Tag Archives: Public space


I was in hospital pregnant for a check – up, and the nurse left a (male) student doctor with me explaining he was going to examine me as part of his training. He smirked at me and didn’t even try to hide his erection. I was too exhausted and worried to do or say anything, but god I wish I had now. University College Hospital, London. Don’t leave female patients alone with male students.


A couple days ago, I saw three blokes approaching – they seemed to be in their late teens so I put my head down as they approached: one of them shouted, “Nay!” and then laughed loudly. I kept walking- didn’t look back despite his apparent dissaproval of my face or long fringe. His attention hurt nevertheless.


Today I was on a really packed tram after work and a man squished his way onto the tram next to me, he was facing me and pushed his body against mine, I tried to inch away and put my arm across my chest to stop his body From pushing into my breasts. Some People moved and I was able to position my body away from His but he just kept squishing up closer to me, pressing the front of his body hard into my back, I then felt his hand rub up the side of my body and hold onto me, I yelled at him and everyone looked at me like I was crazy. I just wanted someone to reach out and aid if I was ok, I was visibly distressed and needed to get off. Once I did I burst into tears and was so angry that his actions had me so upset, yuck!


I work in a service station in a small town in Ireland. One of my duties is keeping the shop clean and tidy which includes sweeping the floor. I regularly do this while there are customers coming in and out and I am regularly told ‘He’ll be lucky, the man who gets you’. The implication being that I’ll make a great house wife and I’ll be good at keeping his house clean for him. While its mostly older men who use the phrase, it’s been said to me by women as well. I find it most irritating when women say it. I also have a regular customer, male, who finishes every request with ‘like a good woman’. He’s a nice man and I know he doesn’t mean to offend or patronise when he says it, but it offends and belittles me. Every. Time.


Travelling in Italy with two friends; all of us young women. Got on a nearly empty bus one day and sat near the back, two of us in one seat and the third in the seat in front. A much older man got on, came up to the back where we were and stood in the aisle, facing us, his crotch centimetres from the face of the woman in the aisle seat. He stayed in that position, swaying exaggeratedly at every bump and turn of the bus. We were too embarrassed and scared of his potential reaction to say anything or move seats. His behavior, but we are the ones who felt shame.


A man exuding self-importance and entitlement boarded the busy Paris metro. My partner (male) and I had two empty seats in front of us. He bypassed the seat in front of my partner and told me to uncross my legs…”to move” so that he could stretch his legs out. I refused — he had plenty of space and why does he deserve leg space and not me? He looked at my partner and said, “tell her to move.” After I refused, he snarled and warned “you better not touch me.” I looked him directly in the eyes and responded “likewise.”


Why do they have to call them ‘boy’ shorts all the time? Why can I not be wearing ‘girl’ shorts for once? I mean, I identify as a girl and it was the gender I was assigned at birth, but that’s not enough for the disturbingly sexist fashion industry, cos if I want to wear clothing that is considered traditionally non-feminine, I must refer to them as ‘boy’ clothes. It’s like the feminine version of being emasculated… …Also, why, if they really are ‘boy’ shorts, are they cut so much shorter than ‘real boy shorts’ are? I started to just make my own because I’m sick of getting cut in half through the crotch every time it’s sunny outside. I mean, the whole point is that they’re meant to be comfier than ‘girl’ shorts, right? If they cut ‘real boy shorts’ the same length as they do ‘boy’ shorts for girls, nobody would buy them because they would crush all the men’s balls. Just let me keep my goddamn upper-thighs to myself, would you?! I shouldn’t have to sit at home sewing shit onto brand-new clothes just to make them wearable and making ALL my own clothes while I keep up a full-time job isn’t really feasible. I mean, I can sew, but I’m not THAT freakin’ good. I have the same issue with “boyfriend” jeans. They call them “boyfriend” jeans because a girl wouldn’t wear something that baggy, right? All her jeans would be skin-tight, as it should be, right? Wankers.


60+ years of casual sexism – and back in the 70s it wasn’t even recognised – bottom pinching, wolf whistling, job discrimination all treated as norm and any complaint or retaliation was regarded as bad tempered and intolerant. Jab the bottom pincher with your elbow and be told “You didn’t have to do that!” At work I was once handed an envelope (relating to a court case) marked “Male eyes only”. Naturally I opened it: it was a photograph of the victim in the murder case that I was dealing with – critical evidence in fact. But here’s a recent example. A friend saw me leaving the library with a novel by Bernard Cornwell. His comment? “What are you doing with that? It’s a man’s book!”

Lisa from liberal Ann Arbor MI

July 2016, evening conversation at restaurant Cardomon with Husband (H), Sister-in-law (S), Brother-in-law (B), and me (L) and it went very closely like this. H: Nephew has a summer job at Kroger’s. B: Oh yeah? H: He’s in the Produce L : Bet he’s happy about that, given he wants to go to culinary school. S: You had a summer job at a grocer? H (intending to be humorous and that male-bonding thing): Yeah, so I told him he should transfer into the Meat. L; Why? H: Because when the women are in the locker their nipples get cold and it’s a good show. L (suddenly finding my firm parental voice I haven’t used in years): That’s misogyny! How dare you teach the next generation that shit. That shit has got to die out with the misogynists. our guests are not quiet and wide-eyed H: I am not a misogynist. I hire women. L: You are. This is an example of how it lives within you. H: Keep your voice down. Others will hear you. L: You need to undo the damage you have done. You need to tell Nephew, when you see him tomorrow, that you were wrong. H (to his Brother): I apologize for Lisa– L (interrupting): You do not need to apologize for me. You need to apologize to our Daughters, to our Nieces. H: You are out of line. You could tell your different take in private. L: I am addressing an aggressive attack on women. You were out of line. And I don’t have to wait. You chose to use this shit as public entertainment. Well, things did not get resolved. I am likely a non-person in his family now. Husband refuses to socialize with me, because “I might embarrass him again” still a year later. Frankly, that is preferable than being shut-down. I socialize elsewhere happily. Well,


The nerve of some people! This is in the news today: RCMP in central Alberta are investigating after a man allegedly forced a woman to stop her car, attempted to force his way inside it, and then followed her in his truck after she drove away. Police said it began shortly before 1 a.m. on April 14. A 19-year-old woman was driving on 32 Street in Red Deer’s Westpark neighbourhood when she came upon a man in a truck who waved at her and attempted to get her to pull over. Mounties said when she didn’t comply, he pulled his pickup truck in front of her, cutting her off and forcing her to come to a stop. Police said he then approached her vehicle, asked her to join him at a bar, and then unsuccessfully attempted to enter her locked car. After the suspect made several attempts to block her from leaving, police said the woman was able to drive away. The suspect then followed her in his truck for some distance before she was able to lose him and go home safely.