Lauren

As a 16 year old girl, I know very well that sexism exists. On pretty much a daily basis, I am shouted out from car windows whilst walking down the street, or approached by strangers whilst out in public, usually by older men. This is something that as a female, you get used to, enough though you shouldn’t have to. One thing I will not get over though, is being told that sexism is not an issue. I take a sociology class at my college, and one of the subjects we cover if feminism. This is something that me and my friends are passionate about, we believe it needs to be talked about in order for things to change. There are however, a number of boys in that class who disagree with feminists and try to tell us everything we say is wrong. I can accept this; everyone is entitled to an opinion and I am willing to listen to anyone’s opinion. Today it reached a point where I can no longer just accept their opinion. As a group, we watched the Everyday Sexism Project talk “CoventGardenWomen”. All throughout this, they laughed and just completely ignored the facts being presented to them. After around 10 minutes, one of them asked for the speech to be turned off because “we get her point, she can stop complaining now”. When questioned about what they found so funny, they told us that there’s no reason for women to feel unsafe whilst walking alone, that sexual assault isn’t a problem, that if it really happened more women would come forward. And that was my breaking point. To be told minutes before that 1/3 women will be raped at some point in their life, it’s heartbreaking to still see how insensitive people can be towards these topics. As a victim myself, I can personally say that people victim blaming is the reason I don’t want to tell everyone what happened; I am scared of being laughed at, or told it’s not a big deal. People like them are the reason women choose to suffer alone. But please, tell me again that sexism doesn’t exist.