Author Archives: everydaysexism

Jess

Whilst out for drinks with a male colleague, the conversation turned to salary. This colleague has been working for the company for less time and does not have any professional qualifications. I on the other hand have a role with more responsibility and have passed the relevant professional exams. At last pay review he was offered £2000 more than I was. I now no longer work for the company but it really stings to know that as a more qualified member of staff with more responsibility I was still considered less valuable.

Big Four

I worked at a Big Four accounting and audit firm, and a partner invited my whole team out for drinks after work one evening. At the end of the evening, he cornered me and attacked me. He very forcefully tried to rape me, but I managed to escape before he could. I reported it to the company and the police. The police are investigating. There were no witnesses – he’s not stupid enough to attack a woman in front of other people. There’s no physical evidence of his attack because I stopped him before he could rape me. Ironic, isn’t it, that protecting myself from rape means the rapist can go free. The Big Four firm did a half-assed investigation and said it’s “he said, she said”, so they can’t take any disciplinary action against the partner. Then they let me go from my job. This is what happens in a male dominated industry, where partners are masters of their own domain and basically impossible to fire as they’re not technically employees. So who gets fired? The victim. Nice. Don’t believe a word when you read these Big Four companies talk about how female-friendly they are. It’s just good marketing.

Mt

I work in the arts, as a private consultant but with occasional academic work. Myself and two male friends organised a conference with the express intention of publication at the end. I made the initial conference proposal to the academic research group we are all members of, and made no secret of the fact that I expected to publish it. Today I got an email invitation to contribute part of a chapter to the book…my book(!)..which is described as a new project that they were working on. There were three named male editors, one of whom wasn’t even involved with the conference organisation. I wasn’t even asked. I feel utterly betrayed, and annoyed that I didn’t see it coming.

Kate

Got called a pussy hole today. Got told by someone he wanted to fuck me up, and then that I knew I wanted it. Did I know either of them? No. Both were at least two years below me.

Anna

I was at a family friend’s house, and in the middle of a conversation, somebody turned to me and said, ‘you’ll have to make sure you marry a rich lawyer.’ I was completely taken aback by this, because for the last three years, I myself have been at law school, hard at work, studying to be a lawyer… I laughed it off and threw back ‘I’m going to be the rich lawyer thank you very much,’ but it kind of bothered me because it made me feel like no matter how hard I worked, it was still easier for some people to see me as someone’s future wife rather than my own person with agency, aspirations and a drive to succeed by myself.

Lily

I’m currently a student and I’ve been working at a restaurant for the past one and a half year. I started receiving sexist comments from my male boss (there is also a female boss, his wife) who is around his 60s, after 3-4 months after I started working there, and it’s been going on until now. It started with him “joking around” about a girl that was cleaning at the time the restaurant (also a student), as at some point she bend over to pick up something off the floor and was holding the back of her trousers so that her ass wouldn’t show. He turned to me and said “I don’t understand why some women wear those kind of trousers and don’t wear belts, if they are afraid of showing their ass. I mean I’m not saying that she doesn’t have a nice ass, ’cause she does, but you know what I’m talking about”. After hearing this I was unable to give a proper answer as I thought he was joking. But it turned out that he wasn’t. He believes that, since I’m the oldest one of the female employees there now, he can talk and gossip about all of the other staff there, thinking that I’d laugh and agree to his remarks. The last sexist thing he said to me was actually two days ago, when I went to get my wage. Normally, I take the money, sign on the notebook, and leave. Nevertheless, as I was about to turn around and leave, he started asking me questions about why the other employees would “mock” him. I told him that I hadn’t heard anything, but he wouldn’t believe me. Eventually, he started saying that some of the staff think he’s always looking at the asses or breasts of his female employees -which is correct, anyway. Then he said “It wouldn’t be my fault if I was looking at their asses, as they provoke with their way of dressing at work sometimes”. At that point, I was speechless from what he had said, and couldn’t think of an answer again, as I feel like voicing my opinion would start a dispute between me and him and ultimately make me lose my job. He kept me there for at least fifteen minutes and wouldn’t let me go, something that made me feel as if he had restrained me there from leaving, which brought me in a very awkward position. This has happened more than twenty times, and these were only two examples out of the several I’ve experienced. I’m just sick and tired of going every time to work and be scared of what his next look, comment or action might be. Comments like this and even actions, have been received from more than 10 former female employees, so I’m not the first nor the last one in there experiencing this. Everyone says that I should ignore him, but it’s not that easy as I need the job to live.

Tania

Working in an IT department in Financial Institution: 1. Hey guys look at Tania’s photo on her batch:Isn’t it a slut photo? 2. I bet you like to tie up guys 3. You better come and work in my office , it’s warmer here 4. Last Friday my boss “accidentally” hit my knee with his own cause I contradicted his argument And for the fact that I do not flirt with men and that I am assertive , I got a reputation of being cold and difficult to work with…

Amy

Yesterday someone wrote on my notepad at work “You have nice tits” and then proceeded to have a lengthy discussion about my bra size. When I told them to stop, a colleague told me “I thought you would be stronger than to say something. I don’t know why it bothers you anyway unless you’re a feminist”.

Publius

This is not my story, but rather a friend’s. My friend witnessed a fight between two boys at our high school, and alerted a teacher. The teacher told the office and the next day my friend was summoned to the assistant principal’s office. The first words out of his mouth when she entered the room were none other but the famous, “So, sweetie.. I heard yesterday you witnessed some boys being boys.” My friend was furious but felt too intimidated by his power and her lackthereof (she is a freshman girl in a big high school). She politely explained the situation, but no action was taken against these boys even though she had provided their names, the location where this happened, and basically as much information as she could. The worst part is that girls have gotten in trouble with this same assistant principal for their skirts being too short, but actual violence is brushed off as a matter of gender.

Small Steps

Recently I was at a work event/dinner with my husband, we were sitting at a table of 12 people and I was the only woman. So I was already starting to feel a little bit uncomfortable as people were mostly talking over the top of me (I’m kinda short). Recently, my husband has grown a beard, which I don’t mind and encouraged. During the dinner one of the men turned to my husband and said “Like the beard. Glad to see you wear the pants in the relationship”. It seemed only small and no one noticed or said anything, but it really frustrated me that not only did he assume my opinion for me but saying such a casual sexist comment that encourages male domination. But what I was most disappointed about was that no one said anything. Including me. I felt so ashamed and angry with myself that I did not stick up for myself and say something in the moment, but I was feeling so small and could not find the words. When I came home I confronted my husband about it, he said he did not even realise the comment. We watched the ‘everyday sexism’ ted talk and the ‘Why I’m done trying to be man enough’ ted talk. It was actually a very uncomfortable conversation but afterwards he said that he has ‘heard me’. Whether I’m there or not I hope that next time he hears locker room talk he will notice it for what it is and have the bravery to say something.