I used to work at this pizza place. Almost as soon as I started working there all 3 of the full-time guys started hitting on me. One was married and old enough to be my dad, but came on to me anyway – not aggressively or in a way that I found intimidating, but still. He kept asking me why I wasn’t in a relationship and my reaction is still…whhhhyyy? Do I HAVE to be in one? Of course because as a young woman that should be the only thing on my mind and the only goal I have to fulfill right? Practice flirting, dating, then have a longer term relationship that might end in marriage and babies? Oh yeah, of course [sarcasm]. However, I couldn’t say that to him. All I could say was ‘I’m not looking to be in a relationship right now’, but that didn’t stop the following…
The other guy wanted to go out with me but never said a word to me – never even made an effort to get to know me, or talk to me. The older guy and the third guy both kept trying to bully me into going out with him – obviously because they just wanted their friend to get some, or whatever. Never mind about the fact I’m not interested, and never mind about actually getting to know a girl, and maybe asking her out if you’re interested in her sincerely, or is that me being too old-fashioned? The third guy kept coming on to me in this really creepy, borderline aggressive way and when I made it clear that I didn’t want casual sex with him, he started to insult me viciously both in private and in front of other members of staff, at one point saying that I was ugly [suddenly I’m ugly to him, even though 5 seconds ago he wanted to have sex with me].

I was at a festival once, and had previously met a distant friend of a friend of a friends. We had had a very brief conversation a few nights before, but we had no vibe, no chemistry, nothing was going on…at least not to me. I started to sense though that he wanted me, even though I wasn’t flirting or doing anything explicitly inviting of anything, all I was doing was simply talking and being myself, nothing especially! A day or so after we had this brief talk, I was walking through the festival and passed where he was staying. He came up to me to talk to me, but just grabbed me and kissed me on the mouth. He didn’t get past my lips, but still. I was stunned in that moment and didn’t know how to react so I just left thinking what the fuck? Thank fuck that wasn’t a proper kiss because if he had got in my mouth I would be feeling gross right now…I feel gross anyway. I feel angry. What the fuck? I don’t know this guy, I haven’t given him an impression, I’m not flirting or behaving like I want to explore anything with him, what made him think he could just GRAB me and kiss me? In the moment when he forced this lip-press on me, I realize now that I – like many other women – didn’t punch him in the stomach and snarl ‘get the fuck off me you creep!’ because I suffer from the over-politeness syndrome in which it doesn’t feel right to decline because you don’t want to hurt someones feelings…this is so fucking twisted and wrong. We were in a public place surrounded by people so it would have been awkward to punch him, but you see…its awkward for a girl to defend herself from unwanted groping, but the unwanted groping is considered normal in comparison. twisted.

Once I was working for this big event as part of a team. Me and this boy were being shown around by a female manager and we came across all these crates that needed to be moved. Being an enthusiastic, practical and strong person I went straight ahead and started to move the crates but then the woman manager stopped me, saying something along the lines of ‘no, you’re not lifting those, you’ve got to have babies later in life, the boys can lift these’, as if to say that because my female body has the potential to bear another life, that makes it some kind of precious baby-machine that must be preserved and saved from being damaged, that or i’m somehow weak and incapable of lifting and hard work simple because of my gender?? This fucking infuriated me then, and it still does.

It’s ridiculous because women are just as physically strong if not stronger than men. Women can be gymnasts, body-builders, wrestlers, rugby players, athletes, soldiers AND mothers – whats weak about women??
It makes me laugh whenever people suggest that women can’t do certain things because of their physique, but the same people will never mention all the little, skinny, timid men that exist.
I’m so sick of this perception of women being physically brittle, weak, delicate creatures that must be spared and protected and preserved at all times and to this day we must be tiny, thin, soft little girls who look pretty and act pretty for men. It’s bullshit.

There is so much misogyny in this world on a daily basis and sometimes its so normalized that its hard to notice, other times its so explicitly clear.