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Alisha

Was told by my friend’s husband that I “need to get laid” as he made very forward advances on me while complaining about his wife cheating (which, to my knowledge she would never do and she hates that he doesn’t trust her) When I backed away and told him a flat out no, he said oh sorry, you know men. The things he said to and about me are unrepeatable. How can he say that all men are that vulgar and inappropriate and be fine with it but complain about the “hunch” he has (although he insits that he knows for sure) about his wife sleeping around? I was scared to death.

Anne

I’ve been working in corporate American for 20 years. I started strong with confidence, sass, a great upbringing and optimism. The first time I spoke out was when in my first job’s interview and a question was literally, ‘have you ever been in a beauty pageant,” I made a joke that now that he said that, he’d better hire me because you can’t ask those kinds of questions. Only a year later that same boss asked if I was planning to be a “typical” female, get married and have kids. Again I told him: not okay. My first report to HR was when I came across the cubicle of 50-something year old man who had pinned up wall-to-wall provocative photos of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I mentioned it to HR. The comment: “Are you offended?” My response, “Not really. But That’s not the point. It’s offensive and objectification of women in the work place. We should all be offended.” Understanding the consequence of my “report,” I let it go. Some time later I got a “keep on walking, the view is great here.” And at some point a comment about “what else do I have in leather besides the jacket I was wearing.” Each time I approached a supervisor and each time I was coached to let it roll. I was overreacting and misinterpreting humor. So I learned to adapt. I got a tougher skin. Years later, I could hold my own and laugh at the jokes. It seemed to keep me out of the clear and out of being offended. One of the guys — which saying it out loud makes me cringe — but that’s how you keep a job, get along, eliminate being marginalized or looked over by your male counterparts. As I got older, and the men grew older with me and tired of their lives, I found them becoming bolder with their comments and attitudes. The straw that killed the camel dead in the desert was when a male colleague texted me to watch something funny being said on live YouTube. Another collegue of ours said something to the effect of, “I have a deep love for Dick” meaning the name, not the inappropriate term. Somehow I was turned into HR and my male counterpart was not. Even though he had brought it to my attention. Then more, and more. I brought to the attention of HR the double standard. But it was clear that my female HR director was more concerned about pleasing her male bosses than seeing the flaw in the process. I was dismissed a few months later, and there had never been a case. Many of the “reports” of my behavior were from women or wives who had decided I was provoking this behavior in the men not paying them the same attention. At this stage, I’ve grown tired of defending the cause. I feel like I lose at every turn. You speak out, you adapt, you because the accused. You speak out, you are shamed, isolated, questioned, retaliated against — even when every company policy swears they will protect you. I’ve been told it’s because I’m funny, I make eye contact. I “invite” the flirtation. And even when the harassment is blatantly on company property with ample proof, the men ( and women who take the opportunity to find favor in their eyes now that YOU are the focus of enmity ) they take care of their own, and they are not in this cause. They want a better future for their daughters, but don’t bat an eyelash at calling their girlfriends “crazy.” I have made every effort to be part of the solution and frankly, I’m exhausted. It backfires every time. There’s a point when you stop making eye contact, avoid making waves, you tread water to provide for your family and keep a job because outside of the workplace you’re being stalked, shamed and verbally abused by men who are or used to be someone who “loved you.” This project is important. I feel beaten, completely failed. I make less money today than I did 20 years ago with continuous, good work. My male counterparts are vice presidents. And those decisions are never made based on quality of work or effort. They are made with the boys club, that you try to get in, but can’t and if you do, they try to sleep with you and when you don’t you’re out of the club and out of a job. And all along HR is there to protect them and the company name. My only hope is that someone will read this and be just inspired enough to succeed where I have not.

Sexist telegraph

“Being a kept man is bad for your health, study shows” As opposed to a kept woman which is presumeably “natural” Thanks for that dodgy non scientific study, daily telegraph Every woman Ive ever met who is “kept” financially has lower self esteem and more issues than every woman I know who works outside the home. Has been something I’ve noticed my whole life. It’s always hard to be stuck in doing the drudge work whilst someone else earns. But trust the daily telegraph to try to make stay at home dads feel bad.

Fox

I don’t even know where to begin. I have SO many stories to tell at least one for every day of my 25 life since I was 5. From groping, to cat calls, to being spiked with drugs, to being stalked and followed home. All of these things happening a lot more than once. It gets so bad that I don’t even leave my house sometimes. Living in London, it was a nice day and I wanted to check out Hyde Park by myself. As soon as I left my front door there was a guy asking for my number, telling me how sexy I was. I said thank you but no, he continued to follow me until I got on the train. On the train I had 5 guys sit next to me and try chat me up, hassling me for my number, not taking no for an answer. On my walk from the station to the park I was approached 8 times by different men not wanting to take no for an answer. I was so annoyed and fed up all I wanted to do was enjoy the day not use up all of my energy telling men no, Im not interested. It didnt stop there. At the park I sat down by myself and 4 more guys approached me. By this point I was so fed up I went home. I didnt even get to enjoy my day out. This is just one day. It happens to me everyday of my life. It can be quite scary as men have gotten extremely aggressive when I havent expressed the same interest back. And to me what is sad is I didnt realise this was an issue, I thought it was normal and it was ok. I wasnt taught any differently. But now I know and see that is a serious issue that has altered and effected my life in a negative way.

Examples

Wife: “Change the light bulb”. Me: “No, i’ll put the wash clothes in the machine”. Wife: “No, that’s a pink job. You do the blue job”. Friend(female): ” I want to know what the baby is so that I can buy pink or blue”. Me: “Why does is have to be pink or blue, why not another colour?” Friend(female): “Don’t be so stupid”. Friend(female: “Men are stupid”. Friend(female): “If women ruled, the world wouldn’t be the mess it is”. 101 Uses for a Useless Man; it’s an actual book. Sexism exists for both men and women, but neither want to change firs. Its going to be a long cold war.

Jessie

I was working at a club for a dinner party, where the teenagers are hired to be waiters/waitresses, and the owner walked in. We needed to carry folding tables into the room. there were two boys and two girls, myself included. He said he needed strong people to do this job. He chose the boys, and told us girls to go in the kitchen and wait for a task. I lifted two of the biggest tables over my shoulder, and walked right by his fat ass.

Sunny

My husband and I hosted a couple to a casual Sunday tea on our patio, and it was a first time meeting for the women. All four of us are accomplished professionals, mature and worldly adults. I happen to be the breadwinner in our family of four. So, toward the end of this lovely tea time together the guest (husband) made a point of saying (to us women) “you two can get together sometime and exchange recipes”. I was appalled, but didn’t think quickly enough to respond directly. I wish I’d asked “What do you mean” or “Why would you say that”. What led him to say such a thing? So paternalistic. It seems such a small thing on the one hand, but I feel it reveals fundamental sexism. And I wonder if I was the only one insulted by his comment.

S

I met an old acquaintance at a party and he happily told me all about his pregnant girlfriend (who was not at the party). An hour later he pinched my bum in a shifty ‘never speak or this’ way. I ignored it partly because i dodnt want to cause a scene and partly because of his pregnant girlfriend. But now i wonder, how much was he relying on me not making a scene, on being consipratorial. A lot i suspect.