Half way down the down escalator the drunk bloke behind and above me pushes his mate and he ‘accidentally’ falls into me and ends up with both hands on my breasts.
My 12 year old daughter was coming home from school, in her uniform and a man in a van made lewd gestures, with his tongue, at her. A year later I was walking in the park with her when a man openly stared at her, turning his head to continue staring as we went past. Last summer she was followed from Tesco to the bus stop by a man asking her her name. He would not leave her alone. I called the police and they said she didn’t look 13! Yesterday, she was walking home, in her school uniform, when yet another man driving past openly stared at her while he was stuck in traffic. She is 14. Everyday on her way home from school she passes an older man walking his grandchild home – he stares at her unashamedly. Disgusting! My other daughter was surrounded by a group of older boys, on the bus home from school, insisting that she agree to give them her number. She was 12 and terrified. She is regularly wolf whistled at and men make comments about her as she passes. Last week I was walking to the shops when a man sneaked up beside me and started to harass me until I told him to go away. He continued staring until he spotted two police men who happened to appear. This is everyday, minor sexist harassment which interferes with our right to carry on our normal lives.
yesterday I was driving and waiting to turn right into car park , with a car blocking the entrance to car park. so i waited.2 or three cars behind me. i waited patiently to turn into the car park whilst my girls went to buy some sandwiches etc for lunch. i told them i would wait in car park. so i waited in line to turn in. car three behind me (open top, single male driver) over took the line (which was fine) bu then pulled along side me and said “are you fucking stupid you fucking stupid bitch? What the fuck do you think you are doing? You stupid fucing bitch’ I knew i had done nothing wrong so smiled back and said i am just queuing . ” you stupid fucking bitch don’t you know how to drive?’. Blessing: my daughters were not there; and an older female driver came up to me once i was in the carpark to say: ‘wasn’t he a completely awful man? At least he is going to have an awful day because he is so stressed and we are laughing about him !’ 🙂
in the last 24 hours I have had three things happen, one I was walking to the train station reading my book and this guy fells entitled enough to yell “FUCK, your beautiful” at me, this is not a compliment and it scares me so I put down the book and walk faster. Second I sit down on the bus and the group of guys behind me starts talking about how vaginas are gross and how they would never do oral and how “:you just need to shove fingers up there” so I move to the front of the bus so I don’t have to here this but their loud enough for me to here at the other end of the bus. Third I’m on my long board just enjoying being outside and this guy drives by and yells “Fat Ass” at me. not that it matters but I’m 145 pounds that’s not “fat” that was just one day.one freaking day
Where to begin? One year, I went on holidays with my parents, I was fifteen. Sitting by the pool my parents made friends with a couple about their age with a very young son. The husband of the couple seemed really nice, chatted away to him. The next day they joined us at the pool, the husband started to stare at me, up and down, telling my parents and his wife how lovely I was. He really just kept on staring at me in my swimming togs, and he really seemed less less jolly old man and more and more, creepy old man. He joined my parents and I for a drink after dinner and when my mother went to bed, he really over kill telling me I was beautiful and grabbed me by the waist. My Father, immediately stood up and said we were leaving in a super awkward way. I think my father wanted to believe I hadn’t noticed behavior so that’s why he didn’t give out to the man, but either way, what hell did that guy think he was doing? When I was fourteen and babysitting, the kids dad slapped me on the bum and said that my shorts looked like I was wearing underwear. When I was seventeen I worked in a bar and I was cleaning the ladies bathroom as the pub was being cleared out. A man his thirties, who was engaged, who knew my family and who’s little sister was in my year in school, followed me into the bathroom, pushed the door closed behind him and told me how pretty he thought I was and asked me whether I wanted it to get “hot” in the bathroom. He grabbed for me so I backed myself into a cubicle, complete with mop and bucket and locked myself in. A friend from school, a boy, who was also working in the bar came in when he noticed the door closed and dragged the guy away. In that same bar, a married man in his forties, groped me. In that same bar, a man in his sixties, groped me. When I was nineteen, a man in his thirties licked my face and squeezed my upper thigh in a car when I was getting a lift home with his sister. He was a really big man, I am a very small person in general. His hand completely around my thigh he rubbed up towards my crotch. He did this while continuing to speak to his sister (driving) and a neighbor in the front seat about his children. I have seen him many times since and he doesn’t look me in the eye. He acts as though he has never met before, particularly if I am with a brother or someone else he knows. When I was twenty one, and in university I brought friends back to my apartment after a night out. A guy I kind of like fell asleep on the sofa, when I went to bed he came into my room. It was college and common for friends to sleep over male or female. He started to kiss me, I kissed back. Before I knew it, he was on top of me, I kept telling him to stop when he was inside me. I kept saying no. He grunted and rolled off of me when he was done. The next morning I felt so ashamed and hungover. I told my friends but I didn’t report it. My friends, never suggested I reported it, it was a case of “bummer, that’s shit”. He would make it his business to be around me at parties, I would try and get away from him, he would follow me home from uni, he once left himself into my apartment by tailgating, he once grabbed by the belt of my shorts in a pub and shoved me against the wall. My friends would give out to him and shield me while another friend helped usher me safely away. None of us ever thought that this was an unusual situation or even illegal, just college. He told friends that he raped me, in front of me and laughed at me. When I ready about unreported sexual assaults I seem to forget to make the connection. When I was twenty five and working in my first “real” job, making “good” money, I was the only female in an all male department. We were having a Christmas jumper day and I came to work wearing jeans and a Christmas jumper, as everyone else in the office did. My male boss, who I had a lot of respect for, said “what are you wearing?!” when responded that I was wearing a Christmas jumper, he said “Really?, I thought you’d show up wearing a Santa’s little helpers outfit for me” I was just astonished, really what the actual…? When I was twenty six I was out for dinner with my friends, I was standing on the street while one of them used the atm. A drunk guy grabbed me by the wrist and tried to drag me up the dark street adjacent to the street we were on. I pulled my arm away from him, he held on so tight that his nails began to dig into my skin, I successfully freed my arm from his grip and my arm started to bleed. It was infected and gross afterwards and I still have a scar on the inside of my wrist from him. I wonder does he even remember it. The dozens of times a man shoved his hand up my skirt in busy pubs. That time my boyfriends friend told me he wanted to fuck me when he bumped into me alone in the hall at a house party. That time when I was working in a restaurant at twenty three when a guy I knew through friends came in drunk with a group of colleagues. I was walking down the stairs and met him on the landing, he grabbed me by both wrists and tried to kiss me. He kept leaning in and trying to reach my face with his as I tried to wriggle out of his grip. I nearly fell down the stairs trying to get away from him. He is a notoriously “nice” guy apparently. When I was in school, my science teacher used to rub his crotch against the front of our desks, so all the girls used to rub chalk on the desks before he came into class. One day, he rubbed himself against the desks like we knew he would and when he stood away from the desk of my friend and I, he noticed that the front of his trousers was covered in chalk. He glared at my friend and I, immediately he grabbed both of us by the arm and dragged us outside of the class room. He whispered in my friends ear, then mine, that he would be our year head the following year and we wouldn’t be able to get away from him. When I was twenty two and living in New York, I was viewing an apartment when the guy who was subletting it, rubbed his crotch up against my bum, really grinded. I left. I’m now twenty nine, I am an adult with a career. I was at a work lunch and at the end of it I turned around to grab my bag and a man at the next table put his hands on the back of my neck and shoulders. I turned around and asked him what he was doing, and whether he thought it was okay to touch other people, strangers, and what was it about me that he thought I would be okay with it, I told him to keep his hands off of me. His lunch mate told me it was a joke, honey. I said he needs to get a better sense of humor and left the restaurant. I was recently heading a project in work and I had to meet a rep from another company, a man, renowned professionally. His openly line was to tell me how cute I was. He also complimented my hands and asked me did I know why men love small hands on a woman. In school, we would have free classes where we would go to a classroom to study and be supervised by a teacher. For my final year in school we had our free class on Wednesdays scheduled in the TG class. The male teacher would always make me sit at the desk directly in front of him. At the beginning I thought it was because I was one of the last in, or because I had a habit of talking to my friends instead of studying. But as time went on, I realised even when I kept quiet and didn’t take my eyes away from the pages of my notebooks, that he would still make me sit there. Or when I realised that when other people were talking, he would make me sit there but not them. He would make me sit there and he would stare at me, I can still feel his eyes staring at me when I tried to keep my focus and avoid eye contact with him by staring at my books. I would always from then on be one of the first rather than one of the last to arrive to class but he would still make me sit there. Boys and girls in the class noticed it and offer to help me avoid being sat there, completely unsolicited. One day, I arrived early, sat in the middle of the class, not the back, stayed quiet, and hoped that he would see no reason to have to move me to the top of the class. But nevertheless when the bell rang for class to start he ordered the person sitting in front of him to switch seats with me. I protested that I was doing nothing wrong and that I shouldn’t have to sit up there because I was early, I wasn’t chatting and I was studying. He ordered me again and again I protested, the rest of the class started to back me up. He let out a roar that we were to switch seats and everyone was terrified, including me, so I switched seats and he stared at me again, for the entire class. That lasted for the entire school year. A colleague of mine said that I was good at the filing because I was a woman. He said that I was good at the fluffy “people management” stuff because I was a women. He said that I received special recognition award and an extra bonus at Christmas, because the company had to give it to a woman. He also says I’m cute like a puppy. There’s more I’m sure. My friends too, there must be hundreds of these stories between us. I hope my boyfriend, my father, my brothers, my uncles, my cousins or friends have ever inflicted this kind of harassment on a women, but it’s so common, it’s so normal that the odds don’t seem in favor.
Sitting on a bus. The man behind me has his arm resting on the window ledge. I was reading a book and hadn’t noticed him. He slowly moved his arm closer and closer and then grabbed my breast. I jumped up, horrified. He just kept staring out the window like nothing had happened.
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!
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.”
One of my first experiences with sexism came while attending a prestigious, Catholic university. On a first date, a fellow student, angry with me that I would not go any further than kissing, told me he should rape me and I would probably enjoy it. After insisting he take me home immediately, he still did not understand what he had done wrong and continued to try to phone me for a couple of weeks. My next real challenge with sexism came at my first job out of college. I worked for a small investment firm at the Board of Trade. The firm was dominated by young men, including very intelligent men from top math universities. I was the only woman in a year long internship program with 5 men. The harassment started on day 1. Perhaps seeing my isolation and vulnerability, they were like a gang, taking turns making disgusting statements to me, joking about me, making fake come ons for laughs, grabbing or touching me and calling me a vulgar nickname. It was constant and observed by the bosses at the company. It even occurred in public in front of other people, in the elevator and on the floor of the exchange. No one stopped it or even acknowledged that it was out of line. Everyone thought the harrassment was funny. I stuck it out to finish my internship, but left as soon as it was over to get a different job. I realized that the culture at the firm would never change, and I refused to work there any longer. The sexism I encountered at a later job as a flight attendant was different, but began on day 1 as well. In training we were given makeovers and subjected to weigh ins. People who went over their weight limit were asked to leave the program. On the job, we were hit on by male passengers and sometimes pilots, as if the fact that we were in a flight attendant uniform meant that we were available for dates, etc instead of doing our job. Since then, I have seen and dealt with every day sexism all around me in different ways. I have had men follow me on the El, catcall at me on the street and even expose themselves to me in a public place. But the saddest part is that my daughters are still dealing with it, too.