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.

Add your story:

Da Vy

A few days ago, I was browsing a youth activist website and I came across these videos talking about exercises done in Abstinence-only-until-marriage sex ed curriculum s. I came across a video that talked about an exercise that includes the speaker telling a story about a prince trying to slay a dragon to save a maiden. The maiden has too many ideas about ways to slay the dragon which makes the prince ashamed and the suggestions drain his confidence. So, without sharing any of his feelings, the prince leaves the maiden for another maiden who knows nothing about dragon slaying. The lesson was that girls shouldn’t have any ideas and that if they do, they shouldn’t share them, because it will scare boys away. After the video, Some text said that that exercise was actually being practiced by the ” Choosing the Best Way” curriculum. I happen to be taught by that curriculum, so as soon as I heard the news, I ran around the house telling everybody about how terrible this was. My female friends and I would be humiliated and dehumanized in sex ed class.

Olivia

A few years ago, a guy (who looked like he was about my age or younger, so around 20 – with his hood on) sitting next to me on the bus started to put his hand around my shoulder. I told him to stop and I took his hand off me multiple times (of course, no one on the bus noticed or reacted).He kept putting it back, even sometimes to try and go further to touch my breast. He never looked at me and never talked. Then he stopped at the same bus stop as me, walked in the same direction, behind me. I didn’t know if he was specifically following me or not, I didn’t look back to check, but after a while I started to run until I arrived home. I was very upset about it and scared (I wasn’t having a great day to begin with) so I told my girlfriends. They said “calm down, it’s not that big of a deal”. And “why didn’t you scream and make a scene ? I would’ve slapped him” (Right. Because it’s so easy to do and there’s absolutely no risk that he’ll hit you back). It left me feeling stupid for being so upset about it, and weak because I didn’t defend myself enough (as a woman you have to learn martial arts apparently, otherwise it’s your fault if a man touches you)

HJDA

I remember being objectified as a woman as long as the boys noticed I didn’t just add ‘pointless’ tidbits to classes but I also had breasts. I remember in primary school the confusion when I argued with boys, even if I didn’t get it. I remember hitting puberty at school and being openly groped by a boy in my year at 14+ everyday at lunch with both hands and as a reflex laughing it off and feeling as if it was a compliment. I remember being harassed throughout chemistry about whether I ‘shaved’ or not. I wish now I had learned to make a fuss, not to just be complacent. I always believed myself to be a strong woman as I was always raised but as long as I just didn’t stand out too much. When I got my first boyfriend at 17 I remember being picked apart ’til I I felt there was nothing left, being called ‘unattractive’ in the shower and asked to lose weight. When I once plucked up the courage to tell him I thought he should get more muscle-y his response was simply ‘no’. I also remember the two times he raped me and how he apologised but did it again. I remember how it took over a year to come to the conclusion it was rape, because we were in a relationship and I guess these things just happened. I remember at 20 when my boss continually harassed me by text and after many rejections told me I ‘deserved to be in (his) pants’. I also remember how he stood in the way of another guy I liked, how he wouldn’t come near me because even though he appeared to be disgusted by his behaviour explained to me quite plainly it was kinda like a guy code. And I still don’t know by which of these two men I was offended more by.

But I can say this. As a 21 year old woman I am loud, I speak out, I tell men and woman who are sexist exactly why their behaviour is wrong, I am sarcastic and I am confident. Because of projects like this I know I am not alone, that I do not deserve this and this behaviour is not normal. I now openly tell people my boss is a sexist prat that doesn’t have two brain cells to rub together and have managed discuss with friends the verbal abuse I suffered under my ex boyfriend and utter to even a few the categorical rape I have suffered. Because no this is not normal and no this is not okay.

Maria

I am 30 and I had been sexually assaulted twice by the time I was 15. I was molested on several occasions by an uncle in my own home at 9 and as a teenager in the park a boy lifted my top up and showed my breasts to everyone and they all laughed. Both events traumatised me and yet I felt I couldn’t really say anything for years because I am considered lucky – lucky that it wasn’t more serious and lucky that I wasn’t raped. It’s only now as an adult I realise how sick that logic is and how not taking Sexual Assault seriously no matter how ‘minor’ is part of what makes rape culture so pervasive.

Sunny

There are moments when I realize how deep some patriachal views are embedded in my own view of the world. One is this: My partner and I agreed from the beginning of our relationship that we have something like “switched gender roles”. That is, I like and do a lot of “male” stuff und he often prefers “female” things. So we sometimes make jokes about role cliches. Sometimes he would say something like: “Oh well… I’m definitely the woman.” (Like when his bag for a weekend holiday is three times bigger than mine.)

And I realized that although he does it, I avoid to call him a woman, because I feel that this would be an insult. Why?? Why do I still feel that being a woman is somehow less worth than being a man?

Mia

I am 13 years old (I am fully developed through puberty) and a boy in my class last year playfully put his arm across the doorway so his friends could duck under it. This was fine until a few seconds later when I approached the door he made a point of drawing his arm away from the door touching my boob as he did. I said ‘get off me you perv’ and after that he called me ‘frigid’ or ‘lesbian’ every time he saw me…

Also I was in a que in a shop with my mum and a man stood way too close behind me and I didn’t realise until my mum told me to come stand in front of her, I asked her what happened when we got out the shop and she said he tried to touch my butt 😑

Just Another Girl

There’s this guy in my high school who says very openly that he is depressed. He also groupes a lot of the girls in my grade, and make us feel very uncomfortable. He puts his arms around our waists, squeezes us, “massages” our shoulders, “tickles” us and “accidentally” brushes up against our chests. We can’t say anything because he’s “depressed” and he “doesn’t mean it in the wrong way” and we should be more considerate.

I don’t know what to do. I hate it. I don’t want to say anything and then be responsible if he does something to himself.

banging on the glass ceiling (with my head)

I work in a small, privately owned company. After being in senior position, I was promoted to the position of “director” – basically heading our team of professionals, negotiating with clients, being the face of the company in local news.
Still, when the owners (male) come into the office, they will shake hands with my male colleagues, not with me, not with any of my female colleagues.

Being fed up with it, one time I gently pointed this out to one of them – how it undermines my position and causes discomfort for all females in the office. His response: but I cannot offer to shake hands with a lady, I wasn’t raised that way!

Anon

My soon to be ex husband says that he provides me with free childcare, and does me a favour when he’s looking after our children. On a rare occasion when I worked extra hours in the evening (with several weeks’ notice and having organised childcare), he said I was “failing to fulfil my obligations to look after the children”

Lola

When boys in my school got bored in lessons, they would grope girls in my class. They would grab their bums and boobs for fun and laugh about it afterwards. The girls getting harassed decided to tell a teacher in the school. After the teachers decided to intervene people started complaining saying that the girls were ‘making something out of nothing’, ‘being oversensitive’ and ‘should learn to take a joke’. It made me sad to see how 13 and 14 year olds had already learnt to silence victims.