This man came up to me and said that since I was a woman I was super bossy, mean, rude, and controlling. And I wouldn’t be offended by this usually but it really bugged me that I was all of these because of the simple fact of me being a woman.
I was at school and my group was trying to move a bunch of tables for a project we were doing and I decided to help them. Until one of my fellow students came up to me and said,”Why are you helping? You’re only a girl and all girls should stand on the sidelines and watch the guys do the work.” All I could do is look at him in awe. I could not believe he said this to me. After a couple seconds went by I said to him, “I may be a girl but that doesn’t mean I have to sit over there and not help you three struggle at moving tables all by your selves because I’m a girl and your a guy. I am as capable as any of you guys.” So I picked the table back up and walked away. He never really talked with me for the rest of the project. I still can’t believe that people in my school think this way!!!
Many years ago, a female friend and I were having a drink in a bar in Boston, sitting in a booth. We were college-aged at the time. Three college guys came in and slid into the empty spots next to us in the booth, effectively pushing us up against the wall with no way out. They wanted to buy us shots and were repeatedly touching our arms, hands and legs as they tried to joke around with us. We told them that we weren’t interested in their company — we were catching up after not having seen each other for a long time. They then proceeded to call us bitches and dikes and said we should just loosen up and do shots with them. The tone got very threatening very quickly. We waved over the bar bouncer to get him to get the guys to move so we could leave. He did it, but was joking with the guys the whole time, telling them that other women in the bar would likely welcome their attention. We asked the bouncer to walk us to the door so these guys wouldn’t follow us out (which they were threatening to do as they continued to call us bitches). He did, but when we got to the door he told us that we shouldn’t be so uptight. These were “good guys” who just “wanted to have some fun with us.”
Last night, as I was walking to my car through a Walmart parking lot, I saw a white SUV several yards ahead of me with their brake lights on, so I knew that the person was about to back up. As I was still a few yards away from the vehicle, the driver rolled down his window. It was a man a little bit older than me, probably late twenties, and I thought: oh fuck. He looked at me and said, “I almost hit you, baby girl.” (I was no where near being hit by his vehicle.) And I said, “Excuse me?!” And he replied, “I almost hit you, sweetheart.” I told him, “I’m not your sweetheart; don’t talk to me.” And I started to walk away. Then he said, “Yes, you are.” Furious, I yelled, “Fuck you! Don’t talk to me!” as I walked past his car. Then as I walked the several more yards to my car, since my back was now to him, I prayed: God, please don’t let him shoot me. It was ironic because a coworker and I had just been informing our boss earlier that day that sometimes women are murdered by men when they stand up for themselves.
Recently, I was in line at my bank. I was wearing loose clothing, no make up. I’m in my early 40s. The teller finished with her male customer, I was waiting for her to call me, as she was obviously finishing up. He turned around, and said “you can come on up, baby”. The teller told him that she needed a minute, to which he replied “ok, but, DAMN, look at her, can you blame me?” I guess he can’t be blamed, not really, since I was standing there with a vagina and all, obviously I made him act so loudly inappropriate. How dare me think that I am allowed to walk around unharrassed and be treated like a human being. Every week when I run errands, I get constant comments. I thought when I got older, it would stop. Evidently not.
I was in school and I was putting my things away outside of class bc I had to stay for a few more minutes, so as I’m putting them away a guy comes up to me. Startled, I look at him and he says “Damn you’re looking fine today” while eyeing me up and down and getting closer. I felt so dirty and worthless I started to cry.
When I was in the 7th grade I used to sit in the corner, away from the teacher but surrounded by boys. I usually paid no attention to them but one day I was talking to the boy next to me and I don’t remember what we were talking about but then he and his friends started to list all the girls in the class and rate their chests sizes and making comments like “Hers are big but only because her fat” I honestly didn’t think about it then because that’s what I thought boys talking about the girls they liked sounded like but then they turned to me and said “You have a nice rack” I didn’t know what to think because back then i thought guys only liked girls for butts and boobs so it made me feel like sombody found me attractive. And at that same school (an elementary/middle school) the boys would participate in weekly slap ads Fridays. I didn’t think anything of of it back then but now it really upsets me especially knowing that the boys from other grades at the school still do it.
I’m a female engineer amongst mainly male engineer friends. My guy friends are so sexist but claim otherwise. They criticize frat boys or “fuck boys” as disrespectful to women while they tell sexist jokes and the boys laugh along. The worst are when they combine sexist jokes and dirty jokes. It’s always something to do with degrading women. They even say jokes to me and my girl friend, like when we were baking together and the boys were hanging back. One of them said “this seems fitting, women cooking” while me and my friend were mixing infredients. They laughed at the joke, including her but I didn’t find it funny because they’re always saying annoying sexist jokes. They clearly think some part of their jokes are true or else they wouldn’t say so many of them but no, they’re definitely not sexist, they claim. Who cares if the girls find It funny or not, they’re hilarious as fuck because their guy friends are laughing along with them. Unconsciously, they think that I am less smart than them. I know this because they ask each other for help and not me, even if I know the material and we talk more frequently than they do with each other. I strongly believe they don’t think I’m up to par in their engineering intelligence level and place each other ahead of me in the intelligence level. I’m just really sad and tired. Even while me and my guy friend were playing chess my really good guy friend said “omg you got beaten by a girl” and he laughed. He tried to play it off but he clearly didn’t expect me to win. I’m just sad and tired. I honestly don’t feel like learning anymore, I just get shit grades and that just adds to me being stupid.
The head maintenance at the apartment complex I work for has a Spanish nickname for me based on my breasts. He has called me by this name for the last 3 years. My boss thinks it’s funny.
Today I walked into my favorite teachers class with a smile on my face. I was wearing a cute outfit and feeling good about myself. A small sliver of my midriff was showing and my teachers face got very serious. He promptly asked me to untie my shirt. I refused. He said “not to test him” and that he had a rough last hour. I told him that I wasn’t trying to fight, but I was not going to take down my shirt. It was not a fight it was just important to me. He said to do it or leave his classroom. I left and went to my theatre class across the hall. He came in with the school handbook saying that I was specifically refusing something that was written down. I said that I understood but there is something fundamentally wrong with the way that dress codes are shaped in today’s society. He said he didn’t care and set me to the office where I had the exact same fight with my favorite principal. He sympathized and I could tell that he was in a tough position But alas, here I am, sitting in In-School-Suspension with my shirt still tied up. Being forced to bend for sexism and misogyny is harder than any 35 year old man deciding that a 17 year old girls midriff is too overtly sexual and violently distracting. It is 2016. It is the 21st Century. I don’t need someone telling me that they’re proud of me or start a hashtag on Twitter. I need people standing up for themselves too, and starting a revolution.