bags inside her house. I only brought them inside the door shook her hand and left as i do with everyone. Her complaint was that although I was nice and respectful that she felt uncomfortable with me being there because I was a man and that she was single and live by herself. I pick up many customers a day I do not know their personal lives or the situations that they are dealing with at the time. It is my job to provide a service that they pay for. I was told I could not drive her anymore because I’m a man.

anon

i once posted a picture of my outfit on my twitter account. i am only a teenager. i really liked my outfits. i got anon messages sent to me telling me that i had no chest, that i had the body of a boy, that no boy will ever like me and i’d be better of being lesbian. that was sexism. i just now realized