Eleanor

It’s the little things. The everyday occurrences that, before reading ‘Everyday Sexism’, I didn’t notice, brushed off and ignored. The more you look the more you see the inherent sexism in society that NOONE seems to acknowledge.

1. A few months ago I was getting into my car (with my male friend who onlookers may have presumed my boyfriend), I was modestly dressed (not that that should make a difference) and minding my own business when a man walking past wolf whistled at me – HOW IS THIS FLATTERING IN THE SLIGHTEST!! – I stuck him my middle finger, to which he seemed shocked at but also I think I successfully damaged his confidence and pride! My friend was shocked that this happens – he said ‘I see this on movies but I didn’t know it happened all the time’ – welcome to the unfortunate world of being a woman!
2. I was at a nightclub with my mum and sister (a bit lame I know) and my sister and I went to the bathroom. On our way past some sleaze grabbed my bum – I was shocked, but I hit his hand away (unfortunately I missed his ‘crown jewels’). On my way back out of the bathroom he did it AGAIN!!! I was even more shocked this time, and actually more than that, I was very pissed off! I was too shocked to react but in retrospect really wish I had! – On this same night another man thought it acceptable to touch me up while I was dancing with my mum!! – What’s wrong with these men!!
3. I am a recent graduate and have my first professional position after uni. In a meeting we had to get out tables and chairs from a cupboard – I went to help and grab a table when one of the men opened the other door where the chairs were with comment that ‘they’d be easier for me’ – I may be a woman, but I’ve managed thus far!!
4. In a supermarket the other day I heard an older ‘gentleman’ invite a female member of staff to an event if she ‘wears only a black tie’.
5. On a night out with a group of friends and my boyfriend we walked past a couple of lads, one of which shouted at me “I could fuck you better than he could [gesturing towards my boyfriend] any day!”
6. Another night out a bouncer says to my partner “Your girlfriend has some cracking tits” – I was wearing a modest blouse, buttoned up.
7. At the age of 16-18 I worked in a cafe. The delivery driver (about 50 years old with children my age) would say to me “If you were only 30 years older…” – it was cringy and uncomfortable – my 22 year old self as I currently am would have had something to say, but unfortunately at 16 I didn’t have the confidence to be outspoken.
8. At school (aged 12 – 14) in cooking class, the class ‘player’ putting flour on his hand and slapping all the girls on the bum to leave a mark.
9. At a conference with my boss and the conference organiser assuming I’m my boss’s daughter – because a young female can’t be a professional in her own right.

Seriously, this list is endless, but it’s not all bad – after reading everyday sexism I have spoken to my partner about some of the horrendous things that happen! – I think he was previously blind to these things, being a respectable man and not thinking that other men behave the way they do. He came home from work (new job) the other day and told me that he witnessed a man making derogatory, sexist comments towards a female colleague of his, unfortunately he was unable to say something at the time but I was proud to hear he had approached his colleague after to ask her about it, if she was ok and if it happens a lot – she, apparently, seemed surprised he had asked and also grateful for his concern – goes to show that most men don’t notice the inherent sexism embedded in our society – I think he’s a keeper.

As you can see, sexism obviously doesn’t exist in 2017!