This week really made me think about sexism amongst groups of boys. I went out clubbing in London last weekend for a friend’s 21st birthday. At the end of the night I shared a taxi home with 4 friends (1 girl, 3 boys), on the journey home the driver told us about his stand up comedy in his spare time. He offered to tell us a joke, and we were all happy to hear it, but myself and the other girl were horrified when we heard the punchline, which was that he would sniff our seats once we got out of the taxi. The boys all laughed and even after we expressed our disgust at his crude joke, they couldn’t understand why we didn’t find the joke funny. Once the boys were dropped off, the driver apologised to us for making us feel uncomfortable and explained that he has 3 young daughters whom he wouldn’t want to hear the same comments. We accepted his apology, but it was upsetting was that he begged us not to tell the boys. It made his apology seem insincere that he couldn’t apologise whilst the boys were present, as if it was too embarrassing to accept that he was wrong in front of them.

Later in the week I was back at university and during a seminar the topic moved onto Trump’s offensive comments. One boy (I’ll call him X) seemed surprised that the class thought that Trump’s comments were extremely offensive. When X asked for an example, a boy listed Trump’s misogynist comments about women to which X replied ‘oh come on, you’re a guy, you know what it’s like when you’re in a group of your mates’… as if being in a group of boys completely validates sexist, misogynist and disgusting comments towards women! These two separate incidents in the space of 1 week has just reminded me how a lot of the time, sexism isn’t even considered an issue and how it is consistently brushed off rather than spoken about.