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Audrey

Last night, my boyfriend told me that the amount of men I’ve slept with is nothing to be proud of, and that the other women he has cared about slept with far fewer men. He has slept with about 3 times as many women.

Sue

My boyfriend just unhooked my bra at the pub, after I told him that I felt his friends were ignoring me because I am a girl.

Pip

I have recently turned 18 years old, but this is a problem I’ve experienced for the past 2 years. It is occasional, but still bothers me. I walk to and from sixth form everyday; my road always has at least one house under construction on it. Since I’m a sixth former, I don’t wear a uniform, just smart office-like clothes, basically I don’t look like a school girl, but I am. Walking down the street, I frequently get wolf whistled at by the builders (ages ranging from about 25-45 years) or them saying ‘hey gorgeous’ or something to that effect. I’m just innocently going to get an education, I don’t need to be worried about whether or not what I’m wearing is provocative as I leave my house each morning. This has been going on since I was 16; I’m still a child. It’s wrong.

Anonymous

Dear “me” who posted this “My books are piled up on an unused staircase. …” Yeah me too, wondering if there’s any other women who congratulated themselves on getting a clever man who wouldn’t care that she was smart only to find her books mysteriously relegated to damp areas of the house without permission to be moved, because obviously his books are more important, because you know, boys are cleverer and shit. So girls books don’t matter. Chick lit (as long as chick lit includes French literary classics and biochemistry) Plus endless put downs while he desperately tried to persuade himself that he was still cleverer than me as I read all his books too…. Basically he took over the whole house and any attempt to mention this was “nagging” but I still had to do all the cleaning/tidying or it didn’t happen, despite endless promises. Weird how he had no energy to tidy but lots to keep tidying my books away.

MK

My landlord is a raging narcissist and misogynist and cherry picks his tenants as people whom he perceives as weak or timid so that he can pull all sorts of illegal stuff and intimidate his tenants into submission. I fit into his favorite category–young woman. The first year living here was frustrating but bearable. He would invade our privacy a bit and stop by at weird times, but I put up with it to maintain the peace. It wasn’t until this year and he started refusing to make repairs and trying to drop all sorts of illegal charges on us that I lost my patience and put my foot down and stand up for my tenant rights. That’s when the sexist harassment started: he called me “vile little bitch” and all sorts of other names, saying I was “hysterical” and only backing down when my dad, a man and the cosigner on my lease, threatened him with legal action. However, he then began sending me emails in secret, threatening to “make me pay” or make my life miserable for getting my dad involved. He sends these sorts of letters to me now any time I raise an issue, from fixing a light to asking him to provide simple documentation. He has decided that I’m some sort of ringleader whenever other tenants complain about issues with their own home and sends me emails when that happens, claiming I’ve poisoned people against him. He clearly can’t stand intelligent women or women who stand up for themselves. he acts completely differently with my male neighbors and even with my female neighbor who always insists her boyfriend be there when the landlord is around. It is clear he wants to come off as a “big strong man” in order to intimidate me. I’m finally moving out, but the people he’s been bringing in to see the apartment have one thing in common: all are young women in their 20s. I want to tell them all to run away as far as possible and I would if I weren’t afraid of this guy. I’ve been sexually harassed and called names before, but this is the first time in my life where I’ve wished I was a man so that this landlord would respect my autonomy and leave me alone. It makes my blood boil.

anon

I recently woke up to a friend kissing me with his hands down my trousers. As I was really drunk when it happened I went along with kissing him because in my half asleep drunk state I thought it was a guy I had been seeing. I opened my eyes and just jumped away, and didn’t respond with outrage, as I now wish I had. Oh, and he had a girlfriend. He then told this girlfriend he had cheated on her with me, although that was completely not how it went down. I was then vilified by some of my friends, who didn’t even both to ask me what happened, and assumed I played some kind of temptress role. I have been so traumatised by what happened and what the reaction I had after. I felt I couldn’t even tell anyone, friends included how violated I felt, because of all the trouble it would cause, and how it would come back at me. And I am an educated, middle class 31 year old who is an advocate and social worker. I had a direct insight of how sexual abuse victims must feel, and girls who have experienced much worse. Since confiding in a few female friends about how I really felt, I have been shown how common this kind of behaviour actually is, and most girls have experienced something similar. And this was with someone I considered a nice guy, I don’t even think he has any idea of how I really feel. It has triggered an anger and a fury in me that I have never known, and I can look back on other sexual experiences where I didn’t say no but was drunk, or it wasn’t quite a yes now with the same realisation. It has changed me. I have experience feelings of guilt, shame, depression and isolated myself at times. it makes me realise how important forums like this are, and how we need to educate and mobilise all women not to feel like this, but how deep shame can run even when you are clearly a victim.

Billy

I am a male aged 43. My wife and I want to adopt a child (After trying for many years). I quit my job a couple of years ago to focus on the home, my health and having a family. My wife is a very successful Director of an automotive company. The very first question I was asked by the social worker was “Why don’t I work” I replied “If I was a female would you ask the same question or accept the fact she was a housewife?)…. SHe didnt answer and put ‘UNEMPLOYHED’ on her form….. GRRRRRR!!!

Katie

I had the biggest tits in my year from day one aged 11. I was also rather chubby and ginger. Most girls hated me or wanted to be me. Boys would call me fat and unfuckable but then grab my HH’s quite happily. Teachers stopped me doing pe cause i was getting so much attention. I never felt liked or pretty or wanted for me. I lost weight and was so scared no one would like me with smaller tits because everyone talked about my boobs. So did I. I thought they where my best feature. I was to loud to opinionated to this to that. I got into a fight with a lad in my lad we where both swearing at each other ready to hit one another when a teacher turns then corner starts screaming at the boy about how that’s not how you speak to a women and it didn’t matter if I started it or what I was yelling back at him. I hate looking back now at all the things I excepted as normal as a teen. If I had noticed those things maybe I wouldn’t have stayed in a abusive relationship for 2 years of my life. Or got with a guy like him. Sex doesn’t validated me or make me feel much. And I hate other people always seeing my gender first. I have a teen step daughter 9 years younger then me and I am so scared for her to go to high school. I don’t want her thinking that’s normal.

Me

When the bartender in Beeston asked me what I would like, I answered. It turns out you had ordered my drink already and you snapped “What are you doing?” I felt shrunken and embarrassed to be micro-reprimanded in front of other people. The bartender gave me a good luck smile. With eyebrows raised in good humour mode, I return-smiled and answered “Looks like it’s sorted.” …If you’re ever unsure about how much respect to address me with, you can refer to the level of respect I now have for myself – high. When you pulled my hair inadvertently once on the sofa, you joked that we need to chop my hair off off. When you pulled it inadvertently another time on the train, you said that my hair roots must be sensitive. But you forgot to say ‘sorry’ for inadvertently causing me to feel pain. …If ever in doubt about the locus of responsibility when hair gets pulled by accident, it isn’t the with the properties of the hair. When a stranger on a bike path in Manor House graciously moved to conclude your impromptu chat, he nodded to me in acknowledgement of my patience as I stood with my bike behind you. You answered “No, don’t worry, she’s with me”. I intended to exercise my brainwaves and vocal cords in that moment. But you were faster and louder. Just last week on the Bakerloo Line, I walked ahead of you. You became upset and said “Hold up, you’re with me.” Why not ask “Can you hold up? I’d like to walk with you.” I like to walk with you too, as your equal, so this approach would have been perfect. Before you moved in, you said we could together work out a spot to put your thousand books. After you moved in, you chose a wall in the bedroom. After a few months, I told you that the books made the bedroom smell mouldy and left no room for me to lay out my yoga mat. I asked whether we could consider alternatives. You became angry and replied that you were fine with where the books were. It sounded like you experienced an expression of my preference as an injustice to you? It took 6 more months of waiting, raising the issue at generous intervals, and of proposing that I buy new bookshelves until we were able to make a change. You still seem unsettled about it – just last week you pointed out that the shelves don’t belong to you but to me. My books are piled up on an unused staircase. …When people live together as equals, it’s fair to weigh everyone’s preferences. Don’t you think? You sometimes call our flat ‘my [as in your] house’. But I lived there before you moved in, I pay most of the rent, and I welcomed you to live there too. It isn’t yours, it’s ours. In our home the other week, your friend made a joke about rape. You laughed, relieving him of the awkwardness that would have trailed his bad joke. To the sound of your chuckle, horror took over my next few minutes. Was it more important to you to support him than me? Or did you not know how to support me? If the latter, I have some ideas, maybe you do too. Can we talk?

anne

Some weeks ago, the DHL postman thought it was ok to pat my naked thigh (me wearing shorts) while I was signing his electronic device, and saying ” You so many nice tattoos!” I was totally stunned that he simply touched me without warning, in the entranceway of my own appartment, that I just mumbled he should leave me alone. My husband came home only seconds after the guy left. I told him. He went after him and told him something very harsh, probably. I complained via official DHL hotline. Seems the guy was replaced because he didn’t turn up again. We bought two cans of pepper spray after that and placed them in the hallway. Today, a new DHL guy showed up to deliver something, and guess what. While I was signing, he said: “Oh you are so pretty, you have so nice tattoos!” and right when he said that, he gripped the back of my shorts and pulled them down an inch to see my back tattoo. I was again so incredibly taken aback that I only said: “PLEASE don’t touch me! I wouldn’t touch you, would I?” He was very regretful and said sorry about ten times. I told him to piss of. I’m really getting scared to open my door to delivery people now, especially after I complained officially and the next guy just seemed to be worse.