Every time I go out partying with my friends, being fondled or groped is a guarantee, but a few months ago I was left alone in the middle of a crowded club, a man approached me and grabbed at my waist talking to me. I couldn’t hear him, but I replied ‘sorry, I’m just looking for my friend’. He didn’t let go of me, and I pushed his arms off and ignored his continuing advances. I have never really had an extremely violent response from rejecting a guy, but this man grabbed my forearm yanking me towards him and began shouting into my face. “Who the fuck do you think you are ignoring me? You stuck up bitch, you don’t ignore me.” And I was petrified as he grabbed at my bum. I wanted to sob as no one was helping me, and the man was at my face, but I’d heard of girls who fought back and got glasses smashed in their faces. My mother always taught me to just walk away from these kind of men, but she never said what to do if they followed you. Eventually, I was able to wiggle myself away from his grip after a harder shove at him. I considered myself lucky that I managed to escape. That same night, another boy, who was my friend, groped my chest and held me to him forcefully by shaking an arm around my waist and pinning me to his back. The next morning I told my Mum, she didn’t seem worried, I’m still not sure if any of this constitutes as sexual assault.
Met a guy for the first time through an online dating site. The whole date went well, he was nice and courteous throughout. We were standing in front of the beach just as the date was coming to an end, it was windy and we were both facing the sea. Out of the blue he says, ‘are you trying to cover your cleavage?’. I lost my cool completely and gave him a piece of my mind. We ended the date and headed home. He was extremely sorry for his behaviour. But where the hell does such an audacious comment come from when you have just met a girl?
My housemate went to a quiz night, he’s just walked in and said – ” We won the quiz and we had a shit hot name – ‘Quiz on my face and tell me I’m pretty’. “
Today I was discussing with my male friends what he could get as a gift for his brand new girlfriend. I suggested going to the Body Shop and getting a nice arrangement of stuff for her. He instantly turned the idea down because he didn’t want to go in and have people assume he was gay, with my boyfriend backing him up on this. I then stated how this is why feminism is important, so that men can also go and do things like this without feeling the way they did. I was immediately shut down by them saying how ‘no, that’s equality, feminism isn’t that!’, and despite how much I tried to say that feminism was about equality for both genders, they wouldn’t listen. I feel like men would be more open to the idea of feminism (instead of shutting the idea down or saying how you’re a ‘femi-nazi’) if they understood that it’s equality for both genders, not female superiority or women wanting something more than men.
“I don’t really notice the patriarchy”, said a white man in a suit in my workplace today
My boss, old enough to be my father tried it on with me- He’d comment in front of my male-strong team on my ‘weight loss’ and ‘how it made me beautiful and attractive’, he even said that I ‘had a good bum’. But he was old enough to be my dad, and I wasn’t interested. So his harassment turned nasty and personal- he obliterated my character within my young career and lost me a new position that was going to lead to a doctorate, all because he lied about ‘my character’. When I reported it to HR, they moved me from my team and put me in a lower paid position working unsociable hours- my former ‘team mates’ didn’t bother to stand up for me. After a Psychological referral, a suicide attempt and loss of over 5 stone due to lack of eating I attempted to take legal action- to no avail. Now i’m working a job paying minimum wage and have to start from scratch regarding my career. Turns out that a First Class Honours degree from one of the best unis is nothing in comparison to a sexism and vile male boss. He kept his job, sanity and dignity whilst he stripped me of mine for good fun.
I am a white man. I commit sexist acts every day. I have been so trained by this society to objectify womens’ bodies that it takes constant effort to keep myself from doing it. After 10 years of awareness of my problem, I still struggle every day with this problem. I get pleasure from giving in to my training but I know it’s wrong and I feel terrible when I choose to do it. My sexist acts consist mostly of looking or staring. I never say anything or commit battery, those are things I’ve never done, but I have seen men do these things and have not intervened. I want to apologize to the women who are the object of this constant assault, including my own, and I discuss it as often as possible with my wife to see how I’m progressing. I figure I have 20 more years to live, hopefully I’ll eventually have a day or two without a sexist thought.
I was out for a run this evening, enjoying the warm sunny weather. I am training for a marathon so I’m out running most evenings and I have met plenty of pleasant people. Unfortunately this evening I was passed by two ignorant men in a red transit van who beeped the horn at me as I was waiting to cross the road. One of them shouted “GIVE US A SMILE SEXY”. All I could do was gesture at them but they couldn’t meet my eye. Why do some men think this is acceptable or entertaining? I was so angry because I am working hard to achieve something and yet because I am a woman I was made to feel self-conscious and even slightly ashamed of my body.
I am 30 and live in London. Over the past month two men have approached me whilst in public during the day and found it appropriate to ask me offensive questions. The first came up to me at a bus stop and asked if I had starred in any porn films recently as I looked familiar and the other complimented my legs and then asked who was getting between them. Although I have been articulate in my responses to both of these men and told them calmly how offended and shocked I am by their behaviour towards me, I have been left feeling humiliated and saddened that women in such a progressive city have to just accept these situations are part of daily life.
I was recently at a corporate networking event speaking with two men, one a senior partner at my firm and one a peer, when the conversation between them turned to their sporting interests. I was asked if I played anything, and I said I liked long distance running. ‘Ever done a marathon?’ I was asked. I proudly replied that yes I had. ‘What was your time?’ Just over 5 hours, I replied. Both men laughed and then went on to tell each other about their friends who were competing for various Iron Man challenges or who had recently run marathons in less than 3 hours. I immediately felt excluded from the conversation, which moved on to how the firm’s football team was doing in the local legal league. I soon felt that I had very little to contribute. It also left me wondering what they wanted to find in me when they asked these questions, which seem to be so common in the corporate field. Was I competitive? Was I skilled? Brave? Tough? Could I show physical and mental endurance? Was I confident and a team player? Was I interested in the same things as them? If they had asked those questions I could have told them that I was or could show all of those things. Things I had done in my life, other than play sport, were evidence to this. I could have told other stories, some so personal and one in particular completely tragic that to me, tell of my bravery, endurance and willpower. I also could have told them more about the marathon, which was on a freakishly hot April day when the heat and a broken iPod messed up my rhythm, but I didn’t get the chance to. I still finished it. I still got past the wall. I know some won’t agree with me, but I find this type of conversation to be very subtly sexist, especially in a competitive work place where everything you do and say is assessed. I love watching sport and I cheer on my firm’s football team, but I don’t want to be judged by my lack of involvement in it. Sadly it hasn’t been the first time I’ve been shut out of a conversation by male employees talking about sport in this way, and it’s seriously frustrating.