Category Archives: Everyday Sexism

Eimear

While walking down the street in new york city on a sunday, early in the morning. two men walked past me and one said ‘you look like you got a fat pussy’ first, i was confused because what does that even mean, and then i turned around and shouted fuck you. people stared at me like i’d done something wrong.

Gang raped

I was 15. I was rebellious and ran away from home. While gone I partied at a nightclub. Me and a guy I knew went out back to smoke. Next thing I know 3 guys are forcing themselves upon me in a dark parking lot. I tried to fight and scream so they shoved gravel in my mouth. Thank god I was drunk so I can’t remember details. For 10 years I told no one because I thought it was my fault for being somewhere I shouldn’t or for being drunk. I was so ashamed and filled with self hatred. Then in college I took a class in Women’s Studies and the professor taught me that violence is never ok and it is NEVER the victims fault. I got it and everything changed. Especially inside me. I started volunteering at a Women’s shelter and soon after I was hired as a crisis worker. I was good at my job because I really understood where these women were coming from I can’t tell you how many times I told a client that it’s not her fault no matter what it’s not her fault I worked my way all the way to being executive director of that program.

Margot Hauser

I’m 18, I live in Paris. I knew harrasments and sexual assaults. I was goins to take the subway on a morning, while a group of men was cleaning the street. One of them turn round and looked at me, smiled at me. I was listening to my music but I heard him saying me something like “How are you ?”. He smiled at me very kindly, maybe a little bit too much, but at the moment, I smiled at him. But a few second after, I remarked : “Would have he said that to a boy ?”. Well, the answer was no. I’m in a fashion school and last weekend I had to buy some supplies. I had to buy one meter of ribbon. When I asked to the seller to cut me one meter, he smiled at me and said : “But we don’t sell only one meter to a young and beautiful girl like you”. As he saw me blushed, he asked me if I was embarassed and I couldn’t say yes so I smiled. Then, he asked me questions about my school, and when I was answering I was looking at him straight into the eyes but the seller was looking at my face, my neck, my boobs. It felt like he was undressing me. I just wanted to take my supplies and run away.

Ida

So yesterday I went on ‘a date’ with a guy. Everything was new and cool and at the end of the day we end up at a bar full of people and with really nice vibes. But when we go to buy the drink that we were supposed to share, the bartender says in spanish “Oh I’ll put two shots in here to make her more ‘romantic’”. And in Spanish it’s hard to separate if they mean “it” as in “making the moment more romantic” or if it means “she” – as in “making her loosen up”. So I think it’s the first and I laugh. And both the guys laugh. And then after like an hour when I’m kind of drunk and have gotten closer to my date and a little touchy he says “ha, you didn’t really understand what the bartender said back there, right?.” and I told him what I thought it had meant and then he laughs and explains that it was me that was supposed to get more romantic. Because when he 5 later after buying the first drink went and bought his own, the bartender only put one shot in there. And when he told me this I just felt so betrayed and stupid that I actually became more loose and attracted to him. And all this with my history of a guy in the past actually making his way to make my drinks stonger than his and then raping me. Fuck this world. I’m so angry, sad, hurt, upset.

Niamh

I’m 15 and my school’s usually pretty good for equality but I remember in my Maths class the boy right next to me was making a sexist joke to some other boys, something about how a woman should stay in the kitchen and such. There were three boys he was talking to and two of them were laughing along. The other one was obviously uncomfortable and trying to make more pleasant jokes but didn’t feel comfortable calling him out on it. When I did, the boy who was making the joke started to mock me for it until another girl backed me up. This boy and I are friends so the mocking is far from the norm. This isn’t the only incident, of course. I could mention hundreds of cases but most prominently I’ve heard a lot of comments by boys starting from 12 like “there are no good-looking girls at this school”. In fact, there was recently a case of sexual assault by a boy in my classes and they tend to joke about it a lot and no one says anything. If anyone tries to explain that it’s sexist and disgusting then they’re seen as too easily offended and unable to take a joke. These are the school’s most intelligent students too and it’s worrying me that I’ll be going into a male-dominated apprenticeship and career next year. We’re not even into the real world yet and we’re still being told how we’re supposed to conform to gender stereotypes.

Sexist teacher

I’m a highschool student in my final year. We have this physics project- actually it isn’t ours our male teacher wants us girls to work behind the scenes, and for the project to be in the boys’ names!

R

The last few weeks have been weird. This ex and I decided to stay as bffs after the breakup, and for the most part it’s been good. He and I are the only people in our respective friend groups who share the same sense of dark humour, and we still have plenty in common despite no longer being officially together. It’s been this way for 1+ years. Lately, we’ve been starting up again, in both a physical and romantic way. We’re both frustrated, and have embarrassingly strong feelings for one another, so fair enough. We’ve even shagged a few times. Now, part of the reason we broke up was my abysmal sex drive. I have been seriously abused in the past, which as you can imagine has had a great impact on me. I understood his reasoning; he’s human after all. But tonight, it was different. We were both drunk (I still am as I type this), and we came to an agreement that I would sleep with him for money. $10, to be precise. $15 or more for anything else. We finished up a while ago, and he tried to sweet talk me out of $15. I said no, and he protested. By the end of it, I felt worthless. I know this is fucked up, I know this is weird, but it’s just somehow the way it turned out. Just now, he came back into my room, worried about how I actually saw that encounter. He wondered if I saw it as real, or just roleplay. His particular level of disconnect is fascinating, given the endless twists & turns my mind has been going through recently. He’s not dense, he’s not insensitive, but the sheer difference in perspective is very interesting. I was 100% serious. And some part of me thought he knew that, and was conspiring against me anyway. I wish people could reply to these posts; Am I crazy? Am I overreacting to a situation I caused myself? Or am I right to feel so worthless? I’ve given up looking for answers.

No means no

I was standing at a bar waiting to be served with my wife when a drunk woman grab my arse. Despite protesting and telling her I was married, she tried to grab at my penis and insisted that I take her home. She was so drunk that even if I was single I wouldn’t have gone anywhere near her but she kept insisting and wouldn’t take no for an answer. My wife had to call over the bouncers from the door who instantly assumed I was the problem, simply because I was a man. Luckily I was surrounded by people who supported what I was telling them, but if I had been alone I’m sure I would be been told to leave. The bouncers did escorted the drunk lady out of the pub. I don’t know what happened to her, I hope she got home safe. But no means no… even if its a man saying it!

Johannah

I know it was a Thursday It is hard to be a teenage schoolgirl – to be – in navy pleated skirt and blazer, white knee socks, white shirt, red-house stripy tie – racing colours on a concrete estate You negotiate the safest route home. Risk the lift? Or take the several flights of hard stairs to the fifth floor – to your flat? You have to make decisions like that daily with your racing heart betting on safety first. The lobby is empty. You gamble on the lift; it shudders – a creaking silver metal cage; you sound-check behind you – all still clear- the thump of its landing – await the slow-sliding opening – impatient as a filly under starters orders at the gate – bolt inside and check outside. He is hard. You realise. You see that he speaks with a glassy eye. You take in the words but hope the lift door will keep on closing. You calculate he will not have time to step inside, holding his hard penis outside his unzipped trousers. He is not old but he’s older. You are glad you did not politely press the ‘Door Hold’ button to answer the query that issued from his mouth as sociable inanity. It was an eternity until you willed – you urged the lift door to shut out – to shoot off (not cut off his penis) while you answered ‘No. Sorry. I don’t know what floor Susie lives on.’ And stood still shuddering alone in Benny Hill territory: the world of chubby, bespectacled men squinting and lolling their protruding tongues. We should be laughing. The lift bears you up and away. What if the door had slammed and sliced it in half? And you would now be in this metal box with something bigger, thicker than a dismembered white finger bloodied on the silver floor. A buckle on your black school shoe gleams up as you figure the number of inches and feet to cover the flit from lift to front door; he can’t beat you and the lift to the fifth floor, can he? The lift judders. You’re easy meat. It opens on two flat doors. No spying eye except on number eight- a drilled hole in the door to invigilate against strangers’ claims to entrance. Feet float in trance on concrete ground; your house key blinks about the lock. You dwell in silence. Enter your front door. You tell no-one. You and your sister go to Sainsbury’s to do the weekly shop – stock up on cans and meat near Stockwell tube. (That’s how you know it happened on a Thursday.) We giggle, swopping prices on pork chops to get the cheapest deal; and later, laden with weighty jars in plastic carrier bags, thin, red bands strip raw our small, white fingers. Back to Clapham from the shop, it’s a trudge: we are not flying steeds but burdened beasts under a winter-navy, silver sky. ‘Let’s hope,’ says Mary, ‘the lift is working.’

L

Group discussion at work about a team member getting married. My 50 something male boss the says to me, “you must be the last single one in the team”… no, I think you’re forgetting the 4 male members of the team who are unmarried.