Susie

Growing up in Brazil, I had to deal with sexism from a very early age. When I was approximately seven years old, living in a small town, I was stopped by a man on my way to school who asked me if my mum had a ‘cunt’. I experienced sexism on the streets everyday. From an old guy grabbing my breast in public, to direct stares at my breasts and other private parts accompanied by also unwanted comments. I just wanted to walk down the street normally, instead I felt violated often. I felt powerless, there was nothing I could do to stop them. The times I got angry, they dismissed it and used it against me. I questioned whether it was my own fault somehow, although I didn’t dress up with short skirts or revealing tops. I couldn’t understand why these men didn’t feel ashamed to bother me in this way. But they didn’t, it was like they had a green light to go ahead and be like this, because ‘men are like that’. Every day sexism is not ok. I’m afraid though that in the last 20 years the rap and pop music industry continuously make harassment and rape look cool. I even sing it myself, as if it made me feel stronger. The truth is that it gave permission for young guy to harass young women as a manner of good taste. Also governments don’t treat rape seriously enough. We live in a very sexist society still, be it in Brazil or the UK or elsewhere in the world. Victims of sexism, abuse, have to endure, or kill themselves when justice doesn’t protect them, like with Anne-Marie Ellement. Somehow the 21rst century looks quite primitive. Hope it will change soon.