I went on a few dates with a guy, and he came back to mine once. We were never that into each other (from my perspective) so when he moved to Amsterdam I was quite relieved. About a month later I came across his online blog, in which he writes about his daily life. Curious, I found the entry describing the night he came back to mine and found that he’d written an account describing how he only slept with me because he wanted someone to tell him he was attractive, and only ‘finished out of politeness’ despite losing interest. He even used my real name in the post. I felt hurt, embarrassed and used, but I didn’t want to re-open communication with him so I just pushed it to the back of my mind. Almost a year later, he messaged me out of the blue to say he was back in town, and felt we had left things on a weird note. I took the opportunity to tell him, plainly and without any accusation, that I’d found his blog post and the way he wrote about me had made me feel hurt and embarrassed. Instead of offering me any kind of apology, he promptly blocked me so I couldn’t contact him again. I couldn’t resist having a look at his blog again (he still hasn’t removed the post about me), and found a more recent entry describing an encounter he had with someone else. This time, a girl came back to his but decided when there that she didn’t want to sleep with him. He describes his anger at being rejected, saying that he wanted to be the one to refuse her – being rejected made him feel unattractive and angry. The next morning she changes her mind and decided to sleep with him after all, and he describes how he only does it in order to prove a point – that she should not have rejected him in the first place. Shortly after this, he sent her a message saying that he felt insulted, and didn’t want to see her again. Then he blocked her before she could respond. This is all detailed on his public blog. The next day he posted a video on his blog saying that he thinks he might have been wrong in how he treated her, but that ultimately he hadn’t been acting maliciously and he could only really be held responsible for his own feelings, not how his actions made others feel. This man treats women as if they are tools for his own validation, and when he is called out on it he responds by silencing the other person. He doesn’t apologise. He just moves onto the next girl. It’s toxic masculinity and blatant misogyny.
The mew John Lewis And/Or jeans ad that just popped up on my Facebook feed. The short, slo-mo film exclusively focuses on a close up of a woman’s denim-clad arse as she rides a bike. She even stands up on the pedals, giving a fuller view of her backside. I guess it’s supposed to be provocative, but it’s just depressing and regressive. It doesn’t belong in this century and Johm Lewis should be ashamed.
Hi ESP, I just wanted to add my story, which occurred yesterday as I was driving to work, and then subsequently on a Facebook group I’m a member of. As I was driving to work I came to a mini roundabout and was looking right out of my open window for coming traffic. A man was standing with his young son by the side of the road and loudly said: “Will you look at that! She’s got a face like a slapped arse!”. I only just realised what he’d said as I drove off, and just dismissed him as a bit of a doucebag. However, when I got to work I decided to tell a Facebook group about it. I was quite light-hearted, just mentioning what I’d been called ending the update with #everydaysexism. And that’s when all hell broke loose. I got 300 responses, the vast majority of which were negative or downright abusive. I was called a virtue-caller, a sexist, ridiculous, pathetic, I was told I sound like I have a face like a slapped arse, that I was being sensitive and needed to relax, that it is political correctness gone mad, that I hate anyone with a penis, that I’m ridiculous etc etc etc. This actually really surprised me. What the main issue for most of these people was was that what he’d said wasn’t sexist. That having ‘a face like a slapped arse’ is gender neutral. I tried explaining that while I understand this it was the situation it was being said in that was sexist. The argument came back that some of these men had been called names by women in their jobs in retail (for example) and I sympathised and told them that that is vile and shouldn’t have happened, but that is not really sexist, as it doesn’t have the weight of the systematic eniwualities of the patriarchy behind it. Anyway, I’ve stepped away from the discusdion now. The one guy who did support my point was accused of just wanting to ‘get in my pants’ so I’ve decided it’s not worth it. Anyway, thanks for letting me share. X
I was just having a funny snapchat convo with this boy in one of my classes about whether books were worthwhile or not and suddenly, after not saying anything for a while, he sends two words. suck me. I didn’t respond. I took a picture of it (not a screenshot, I used another device) and saved it so that I have proof. I am shaking at this point, in fact I’m still shaking now. I told my friend about it. I sent her the pictures I took, and she said “Haha. Ya. That’s funny.” Then she said she had to go. I said its not funny and asked if she had gotten them. The answer had apparently been yes. She said that “the last thing he had said was strange, but it was all really funny.” I suppose that could have been fair enough. The first part of the conversation had been funny. I asked her if she knew what suck me meant, because while I thought she did, she certainly wasn’t acting like it. She did know what it meant. I responded, “That’s not strange, that’s sexual harassment.” Because it was. She told me, “It’s fine. He’s a teenaged boy. That’s what they do.” I sent her a series of three texts after that. They read, “It’s not fine. They need to learn to control themselves. If they don’t now they never will.” “Next step, he’s older and hes yelling that at women across the street, maybe he’s even grabbing them or slapping their ass or something.” “There’s no excuse” She ended the conversation with “We can talk about this hilarious conversation tomorrow. I have to eat now. Bye.” and that was it. I felt violated and disgusting. Was I leading him on in any way? At all? I don’t think I was, but after this I dont feel sure. I was also disgusted and disappointed with how casually she treated it. It can’t just be treated as boys will be boys. It cant. If thats how we treat it then they could end up being a rapist, or at least sexually harassing women. It’s not okay, it’s never okay, and no age justifies it. This is how rape culture has affected people’s outlook on sexual harassment. This is not okay. This is never okay. I know I’m not the only one with a story like this. A lot of people have much worse stories. This needs to end. (I also posted this on tumblr)
Guy DMed me on Twitter after I appeared on a podcast. Said I ‘gave him a few chuckles’ and he ‘enjoyed my music’…then went on to say it helped that I was ‘half pretty’. Not sure what to make of that to be honest mate. All else aside either compliment me or don’t…Wanker
Sexism on Social Media In wake of Trump being elected, I decided to run an experiment. I scrolled through Lena Dunham’s Facebook page (a feminist and Hillary supporter), as I knew she would no doubt be receiving a lot of abuse from Trump supporters. As predicted, there was a barrage of shockingly offensive and sexist comments. I reported fourteen of the worst ones that I saw, and waited for Facebook’s response. After all, Facebook have stated in the past that it’s impossible to monitor and control abusive messages. To every one of my reports, I was issued with a message to say that none of them had violated Community Standards. This is the letter I wrote to them in response. — Dear Facebook, I’m contacting you to let you know how exactly the comments I reported on the 11th November breached your community rules. The comments were on a thread against Lena Dunham, a woman who has supported Hillary Clinton and is a campaigner for women’s rights. After the success of Donald Trump, a man who has promoted the objectification of women and has been accused of rape and sexual assault (‘grab them by the pussy’), she received a barrage of abuse from Trump supporters. I’m all for freedom of speech. Being verbally aggressive towards someone is one thing (still unacceptable), but being openly sexist without consequence is quite another. The reported comments, such as ‘you need a good fucking from a white Texan male’ and ‘all you are is a life support system for a vagina’ and ‘obese’, ‘fat pig cunt’ are not only disgustingly sexist, they’re damaging in the fight women, including me, experience every day. It reduces our argument to mockery. It reduces our worth to our ability to look pretty, have sex and conceive. It doesn’t just affect one public person in this case, it affects all women. Letting comments like this go condones this culture of reducing a woman’s self worth. According to Facebook, all of my reported comments apparently did not violate community standards. Though it’s impossible to change the result of the election, it’s important now, more than ever, for companies such as yours to hold people responsible for misogynistic behaviour. This is a targeted hate crime. Facebook is one of the strongest and most influential platforms for communicating. Please help that communication be more positive for women. I look forward to hearing from you.
My friend has recently experienced cyber bullying over “what’s app” by a group of boys from our year. They have been calling her horrid names like slag, little shit, cunt and bitch. One boy even went as far as changing the group chat name to “I want to fuck Mazie*” (which I am pretty sure is a rape threat) all because she had her hair cut to a pixie cut. We are planning to tell our feminist humanities and law teacher (who is awesome) about it. But what worries me is the fact that these boys think they can say this to a 13 YEAR OLD girl! I bet their mums don’t know they are saying these disgusting things. I hate how girls like Masie have to deal with this on a more or less daily basis and I am going to do something about it. *Mazie isn’t her real name.
I posted a jokey message on social media about being given the smaller portion of 2 food items because I was a woman and the person after me was my brother. Woke up the next day to find this tweet jumped on by trolls who are continuing to send me sexist and fat-shaming hate. It’s enough to drive me off the social network.
I found this post on a Crystal Palace supporters forum and it disgusted me: ‘Intelligent Rachel Riley is a football bimbo What is that self obsessed stupid bitch doing on this show? A plastic Man U fan from Essex who is obviously getting told what to say or ask through her earpiece. Piss off back to your spelling and sums on Countdown with your piss stinking geriatrics. And before anyone replies and says ‘but you would though wouldn’t you’, seriously no I f*cking wouldn’t. Rather stick her in my dungeon with my baseball bat. Hate women like her. And it was her fault we had a perfectly good goal ruled out.’
On facebook I was tagged in a “challenge” post which challenged me to post three photos of myself which I thought were my best. The point was to promote women’s physical beauty and improve self-confidence, and whilst it’s a noble goal it still puts the emphasis on the fact that all women are only on earth to look pretty. Anyway, I ignored the challenge for a day or two, then came up with an idea. I reposted the challenge with my three photos.. only they were photos of me at various running/swimming events I’ve entered. In none of the pictures do I look particularly attractive – dripping with sweat, exhausted, peculiar running faces, wearing a swim cap & wetsuit – but I put an explanation that these pictures made me feel so good about myself and my achievements and that I felt that was in the spirit of the challenge. The reaction from some of my so-called friends was horrendous – from well-meaning “but you’re so pretty you could have chosen better photos!” to downright rude “ew, that’s an ugly face!” and even “you missed the point, you were meant to post pics where you’re beautiful lol”. Ugh. I chose to post the pictures that made me feel good about myself, that gave me self-confidence and which I genuinely believe show my overall “beauty” – in terms of my personality, my achievements, my passions. Unfortunately I came away from it feeling dejected, ugly and insecure.