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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.

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#56867 Toni 2013-12-13 17:26
A male housemate once said to me and my friend "men's brains are obviously bigger than women's" and she retorted "that's because half of men's is in their pants." He didn't get it. We drew him a diagram and everything and he still didn't understand the joke. Obviously smarter, eh?
#56866 E 2013-12-13 17:26
I was stood outside the gates of my sixth form college when a man in a car asked me to come over to him. On the opposite side of the road is a primary school. I assumed he was a parent and wanted to ask me whether the classes had finished because he was about 50 years old and looked as if he was picking up his son/ daughter... I took a few steps towards the car and saw that his trousers were down and he was masturbating. This both terrified and disgusted me. The next day I told the police, but was unable to identify the man so no doubt he is still out there.
#56865 Lotty 2013-12-13 17:21
One in a score of stories, but probably the one that haunts me most:

When I was ten my class has a substitute teacher. He seemed to like me a lot. He complimented my accent a lot (I had just moved from London to the US) and had me sing a nursery rhyme from home. He liked my singing voice as well. He liked my red hair. He said my eyes were like a cats.
I was only ten, I didn't see the issue with his constant compliments. But when we were sent to lunch he held me back and asked me: "Have you ever heard of a play about a teacher who loves one of his students? I think you'd like it." I didn't say anything, I suddenly felt very sick. He sent me out the door with a pat on my backside.
#56864 L 2013-12-13 17:18
I was out shopping with my boyfriend. He picked out a jacket he wanted, it had a noticeable mark on it from the security tag. As it was the only one in his size he asked the male sales assistant if there were any more in stock, he checked the computer. I was stood nearby, but not a part of the conversation. Sales assistant says, 'there's no more in stock but I know how you can get the mark out'. He immediately turns to me, now ignoring my boyfriend and says 'now, when you iron it, take a damp cloth and...' Of course being female I must be the one responsible for ironing his clothes. My boyfriend noticed this act of sexism too and mentioned it to me as we walked away.
#56863 M 2013-12-13 17:14
I'm the only girl in a class of approximately 15 boys. They'll regularly make inappropriate sexual comments about female members of staff, and in a recent lesson, three boys were openly boasting of their £150 bet to see who is the first to have sex with a particular girl. She was being completely objectified by the three boys and they brushed it off as 'just a bit of banter', with other members of the class laughing along with them about it. One then proceeded to make sexual comments about me, which made me feel incredibly uncomfortable. The teacher had left the room when this happened and I couldn't bring myself to go to class today because of it, but I'm reluctant to tell him as I sadly think there is very little they can do once these boys are 17/18 to prevent such behaviour and attitudes towards women.
#56862 Blan 2013-12-13 17:04
In my case, I was a victim of explicit and painful violence. I was attacked by two young boys who (I guessed) belonged to a vandal gang. I deduced all was part of some initiation ritual; they barely knew what to do with me, just beating me with no purpose. Their punches were clumsy and slow,it seemed that they didn't want to hurt me more than necessary. But I knew they chose me because I am a woman. The target of their ritual was a woman, they had to find a defenseless girl in a dark empty street and beat her up. I feared for my sexuality. I thought they would ended up raping me. And that was because I am a woman. If a were a boy, I would have feared for getting my phone stolen, or for not being able to fight, as it is expected for a man. I find this notion totally unfair too, but If I were a man, I would have not feared for my genitals, for my sexuality, for my maternity... This concept is extremely more harmful than all the stupid and uncoordinated punches they gave to me.
#56861 Lillia 2013-12-13 16:59
It was during my first year at university (2006), and I took a train from Birmingham New Street Station to Hereford. It was a Friday afternoon around 3pm I left Birmingham New Street. I managed to find a seat sitting adjacent to a toilet area part of the carriage. As always on a Friday afternoon, the train was packed and many people standing. One guy who had gotten on the train at New Street had been eyeing me up for a while but I pretended to ignore. After a short while, he would move along the carriage and would stand behind my seat. I continued to ignore him and looked out through the window. After a few minutes, I see his hand coming closer and closer to me, trying to grope my chest. It felt like I had frozen at that point, not believing exactly what's happening, so I looked up at the guy's face and he stopped, and then he continued, until I managed to say "What exactly are you doing?" At which point he quickly retracted his hand and got off the carriage at the stop (as at that point the train was at a station). I saw him again on the same train 30 mins later edging towards my carriage, hoping I wouldn't have noticed him. Despite it being a packed train, I was surprised that those who noticed what was happening, just ignored. I really wish I saw a train conductor that day, as I was so freaked out, though I don't think I would have had the courage to report what happened. I still replay the incident in my mind, and don't understand why that happened. I was wearing baggy jeans and a woollen jumper on top of a shirt - nothing revealing. It was my first incident of harassment, and many more that followed. I still feel scared every time, as with one incident, I felt I was very close to being raped.
#56860 Imie 2013-12-13 16:51
My ex was the most mysoginistic, close-minded, homophobic asshole I had the displeasure of ever meeting. (Unfortunately, he was also damn charming, which helped him cover all of this up.) Favorite moments:
1. Being informed that women should never, ever travel alone. Especially in the Balkans (where I had spent 6 weeks alone with no problem whatsoever). A women travelling alone was asking to be raped, no matter how savvy and sensible she is.
2. He used to refuse to go out with me and my friends. I'd go out anyway, and then get emails about how party girls of my nationality (because apparently going out for drinks with friends makes me a drunken party girl!) get raped walking home alone. I lived at the time in a nice residential area in the centre of our city.
3. Being told that, despite me telling him I didn't appreciate being treated like a delicate little flower, he was going to treat me like one because that's how he (and, according to him, all of our friends) viewed me.
4. Being belittled for my opinions, either due to my gender, nationality or both.
5. Whenever we went out, I'd offer to pay or split the bill. I work in tourism and restaurants, so my idea of a good time is going out and checking out new places. I am well aware of how that adds up, so I tried to cut back, expense it (because I could with my company) or offer to pay. He refused every time, because "that's not how we do things here" and it was an offense to his manhood. When we broke up, he proceeded to throw how "expensive" I was back in my face, conveniently forgetting that I offered to pay every time.
6. Getting multiple abusive emails per day after I dumped his sorry ass. I blocked him, and then found more when I was going through my spam much later looking for something else - some of those mails were from years after we broke up.
7. Being publicly humiliated in front of my religious community by him after I dumped him. Then having members of the community try to hold "reconciliation meetings" between the two of us. I told everyone to shove it. He eventually got thrown out of the community, because he pissed off the leadership - not for what he did to me.

It was a short relationship, but horrifically traumatic. It made me swear off relationships entirely for quite some time. When I mentioned this to a male friend, he ended up dismissing the whole thing because "so you dated him for x amount of time, big deal, so what?" (Implying I was a Silly Little Girl and my feelings weren't important).

I thank GOD that I am now engaged to a fabulous, open, tolerant man who respects me and treats me as a person with legit opinions and wishes.
#56859 H 2013-12-13 16:50
I lived once in a European capital. It was summer and late at night. I had just met with friends and was on my way back home. I used the "underground" of the city. When I went up the stairs all of a sudden a man told me that I was beautiful. Horror struck by memories of too many advances that usually followed these horrifying words I stretched myself to my full height (6 feet) and said as firmly as I coul: "Please leave me alone." To my utter surprise the man asked me to forgive him if he scared me and he then went away his way. I do not mind if people pay you compliments, but the thing that upset me was, that I was not able to believe how easily I could get "rid" of him. I had fully expected to be forced to use harsh words or even my handbag etc. I thought that THIS latent expectation is the best evidence how deeply rooted sexist behaviour is and how unexpected it is when it does not happen.
#56858 E 2013-12-13 16:36
I was with a male friend on my way home from university. I was following behind a bit slowly as I was on my phone, but before I could catch up to him a man groped me from behind before disappearing into the crowd. I was completely stunned and told my friend but they had no reaction - I was a victim of two sexist incidents in the space of a minute or two. I told my parents though and they said I should call the police. They said it wasn't a serious incident, even though I felt violated by a complete stranger. I felt completely let down by the system.
#56857 L 2013-12-13 16:31
A male friend told me he overheard a conversation being had by two males(who are vaguely known to me)over how they were planning to "pull" myself and a friend. The male friend refused to go into further detail but as one of the boys had apparently also been overheard calling a girl he had recently slept with a "slut" one can only imagine what was being said. Apparently the assumption was that just because we, as females, were going out they felt that it was acceptable to place dibs on us, and that we would simply go along with, and accept, their advances.
#56856 Amanda 2013-12-13 16:16
The Metropolitan Police ran a radio advert featuring a "thief" (male voice) and "mobile phone" (sexy female voice.) Eventually the phone screams "no! stop!" as the thief grabs her. A voiceover then says that if you use your mobile outside a tube station, you're "asking" for it to be stolen. So basically, using a direct comparison to sexual assault with the implication that victims are, indeed, "asking" for it. The advert can still be heard on the Radio Ads Bureau website. The Metropolitan Police have had their advertising pulled for far less than this (e.g. an anti-terrorism campaign that suggested that closing curtains or not speaking to neighbours might be suspicious behaviour was considered too offensive to remain on the air.) So why did nobody report this one?

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