The Everyday Sexism Project exists to catalogue instances of sexism experienced on a day to day basis. They might be serious or minor, outrageously offensive or so niggling and normalised that you don’t even feel able to protest. Say as much or as little as you like, use your real name or a pseudonym – it’s up to you. By sharing your story you’re showing the world that sexism does exist, it is faced by women everyday and it is a valid problem to discuss.

If you prefer to e-mail me at laura@everydaysexism.com I can upload your story for you instead. Follow us on Twitter (and submit entries by tweet) at @EverydaySexism.

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Ex waitress

Carrying two hot plates is not permission for you to grab my breasts, had to walk with my elbows turned in to avoid this.

Everyday waitressing?
Also having to deal with a boss who joked about breasts every day. Literally every day. But it’s ok cos he likes art, like the other pervert, they both like art so staring at womens breasts and endlessly discussing them is totally ok.

Also pride shamed for not being willing to get naked for the guy who was into art and drawing the female form, yeah he sprung that one on me while I was innocently chatting. Second time I’ve had to face a room full of topless women without warning. How is this ok? If I had a ton of dick pics on my wall I’d take them down before inviting a new male friend over. Common sense and courtesy.

Emma

Sport is apparently still in the dark ages. I tweet one thing about football fans invading the pitch at the national stadium and I’m greeted by several men responding or quoting the tweet as “Your GF’s back on Twitter” and “Thanks for that, Emma” along with taking several screenshots of when I either block them or delete the tweet to joke about, to then find out a twitter account had been retweeting all posts from “women/football journos/easily offended” despite there being hundreds of male fans criticising the incident. If you’re a female football fan with an opinion, you’re not only a football fan but you’re ridiculed for your opinion as you’re a women. No, I am a football fan first and foremost, I have the same knowledge as a male football fan.

Luke

I was told to not take photos of my children at the beach because i was a man. There were 4 other people there taking photos and they were all women. No one told them to stop taking pics.
Im not a sex offender. i have no prior convictions. Women are sexist too.

Faith

I consider myself lucky because I’ve never been groped or physically assaulted in public. There are so many instances in my life they’ve become a blur, they’ve become normal and only the particularly shocking memories remain. After many times of being called “bitch” for ignoring people I tend to say “thank you” to being told I’m beautiful or “no sorry” to being asked out by someone who pulls to the side of the road while I’m walking my dog to ask for a date, I don’t even bother telling them I have a boyfriend because they never believe that. When I run outside I always leave one ear bud out to make sure no one comes up behind me… This is my normal. On my 27th birthday this year guys were coming up to my male friend at a bar and telling him how hot I was and saying creepy things and asking permission to talk to me, as though I do not have any say in the matter. The girl I was with told me I was rude for not accepting drinks from strange men I had no interest in. Walking through the mall with my parents AND grandparents at 16, an older man fell into step with us and started saying crude things. I had no words. When I was 18, I went to a tech school for college, about 70% men and I found it difficult to make real guy friends, most ditched me after learning I had no interest. When I broke down to my doctor SHE told me maybe I should try wearing different clothing because I might be leading them on. Despite all of this I feel like the protector when I am out with my girl friends, I stand behind them if I think they’re being leered at or put myself in between them and a creepy guy who’s getting too close. I’ll take the brunt of the abuse and tell a guy to f*** off if he says demeaning things. After so many awful encounters I feel like I have developed a tough skin and I cannot stand to see the sad, scared, defeated looks on my friends’ faces.

Eadlin

I have a friend at my school. He’s a guy, I’m a girl. He’s shorter than me, and weaker than me, but we get along fine. Unfortunately, over the past few years, we’ve kind of grown apart. We’re fifteen now, three years away from leaving school, A lot has changed since we were twelve.
So he hangs out, with a group of guys, some of which are cool, but most of which pick on him, pushing him around, and treating him like dirt. I see this when we have Automotive together (I’m the only girl in my Auto class, but that’s normal for a country school(did I mention we live in the middle of nowhere?)) and last year, when we had Physical Education together.
I first noticed this, when we were playing a game, and I was the only girl in the team that had bothered to play. As per usual, none of the boys would pass to me. As I have mentioned before, I am used to this, but it doesn’t stop me from wanting to make a change.
After, walking back to the changing rooms, I found myself walking next to him. I was too mad to trust myself to speak, but luckily, he spoke first, muttering something along the lines of, “I’m sorry.”
I ground my teeth.
“Yeah, well, that game sucked more than usual. That substitute sucks.”
We had a substitute teacher, and our normal teacher would have made a rule, that you had to pass to a girl in your team before you could score. I hated that rule with all my heart, but it helped sometimes.
He shook his head.
“No, I should have passed to you.”
“You should have, why didn’t you?”
I was slightly mad at him now, it only just occurred to me that there were several moments when he had the chance to.
“I wanted to, but [one of the boys] said he would bash my head in if I didn’t pass to him.”
“You should have passed to him anyway. If he wanted to beat you up, he’d have to get through me first.”
[When I say we were good friends, I mean it. The following year, we’d had to learn ballroom dancing, and we had to do it with someone from the opposite gender. The funny thing was, he and I got to watch the kids who chose their girlfriends or boyfriends, fall into absolute jeopardy as they broke up half way through the unit.]
He turned to me, more serious than ever.
“Eadie, promise you’ll never do that. You’ll only make it worse.”
I was shocked to silence, and didn’t get to ask what I wanted to most before he left for the boys changing room.
‘But what if they’re beating you up?’
Though I’m sure I know what his answer would be.
‘Then I’ll have to deal with it myself.’
And that crooked smile of his, which does not reassure me at all.

True to that, I have never stepped in, and though it boils my blood to see them treat him like that, I stuff it away for later. But I just wish more people knew that sexism does not just happen to women.

Eva Wang

Okay, um, I’m not sure this is much of a story actually, or if I’m really qualified to talk about this.
I’m 18 (well, close enough anyway; not gonna use my actual identity) and for all my life I’ve been raised in a very warm and nurturing community (well, as a whole). Never really had sexual harassment here, the most I got are vague memories of catcalling.

No, the only tale I have is from years ago: I was about 8 or 9, and I was on my first trip to China. My family hails from there, so it was always exciting when summer rolls around. Not sure exactly where we were- I remember a city and tourist-trappy lakes scattered about the outskirts- but we (My Grandmother, brothers, and I) were walking along a dirt path straddling a rather large and pretty lake when I got separated.

It was only a moment, I had lagged behind when I slowed to watch the ducks, but I guess it was enough because in the next breath a beefy hand grabbed my upper arm and began pulling me insistently off the path. I remember the sharp tang of a smell (later my brother noted it was probably alcohol, but I’m not sure) and the numbness of my fingers after (but funnily not the pain of that circulation-blocking grip), a weird sense of shock, alarm, and resignation.

Another breath and my 76 year old Grandmother was storming over the stranger, slapping the hell out of him and spewing a color-wheel assortment of mandarin threats. He was gone pretty fast.

And then we just carried on, joked about it (I joked about it- I wasn’t sure what else to do).

Later on I googling and found out the anti-natal policies of China, and the gender population differences, and the cases of human trafficking- girls and boys disappearing off the street. Sometimes it comes back to me, and I get a cold rush down my back.

I only got a taste in my little time there, but many, many girls live in China.

Maybe that’s not exactly sexism- I apologize if so, as well as with my poor quantity of experiences.

CB

At a conference. Go up to speak to the speaker (male) after a particularly good talk about which I have questions. Am passed over as if invisible for the dude who arrived just behind me. He gets a collegial handshake. After I wait my turn (sigh) I am treated like a student (siiiiiigh). Minor and totally unconscious on the part of both men, just a reminder of how often I am not even seen in professional spaces.

Mum of a boy

When I told my son that the book he’d reserved was ready for collection from the library, his dad said: “Oh is that the book about princesses?” and my son squirmed with embarrassment at the thought. So I’ve asked his dad to read Everyday Sexism – thanks Laura for giving us this tool

Anon

A male relative says that a female relative is coughing because according to him she is “has a guilty conscience for not being an attentive enough wife to her husband” (him).

What?!