I’m 19 and use crutches to walk. As I was walking down the street, a middle-aged man shouted to his group of male friends ”there’s one for you. She can’t get away.”
I’m a 17 year old girl that tries hard to balance being a healthy teen, every day being one step closer to fulfilling my dreams and living life to the fullest. Trying to fit everything into 24h is hard, so not everyone gets to see my “instagram 17 year old of 2017” every day. I am into football (or soccer) and exactly because my topic of conversation is usually not my love life and boy crushes, more than a few members in my family ask if I am gay. Nearly all boys in my class, if I happen to participate in a conversation about football, value my opinion as long as I agree with them. As soon as I say the words “well, I disagree with that” -God forbid, a girl disagrees- my opinion is worthy of nothing but trash. When I told my mum I want to be actively involved in ending gender inequality, she shut me down by saying “Hari, what inequality you’re talking about? We’ve come such a long way, stop making a fuzz about it”. When I complain about the gender pay gap, I am told it doesn’t exist. And when I dare to say that my Math teacher jokes are sexist (“Why doesn’t a woman need a clock? Because the kitchen will have one for sure”), and insist on the seriousness of ‘banter’, I am treated as a “triggered feminist”. Tired of being reading about or experiencing assault in every day life, being a woman should be nothing less of a gift.
When I was 15, I spent a lot of time at my high school boyfriend’s house because I liked him, his mom was nice to me, and I hated my own house. Over time I started to feel more and more uncomfortable, for a reason I didn’t even understand at first. It wasn’t my boyfriend who was a year older than me… it was his LITTLE brother. The brother might have been 10 years old when my boyfriend and I first got together. This kid wasn’t an angel to begin (huge Grand Theft Auto fan and swore more in a week than I had in my life) with, but over the next two years he became a total creep. This kid would pretend to jerk off towards me. A quick hand thrusting, followed by a hand explosion. He did this thing, towards me, nearly EVERYDAY. It wasn’t even like a secret thing. It was just thing he did, like the way some people use a lot of hand expressions when they talk. And there could be 3 other people in the room and he would still do it. He would walk by, stop, do it, and walk away. Or end a conversation that way. At first I ignored it. Or laughed it off. After all, he was just a kid. But he got older, and I got older, and I started to understand how gross and wrong it was. Eventually, after at least a whole year of this, I called up my boyfriend and tried to explain to him my feelings. At first he tried to say it was nothing. Then I burst into tears, told him it was sexual harassment, and I would breakup with him if he didn’t make is brother stop. He did make his brother stop, who proceeded to be more of a jerk in less offensive ways. I’m 27 years old now, and I still can’t forget how disturbing it was.
Hi, I’m 20 and I live in Italy. By now, I’ve been catcalled, followed, verbally abused from when I was 15. I’ve tried to talk about it to my family and friends and everyone just tells me to not make a fuss about it, or that “boys will be boys”, or not to notice and go on with my life. I am so frustrated and anxious about this that I’m thinking about not having children because I’m scared of the world they are going to live in. I feel defeated and don’t really know how to face all of this. Thanks for reading me.