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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#78745 Lara 2016-01-30 20:57
I got my first job when I was 16 my former Boss – who was older than twice my age - always made very inappropriate comments. From the first day on he referred to me as “sweetie” instead of my actual name. And though I was employed as part of the office, at the customer support and not his personal secretary he always made me get him his coffee or copying something instead of doing my own work. Soon he started making comments like “I wonder if you take all your orders so good” or “sweetie I can sure show you how to work with that technical stuff. (Referring to the computer I had absolutely no problem with.) If only there was more than one chair, I wonder if this here can hold both of us” (pointing at his lap) Sometimes I tried to make it clear with subtle hints or simply with my body language how uncomfortable I feel, but he always acted like I am overreacting and he pointed out that “he is just joking anyway” and that I shouldn’t take everything so serious etc… Scared of losing my first job I never got the chance to call him out on his behaviour. Thinking back, I know it was the wrong decision. At the Christmas party he got a little bit drunk during the evening. He introduced me to some colleagues from another department and thought it’d be funny and playful to slap my butt in front of them while calling me “his fairy” and explaining that wouldn’t have got any development in the project without my help. I felt so humiliated that I ran straight to the restroom and cried my eyes out and I never felt like someone could actually help me or even care if I talked about it that’s how I spent 3 months at the worst job ever.
#78744 annon 2015-12-13 02:25
I work in a bar, and we keep an active social profile online. Today my boss asked me to "go take photos of those sexy bitches dancing, because its less creepy if you go do it instead of one of us guys"
when i vented my frustration at there being no need to call them bicthes i was mocked and laughed at by my all male wo-workers.
#78743 Anon 2015-12-12 20:34
My husband raped me and no one believes me, not even my best friend because "he's such a nice guy." My other close friend said "I don't want to hear this kind of gossip because I am friends with both of you." So I'm traumatized and this is what I get for support?
#78742 Stephanie 2015-12-12 20:33
I worked in HR in a job for about 4 years. Two weeks after I left my job the boss (whom I was keeping in touch with for the purpose of mentorship, reference sake, and in case I wanted to go back to that job in the future) started making some rather concerning remarks for someone who leads an HR department in exchanges we had via email (email is never a good form of personal communication btw). He told me I should "dress less modestly" and "show it all off." He also knew where I lived (he had to legitimately send me a letter in the mail) and asked me if I visited the nudie bar across the street because he had and he said that he would go to nudie bars with a friend when he'd come to town. He said his young girls would listen to lady gaga lyrics which said things like "I wanna take a ride on your dipstick" to which I wondered why he was quoting such offensive lyrics to me and telling me about this? It became clear his intention was not to offer me any mentorship or friendship but that he was willing to cheat on his new wife of one year (I attended that wedding).

When I went to interview at another job in a similar business I went upstairs to go talk to someone I knew who had worked at the old company at the same time as me. I told her my story about the HR Director (which on a side note was wrong as I was really just venting to her and probably should have kept this situation more confidential in terms of who I was sharing it with - if anyone). This former coworker informed me that all of the girls in her department felt he was a bit much when it came to the ladies. They couldn't understand how he could be an HR Director! That he had been fired from his last HR job because he had an affair with his subordinate (which ultimately caused the dissolving of his first marriage). This conversation totally affirmed what I had been sensing from him that his head was elsewhere in these exchanges.

In any event, the point of this story is that I had left this job to relocate but immediately after I left (and even before) I knew it was a mistake. I had made too hasty decision to quit. I knew I wanted to go back if ever the opportunity arose (they hadn't filled my spot yet). We were also in the great recession! But unfortunately, because of this exchange I knew that was not possible as how could I work for someone I no longer respected? Additionally, the dynamics of our relationship had now been changed in a way I didn't want -- but couldn't change. And worst and most concerning of all was this man was never going to hire me back (my old job has opened dozens of times since I've been gone) because I was now a liability to him. I'm not convinced he didn't fill it the first time with someone other than me for that exact reason. While I may be guilty for not fully thinking through leaving this job and putting in my notice hastily - there was another MAN who worked for this same boss (in my same exact job) a few years later who did the exact same thing I did - quit his job and ask for it back two weeks later. He got his job back.

I guess what irritates me the most about this situation isn't just that I couldn't go back to my former job but that my old boss has served as the President of our local HR Association and is an Adjunct Professor teaching HR classes at the local University (surrounded by young females). These activities reflect to others that he is a representation of what a good HR professional looks like when in fact that is not the case. He is violating the rules he is supposed to uphold and be an example of. When I worked for him he wrote others up and even fired individuals for sexual harassment and yet he carried on an affair with a subordinate (hard to give an objective performance evaluation to a person when you are also in bed with them).

Today, he continues in the position even though I didn't remain totally quiet about it and took it to a higher level (which I have some mixed feelings about doing). Such is life. I wish the man no harm because I know men struggle a lot when it comes to women and none of us is perfect - even making big mistakes at times. Our society doesn't help men either in that everywhere they go they see images objectifying women and luring men to make bad choices. It's a wonder any of them treat women less objectively. Mostly I just want to recover personally as I have never had a job I liked as well and since all of this happened during the recession - it left me unemployed for a stretch, underemployed, and in some very, very bad positions for me for a while since there weren't many available. My work life has just never recovered entirely where if none of this had happened I think I could have continued in this job that I liked and never really wanted to leave in the first place.

Additionally, sometimes I catch myself wondering if I truly was a bad employee and that's why I couldn't go back. I don't think that's the case (if it were I would accept it as I do have a learning disability that affects me on the job - although I've tried incredibly hard to try to overcome it). I'll never know the true reason I couldn't go back when he knew I wanted to do so because I wasn't given the opportunity to find out. Thus I live in a perpetual world of self doubt and despite some big achievements since then I often think about quitting this field thinking I'm no good at it and because the people in it seem to lack integrity, care for people/employees.
#78741 Lorelei 2015-12-12 20:22
Oddly enough, I was responding to a YouTube rant against feminists. A younger woman was blasting feminists saying we are all whiny man haters, etc. etc. After correcting her on what feminism is, a guy came along and suggested I wasn't "woman enough" to deal with a real woman like her and that I was a whiny "damsel in distress." I was angry for 2 hours. I kept thinking of comebacks and then it occurred to me that I don't have to justify myself and my strength to him or anybody else. But how do people get it so wrong? How does he not see that guys like him are exactly why we need feminism? And more importantly, how does the original poster (a woman) not see it too?
#78740 Sarah 2015-12-12 19:28
When I was in high school, this boy that I didn't know (that I was sitting in class next to) started rubbing my back. I tried prying them off but he kept doing it. Since we were sitting front and center, the entire class was in an uproar and jokingly said he was my "boyfriend." This went on everyday in class for the remainder of the year, yet the teacher did nothing and even asked me to share my book with him when he forgot his on seemingly frequent occasions. Mid way through the year, I was receiving an F grade in the class to the dismay of my parents. I also had this boy in PE class that same year. He took a badmitton racket and shoved it up my rear end in front of others which was highly demoralizing and embarrasing. I also had swimming during PE with him and to get out of being in my swimsuit in front of him I said I was on my period even though it hadn't started yet. As I sat out, he was also sitting out that day and we were both watching class the class. I was sitting in front of him and he began pulling my skin and bra strap. I nearly flunked PE that year also and my parents were very concerned I might flunk out of high school. The next year I had him in a math class and it was the same old situation. He'd come up to me and ask me if I "put out" (I didn't know what that meant til that day). He would grab my hands and not let go. What I remember most in all this is him telling me about times he had noticed me here and there and how in short I wasn't "cool" but thought I was. It concerned me because I never remembered him at these times he said he noticed me. After almost two years of this, I got lucky when he started attending another school but the stress of it had built up - going to school not knowing what was going to happen to me (how I might be belittled, touched, etc.) and some damage was done. I developed a social anxiety, never dated, and always had to keep copious tabs on ALL people everywhere I went (who was noticing me and what were they thinking kind of a thing). I doubt this boy ever realized the long standing affect his behavior had on me as he probably just thought he was being a hormonal male and I would recover but I was never the same afterward and have suffered from body dysmorphic disorder and compulsive skin picking for years since. I wish him well but hope he is treating women better these days and has gotten a handle on raging hormones and hasn't taken it into adulthood as I always said if he didn't I could picture him raping a girl as the whole thing was mean spirited and I felt controlled.
#78739 anonymous 2015-12-12 19:16
I live in India.
When I was in school grade my teacher was very close to us. well "close".I was 7 years. Back then we didn't know what a good touch and bad touch was. I thought my teacher really liked me that he shared his lunch with me , made me class lead and all. But it just got very uncomfortable after a while. Making me sit on his lap touching at places calling names.. well it was over he left the school but it left a scar . when I was 12 I was walking down the road , one guy came on a bike and asked me for directions . when I started explaining to him , he grabbed my breasts and pushed me down the road and well...That one thing he told me "You deserve this. Thats your place -on the ground" His smile his words I still can see and hear it. Experiencing such things at a young age leaves a scar a deep scar that can never never be erased.. the memories are permanent. now at the age of 21 I still experience such things almost every month.Over here its really humiliating to talk about this. When you tell someone, they think it was my fault. Its because of my dress I was abused. Its my looks. My question to such people is , what better could a 5 year old kid dress? She was in a school uniform but still was abused. Its not the clothing Its not her looks. People need to realise that.I am still afraid of everything but I think there is a need to move on, hope for the better and have the courage to fight on. I was alone back then crying , frightened and in pain. But now looking at people who fight back, speak about it.. I am finally telling about my experience for the first time in my life to someone.I don't want any girl to experience what I did.I wish things could change..
I guess there is hope .

p.s sorry for the bad English >_
#78738 Tarry 2015-12-12 16:46
I realised a male Facebook friend unfriended me soon after I call him out on a comment thread for being VERY misogynistic.

He couldn't find any other way to silence me I suppose. . .
#78737 Aeronwen 2015-12-12 11:24
Contacting a game forum administrator about a picture depicting semi naked women as a tournament prize, they respond...

'Nobody is denying that the image is objectifying. It clearly is. However, when looking at the intent behind the post, it was deemed that the intent was to not cause offense to any users, but to poke fun at an/or satirise the stereotypical "spoils of war" Barbarian machismo.'

So yeah, it's allowed to be sexist on the forum as long the admins find it funny. I don't know why I am surprised since they also allow Nazi groups.

And then they wonder why there are very few women in that games community^^
#78736 Lilly 2015-12-12 10:10
University Challenge, I love watching you but I am getting more and more ticked off about the fact that the teams are usually all male or majority male.