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Una

I travel on the same bus everyday one to school and one back. I am a 15 year old girl i was on my way home from school in school uniform an old man around 50-60 decided to sit next to me on the bus even though there were seats available. As i am quite skinny he decided to invade all of my personal space taking 3/4 of the 2 seats and his leg was rubbing against mine at no point did he think this was no appropriate and continued to spread his legs wider leaving me hardly any space to sit. I wanted to cry and had to endure this for 20 mins feeling too afraid to ask him to move. He finally got off the bus one stop before mine and now everytime i use the bus I always sit and put my bag in the seat next to me so no one can sit by me.

Leah

To get home from school i must always walk past a park and through a subway. This man decided to walk towards me making obscene gestures. When i was speeding up and almost running he stood laughing at me and shouting ‘i like little girls’. I’m 16 but have an extreme baby face but this doesn’t stop the men as they then see my breasts.

Doreen

My ex-partner and me have bought a house which he left after 6 weeks. I’m still in the house trying to manage an overgrown garden and recently built a small trellis to support a passionflower. It’s a shared fence with a neighbouring property and I made sure that there would be no damage to the fence. The neighbour (a man in his 40s) came across blaming me for ruining his fence. When I told him to leave as he was very rude, he said to me “No wonder you live on your own, you’re bit thick” (I’m 37). I’m sure that he wouldn’t dare saying something like this to a man!

Nick

When I was young, probably about 11 or 12, I decided I wanted to sunbath. I put on my new swimsuit, my first bikini, and went out onto our front lawn because it had the most sunlight at the time. Maybe fifteen minutes my mother rushed out to bring me inside, clearly more than a little freaked out. When I asked why she told me I should be more modest. Later I found out she caught a man across the street staring at me.

HP

On BBC News channel: New Zealander sheep shearing champion’s reaction to Australian sheep shearing champion also having a brother who is a champion: ‘I bet their father is very proud of them.’ Do they not have a mother then?

SRF

I’m in the middle of a situation, can I call it sexism? I think so, if sexism can be defined as showing no respect to women. I may even call it sexual abuse, despite the consent. I feel abused. Like many women who find themselves in their 40s and single, I indulge in online dating as it’s the only way I ever meet anyone and I’m not single because I want to be. Christ, I’m already apologising for my behaviour! Anyway, not an unusual story, met a guy who is professional, a doctor, works in International Development, which I’ve just done an MA in, we connected on political fronts too. Lots to be happy about, given that so many men I’ve met through this forum are just looking for a convenient ‘parking space’, or an outlet for their fantasies. So we date for a couple of months, with most sexual encounters occurring when he was en route home from one of his many trips abroad. Only one happened in the afternoon, and he went home after claiming to have work to do before another flight, another when he visited me after landing. That was the last time. It felt very close, we even had unprotected sex. I felt trust had been built, and he wouldn’t put me at risk, he is a doctor after all. I accepted not seeing him at weekends, he has kids, he swore on the first date that he wasn’t married anymore, hadn’t been for two years. I did ask. I believed he had told me the truth, as the first time he spent the night with me was a spontaneous event… he was on his way home from running a marathon in Riga, and changed course when I invited him over. But he is married. I began to suspect as much when the visits stopped when the spate of international flights was over. No meeting of any kind (and he knows I won’t accept another lunchtime session), just lots of Whatsapp messages. Then they began to drop off too; I worried there might be a problem, so asked, and got a big apology and told he was worried about ‘falling too hard’ for me. Nice move. But the long absence, the texts that only come in working hours or after 10.30pm, the platitudes, all told me I couldn’t deny it anymore no matter how much I would like to. So I smoked him out, suggested I go to him, let him decide the day; of course, he concocted a lie to avoid it when the time came. That week I found his facebook profile too, with the happy family banner picture above it. I had to act like a stalker and trick him to find the truth. He doesn’t know I know yet, he still thinks I believe him. Our next meeting will definitely be in a public place. I need to look him in the face and tell him how disgusted I am at how he has put both me and his wife at risk. That he has just used me for sex and fooled me into thinking I’d actually met someone worthwhile, that elusive needle in the online haystack. That he’s just one more in a lifetime of men who have thought it is acceptable to have access to my body by force or deception, whether it’s been sex acts I didn’t want in a way I didn’t want them, or groping from strangers on trains, or following me in the street and masturbating in their pockets, or bosses leering at me and making inappropriate suggestions. None of this is acceptable. Will he even care?

Laura

This evening, 7.15 pm, daylight, on my way to the gym in the rain. I walk around the corner from where I live and notice a man walking quickly the opposite way on the pavement. As we pass he deliberately swings his arm towards my chest, hard, his fist hitting my breast. There’s noone nearby to witness it. Of course not, he wouldn’t have done it if there was. I shout at him as he walks on down the street. Not the most sensible thing to do but it made me feel better. We all have a right to walk down the street free from aggression, intimidation, assault and harassment. I will continue to do so. Thank you for providing a space for us to record our experiences.

EK

After trying to achieve what felt like the impossible holding down a full time teaching job and running a house with 2 boys mostly single-handedly as a result of my hubby not pitching in, I finally said I wasn’t doing anything else and he would have to for a while. He immediately announced that he couldn’t possibly with his current workload and would have cut down his hours (which are already fewer than mine). It was clear that he expected me to be able to handle it because ‘women are good at those kinds of jobs.’

Georgette

I hate that when I talked you did not listen. I hate that you said I should take your knife so I could protect myself (this, in a dangerous country abroad where we were both working) and you kept pushing me and pushing me, even when I said no. I hate that you would get angry at me for not wanting to do what you wanted (go out, party, have fun). I was tired and I just didn’t want to, but you got upset anyway. I hate that you scolded me for not doing something in bed that you wanted me to do – despite knowing that I have been sexually assaulted and that I am fragile. I hate that I told you not to contact me and you kept doing it anyway. I hate that I am afraid of you, no matter how much you have insisted that you are not dangerous. But most of all I hate that I’m the one who ended up feeling guilty and strange even though you’re the one who never truly listened to my words. You only thought about what you wanted and needed, and your feelings. I hate that this happens to women all the time, ALL THE TIME, every single day.