Category Archives: Everyday Sexism


I was watching the news about Harvey W on the BBC and a spokeswoman from EDS was being interviewed. One of the point she made was ‘men need to be on board’. Here’s a simple incident which I caught. A few years ago I was running a pub/restaurant, most of the wait staff were between 16 & 18, so our work involved a lot of training. They were all good kids!! One day I caught one of the guys playfully digging one of the girls from behind in the ribs as she was at the computer entering her order. I called him out & it went like this …….. Me: You cannot do that in the workplace. Emplyee: But I didn’t touch her arse! Me: You cannot touch a work colleague in the work place that is sexual harassment & you don’t need to touch her arse. You are NOT allowed to touch her anywhere, anytime OK! He was a good kid who didn’t know any better, I hope I made a difference. I hope he learned from that. Btw he continued working there and developed/grew into a great young man. A


I worked hard to save up to buy my own place. I was single at the time and in the process of renovations was subject to sexism frequently. First it was a well known window fitter telling me I’d need my husbands ok to finalise the order. They may be waiting a long time for that! Then it was the kitchen designer who kept directing questions about budgets to my boyfriend. I love my boyfriend dearly and we now live together but I was the one holding the AMEX!


I was a timid girl in a high school drumline — the student leader of my section told the other boys that if they wanted to get me to play louder all they had to do is slap or grab my ass. And he would demonstrate — for two years I quietly let this happen. He was bigger then me, older then me, in a place of power over me and one of my best friends’ brothers — I didn’t feel I could fight back without repercussions. I can talk just as dirty as any guy can — sometimes worse but never ever would I feel I had the right to touch them — I think he thought that because I acted like “one of the guys” that meant I was an “anything goes” type of girl. After he graduated, he came back to help run the section. But by then, I was best friends with the other guys in the section — they wouldn’t let him near me but didn’t treat me like a wounded animal either. To this day, although he became a joke to my friends and I, it still makes me sick that I didn’t do something to stop it earlier. I’ve taught my daughter better!


Throwing a ball in the playing field for my dog yesterday early eve. An older man (60’s?) walked from a woodland footpath into the field (about 100m away from me). He stopped and wheezed a bit (had just walked uphill) then called out that I didn’t need to stop throwing on his behalf (I hadn’t, was just waiting for my dog to stop messing with the ball and bring it back to me). He walked across the playing field, up some steps on the other side and then sat on a bench overlooking the field (wheezing again because of the stairs). I could feel him watching me and was a bit uncomfortable but didn’t think much of it and just kept playing with my dog. After about 5 mins it was time for me to go home so I climbed the steps towards the bench as this was my route home. When I got to the top of the steps (close to where he was sitting) he jovially said to me “I have been thinking ‘How can get that girl to come over and kiss me?’”. I just laughed and said something like “I don’t think so” in an equally jovial way and kept on walking. I think I sort of thought in the moment that he was just a silly old bugger and it wasn’t until afterwards that I started to get pissed off. I am a 44 year old woman and I was out walking my dog. How did he view me to come out with something like that? It seems like he just saw FEMALE and his thoughts automatically became sexual. This to me is everyday sexism, a very boring and standard example of the type of run of the mill harassment women encounter on a frequent basis. I wasn’t threatened by the situation and it wasn’t noteworthy enough for me to even tell my partner about when I got home. It is not until today that I thought ‘hang on, that wasn’t on’ and decided to share it here. It is the idea that a man was watching me doing a perfectly normal activity and minding my own business and he and responded in a completely unnecessary sexual manner. It is this type of low level encounter that makes us aware about the thought processes of some men and makes us uneasy to come across a man in an isolated spot. He didn’t see me as an individual, just some female to ‘get a kiss from’. Urrrgh.


I play rugby for a ladies team in Sussex, and our team has done considerably well over the past year, moving up a league and for the first time in the 20 years of the club having a ladies team we have enough players to put out two 15s teams. Despite this great achievement and movement in women’s rugby I can’t help but feel this male dominated sport just isn’t ready to let us in and celebrate our achievements. Our first 2nds Home game of the season and the referee states to us his 6 rules on the pitch, nothing out of the ordinary, but then we were told “you will not swear under any circumstance because its not nice and you will receive a card”…I couldn’t help but feel that we were only hearing this because its not ‘ladylike’, I cant imagine him saying this to a squad of 15+ fully grown men. Then after one game being cancelled this weekend and then another being called short because the other team pulled out, the club announces two easy unexpected wins for the ladies, nice tone…again can’t see them saying this to the mens team.

Christy Wannop

Aged 17, I was sexually assaulted on a bus in Turkey by a stranger. I was standing two feet from my parents and I don’t say anything. An older man- 60?, trusted as the Best friend of my friend’s recently dead father- attempted to kiss me in a mind bending abuse of trust and power following the funeral. I didn’t know till some years later that he tried the same with my friend’s sister.