Tag Archives: School

Emily

When my male friend was standing up for a girl that was being wolf whistled, he was applauded by his peers. When I expressed my belief of why it was wrong why it should never happen I got told to “calm down” and was asked what type of lesbian I was.

An angry teen feminist

I’m 15, and I remember clearly one of the most infuriating cases of sexism I have experienced so far in my life. I’m standing in a queue outside a shop with a friend at lunch time, and two boys behind me start saying “I dare you to grab her ass” and laughing. These boys are in the same year as me at my school. I was afraid, confused as to who the comment was directed at (my friend or myself?) and I was shaking. Turning to my friend, I silently asked her if she was okay and if she wanted to leave. She shook her head and so we stayed. The comments prevailed, and my friend (she’s gay) was upset at some of the homophobic comments that they were throwing our way. Once we had bought our lunch, fuming, I turned round to face the boys and said “You should shut your mouth, neither of you have the right to say these things. Until you (i pointed at one of them who was overweight) stop eating so many doughnuts, tubby, and you (I pointed at the other, who suffered from acne) get your spotty face cleared up, don’t either of you talk s**t about anyone again”. I recognise now that what i said was derogatory and is something I would be embarassed to ever say now, but in the moment it felt fantastic and I didn’t know how to react properly. They were left speechless and my friend, though badly shaken, was smiling. Since then, neither of the boys have made another comment towards either of us. I didn’t recognise it as sexist at the time, all i knew is that it was wrong. A year later and I’ve learned so much more about feminism and I’m so thankful for pages like this for letting people open up about their sexist experiences. May we all continue to support and help one another ♡ Sending Love to you all, An Angry Teen Feminist xx

FeministHelloKitty

Not really a huge issue, but whenever I was upset at school my male teacher would always ask, in a shy hesitant sort of way, if it was because of my “period” arrrgh!! As if that is the only thing a teenage girl could ever be upset about! Never mind if I am falling behind with coursework, had no sleep because my sister kept me awake having an all-night tantrum for the fifth time this week and I have classmates who would make the characters of Mean Girls look nice! Someone should explain to teachers that there are literally thousands of things in the world more upsetting than a menstrual cycle!

Anon

I see my young sons express themselves through music, song and dance at home but feel unable to do so at school because their male sporting friends would laugh at them.

Rose

Hi I am 16 and two years ago I moved to another country because my parents found better jobs there. I am very happy with the way I am treated here. I have a group of friends, girls and boys, and we are all treating each other with respect. Sadly, i cannot say the same about the people in my home country. I was the outcast in my class. I was bullied and no body wanted to be my friend. The only best friend i had turned on me because she was afraid it might ruin her reputation. The reason why I was bullied is because i didn’t fit in with the crowd. I was 14 and didn’t have a boyfriend. I didn’t go out every weekend, I wasn’t following the latest fashion trends, I wasn’t wearing any make up to school. I just wasn’t the stereotypical teenage girl that boys fantasize about. I have nothing against the girls who do things differently than me but it bothered me that they didn’t feel the same. Obviously the boys had a problem with my behavior as well. Apparently if you are 14 and don’t have a boyfriend something is wrong with you. The girls encouraged them instead of being on my side as friends always stick by your side. They never invited me to parties because they thought I was boring. The one time they ever did was on new year’s eve but it was because the whole class was invited. We were playing truth or dare. One of my friends said she didn’t want to play because she didn’t want to do the dares because she said she didn’t want to behave like a slut just for a stupid game. That same friend came back to play and dared me to kiss a guy who was always mean to me. I refused. So of course all of the boys started shouting at me one of them saying ”when you get married will you ask your parents if you can hug your husband?” I left. Just like that. Stood up and left. I wish i had said something and defended myself. I thought it wasn’t worth it. I thought to myself it is just how guys behave in this age and that they will grow out of it. Well, some of them do, some of them don’t. And there are also nice guys who don’t even go through this phase. But the fact that girls in my community and in more have to behave a certain way have to do certain things in order to be socially accepted scares me and the fact that some girls support this kind of thinking disgusts me. We should all be able to do what we want, dress how we want, go wherever we want with whoever we want. I am lucky enough to get out of there and not fall under the influence but I fear that a lot of girls will be forced to do something they don’t want to just to fit in and boys will like them.

Ais

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.

Anonymous

I deliver a foreign language to primary school children in addition to being a full time secondary teacher. Today there was a cover teacher in the room with me as I delivered the lesson as usual. He stopped me mid explanation to address the children saying ‘sometimes the words come in the wrong order in a foreign language’, took it upon himself to micro-manage the class’ behaviour, and at the end of my regularly timed slot told me the lesson was too short. I am an experienced teacher who speaks six languages, but I am also a woman.

Ally

At my school in America, sometimes girls wear sweatpants to school (because why not?). Whenever a guy sees a girl wearing sweatpants at school, they automatically assume that girl is on their period. I now feel like I can’t wear what I want to school because I don’t want to be made fun of by guys at school. I am only 13 and I don’t want to wear sweatpants to school because I don’t want to be made fun of by guys.

Sophie

Ever since kindergaten I have been bullied. I am starting high school, but still reme,bet clearly how insensitive my principal at the elementary school was. From kindergarten till about fourth grade my teachers would at best turn a blind eye, or at worst take them aside and tell them to stop, but it would go on. A boy was really bullying me. I would go home and cry about it. In fourth grade I had had enough. Mom scheduled a meeting with the principal. I told him what happened and he said, oh he’s not bullying you, he’s only doing it because he likes you. So I had an unsupportive principal and a bunch of teachers who didn’t help. I would hope that sexism will fade soon and that when I’m an adult it will stop.

Frankie

Hi, I’m Frankie. I am a 16 year old girl in high school. An acquaintance approached me in class today. We were in the middle of a conversation when he stopped me. He then began to tell me, “Look, you are a very fine… BUT you are too strong for a girl. You are really built. Can you do everyone a favor and lose some muscle”. I get so frustrated by some of the things both boys and girls say. I am also a female boxer and I get crap all the time. “Girls can’t punch”, “Boxing is for men”. The things people say on a daily basis may seem minor but it adds up to something big.