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.

Add your story:

Natalie

I was applying for a senior job with a well known female led architecture practice, and afterwards the recruiter called me for a post interview catch up.
She said they didn’t have any questions, and could see me growing into an M.D. role eventually. They just had one question they needed to know – whether I was planning to have children in the next couple of years!
I told her it was totally illegal and amounted to discrimination to even ask that question. Absolutely furious!!

Kay

When watching TV today. A show watched by many in Britain, the host called cricket a ‘gentlemen sport’. Sports or anything doesn’t need gender labels yet they are still consistent in many shows.

C

I am a teenage girl. One day, I was riding my bike and a man in his 50s wolf-whistled at me from the other side of the street, which felt so degrading. I believe that we should work together to stop this kind of behavior.

Melissa or Mahlisa?

My first year in public school, I was seven and loved playing in the field during recess. A boy in my class cornered me when I was alone and pushed me over before shoving his hand down my shirt. I told the teacher on duty and there was a forced apology but he was in my class all year. Every storyline project (where you make up a family/life) he wanted to name is wife after me and the male teacher let him as long as the spelling was different…

M

When I took the leader of a community group to one side to tell him that I was going through a hard time as my mother had recently been diagnosed with breast cancer, and that I might not be able to help him out as much as usual because of this. Generally, he is very friendly and caring, keeping banter on the right side of things. Sadly, this time around he tried to make me feel better with a *joke*. “Oh, I hope it doesn’t run in the family. It would be such a shame if you had to lose yours!”

Objectified by a friend and colleague when clearly already upset and vulnerable. Our relationship has not recovered.

Anja

Couple of years ago I went to a doctor and got a vaginal exam for no apparent reason, without any explanation or reason. I was 16 and afraid to say something, because a doctor wouldn’t just use you, right?

Tori

Walking down the street wearing a sun dress when a homeless man begging on the corner yells at me to “cover up my titties” and “not look like such a slut”. He looked genuinely angry at me wearing my dress.

Laughed in his face and told him to f*ck off, but still puzzled at why he felt the need or entitlement to shout out me.

Kristen Reed

It had been puzzling to me why I felt a bit depressed this past week. My anger was just below the surface waiting to burst out of the water at the slightest irritation, and I couldn’t sort out why. To my husband I had to blame hormones (which, at my age is definitely part of the cocktail) but there has been something more…an oppressive cloud I refused to acknowledge.
The root of my anger comes from years of being traumatized by men in one form or another. I’m too sensitive they say, or too emotional, but after nearly 40 years of self-suppression, it rips holes in one’s skin where steaming geysers form in every direction. Let go of your anger they say. Love is the answer they say… That’s all well and good, but once you let down the barrier of anger what remains is the overwhelming sadness that at every turn nothing has changed.

Sure, Harvey Weinstein is getting a public lashing. But he is only one man. One guilty party in the sea of acceptable misogyny, that women all over the world are forced to tolerate with a smile, every single day. It isn’t just Hollywood, or the performing arts in general. Corporate culture, and even our own governments (who think it’s not only their right but their responsibility to control how we take care of our bodies) constantly exacerbate the problem.

The urge to vomit out the onerous sorrow impresses upon me from every angle. All I want is one moment’s peace, an exhalation, sanctuary from being constantly on guard. Don’t you think I want to let it down, be free, laugh and smile, dance about when it pleases me? I do it anyway, so much, all the time, but it comes with advances, stares, leers, and uninvited guests. What are we supposed to do? It can seem easier to oversexualize ourselves, where we have the power and control, but the opposite effect arises…bringing the unwanted closer and in turn they feel granted with permission.

I feel everything and nothing about this display of public outrage. The rest of these men are wiping their brow, for now, as we slaughter the sacrificial lamb (or wolf) center stage. But this too shall pass, and the lurking shadows will come to life once more, behaving as they have always done. Passing whispers in our ears, indignation if we reject remarks on our beauty, manly chortles when we assert boundaries, or god forbid intelligent ideas. And those are only the mild degradations.

I am tired of being angry, sad, and frustrated. All I want to do is lay down my weapons in this fight. But how can I?