I was sexually assaulted three times by a guy in my class. I was sick of it, so I reported it. I was relieved that it was over but people started coming up to me asking why I “Snaked on *his name*”. Another guy asked me if I felt aroused after it, and another guy called me a sadist and a bitch. It hurts. These people were once my friends. It’s crazy to think of that now.
I just finished Grade 11 in high school and I went on a date with the typical popular guy from a nearby town. He was smart, the quarterback, his family regularly attended church, and other girls also wanted to be with him. During our date he took me to his farm and things started to advance. He wanted to have sex and I told him that I was not ready, and that I wanted to wait. His response was “I have waited long enough”. I remember feeling froze and confused at this time and then he became frustrated and told me to just relax as he was now on top of me. I said no and stop, and tried to push him away, but it had no effect. I gave up and felt powerless. It took me over a year before I stopped blaming myself for what happened, as I thought I could have ran when I had the chance or spoke louder. The problem is not always with the stereotypical man. The problems are within our own communities with people that would be the most unexpected.
I was 15. I was rebellious and ran away from home. While gone I partied at a nightclub. Me and a guy I knew went out back to smoke. Next thing I know 3 guys are forcing themselves upon me in a dark parking lot. I tried to fight and scream so they shoved gravel in my mouth. Thank god I was drunk so I can’t remember details. For 10 years I told no one because I thought it was my fault for being somewhere I shouldn’t or for being drunk. I was so ashamed and filled with self hatred. Then in college I took a class in Women’s Studies and the professor taught me that violence is never ok and it is NEVER the victims fault. I got it and everything changed. Especially inside me. I started volunteering at a Women’s shelter and soon after I was hired as a crisis worker. I was good at my job because I really understood where these women were coming from I can’t tell you how many times I told a client that it’s not her fault no matter what it’s not her fault I worked my way all the way to being executive director of that program.
I’m 15 and my school’s usually pretty good for equality but I remember in my Maths class the boy right next to me was making a sexist joke to some other boys, something about how a woman should stay in the kitchen and such. There were three boys he was talking to and two of them were laughing along. The other one was obviously uncomfortable and trying to make more pleasant jokes but didn’t feel comfortable calling him out on it. When I did, the boy who was making the joke started to mock me for it until another girl backed me up. This boy and I are friends so the mocking is far from the norm. This isn’t the only incident, of course. I could mention hundreds of cases but most prominently I’ve heard a lot of comments by boys starting from 12 like “there are no good-looking girls at this school”. In fact, there was recently a case of sexual assault by a boy in my classes and they tend to joke about it a lot and no one says anything. If anyone tries to explain that it’s sexist and disgusting then they’re seen as too easily offended and unable to take a joke. These are the school’s most intelligent students too and it’s worrying me that I’ll be going into a male-dominated apprenticeship and career next year. We’re not even into the real world yet and we’re still being told how we’re supposed to conform to gender stereotypes.
I’m a highschool student in my final year. We have this physics project- actually it isn’t ours our male teacher wants us girls to work behind the scenes, and for the project to be in the boys’ names!
In fifth grade we had to run the track for P.E (like anyone ever). My step sister had just finished healing her sprained ankle and my friend hurt her ankles competing in track the day before. Our coaches made us run four laps once a week and we just didn’t have time to finish. When it was time to line up, some of the boys were cracking jokes to each other about how slow we were. They even started talking about how stupid and dumb we were. (The three of us were in gifted!) When my teacher heard, he just responded with, “It’s true” At the end of the year they gave out shirts to the fastest runners in the grade. I got one but my friends didn’t. The same boys were saying they were shocked, but then made fun of my friends. They also managed to make fun of me. I was disgusted.
I am an undergraduate student who recently got accepted into medical school, and I could not be more excited. Over the years, I have shadowed many physicians in preparation for my future career. Many of the male doctors assume I want to go into women-dominated fields such as OB/GYN or pediatrics without bothering to ask me if my interests lie elsewhere. Many male physicians have asked me how I plan to manage a family on top of my career and want to know if I’ve considered that I would be missing prime years of my life for childbearing during medical school. I found these comments and questions extremely personal and insulting and felt very discouraged by them. I highly doubt male students get these questions. I even had one doctor offer to let me shadow him only to find out later that he used shadowing as means to get to know me because he thought I was attractive. He wanted to have inappropriate relations with me and promised if I “stuck” with him he could help me get into medical school. It opened my eyes to how women are viewed in the medical field and motivated me to work harder than ever to prove to myself and other physicians that I am worthy of saving lives and helping others regardless of gender. As a physician, I will treat all people with respect and hope to encourage more women to enter the medical field.
In Highschool me and my boyfriend were texting. I messaged him saying, “wanna hear a joke?” He responded: “Women’s rights.” I responded saying “not funny.” He then posted a picture of this conversation on Facebook saying “my joke was funnier.” His male friends proceeded to write comments saying how funny they thought this was. One said: “Women’s rights was the worst idea our country has ever had.” I was angry. But I felt that there was nothing I could do to change their minds. I felt that my voice or opinion wouldn’t change theirs- it would only be subject to further jokes.
My 14 year old daughter was followed by a man in his 30s. He aked her name and if she was on Facebook. He hugged her. The police response later was ‘she does look older than 14’ and ‘he was probably just drunk’. And no action was taken.
My daughter has been upset about school and doesn’t want to go anymore. Apart from experiencing exclusion by some girls, I also discovered that a major worry for her was the time she had to attend the library each week. The male Librarian was quite confident apparently about highlighting mistakes made by the children or humiliating them for being a little late at times. When this occurred the Librarian would chant ‘they don’t make girls they way they used to’ OR ‘they don’t make boys the way they used to’! He would then get the whole class to repeat and chant whilst swinging their arm with a closed first in front of themselves. The repetitive humiliation she felt became too much (she also has an autism diagnosis). Apparently the class were always coached to laugh along about it but my daughter claims that many children felt uncomfortable and felt pressured to join in. Nobody really understands what the comments are about either since they are only 8-9 years old. My greatest concern is the fact that these children would have to be wondering what he is talking about and possibly referring back to older stereotypes of girls and boys (weak/dominating). I’m sure that this kind of coaching will no doubt affect the way the children stereotype each other in the playground. Violence and bullying amongst genders starts early! As adults WE are responsible for changing how we use sexist language whilst teaching our children in schools! Concerned Parent!