Category Archives: Everyday Sexism

Amy

Was asked if I was married while minding my own business one day while working (surveying) along a public footpath, so foolishly replied honestly with “no”. Immediately lead to repeated questions regarding going out with the man who asked. I said I wasn’t interested. This then changed to sex. Being propositioned multiple times a day by him, even though each time I either said no or that I wasn’t interested. I even tried adding that I have no interest in sex full stop, but that just led to criticism from him for saying no, and being told repeatedly that I was wrong and that I clearly did want sex but wasn’t letting myself have it (I genuinely have no desire). Sadly he is hard to avoid otherwise I would. Other times when out alone, I’m often asked why I’m alone or “where’s your boyfriend?” – Why can’t it just be ok for a woman (or man) to be alone?!

Amy

Sometimes when surveying or bird watching for fun, as well as being asked where my boyfriend is, I’ve had comments like “you were the rarest bird today” or, even worse I think, “I feel aroused when I see you”.

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.

F

I formerly worked in insurance in the city of London. Brokers at Lloyd’s were known for their sexism and recruiters only hired ‘pretty girls’. I wanted a city career to provide for myself and family so I took the risk and got the job. I lasted only a year. I was pushed into toilets and assaulted by male colleagues, I was propositioned multiple times by guys that only worked a few desks down. I was told I was ‘just a girl’ so I’d find it hard to understand insurance though I’m doing an economics degree. It was relentless, and daily. Every morning comments were made on my outfit, God forbid I wore trousers. It was dresses and heels only. I eventually got such bad anxiety I would be throwing up during and before work. I left for banking and its better. But I’m still seen as just a girl. I’ll prove them wrong.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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”.