Tag Archives: University

Anonymous

Nearly died at home and abroad from violence, phone messed about by men & women. Women can be just as if not more sexist/misogynistic. Recently have been harassed at home, text etc. if go out hugged, grabbed etc. Past sexual abuse & violence here and abroad. Have to be strong in this life. Workplace lots of mobbing, bullying. Police, social services, unis, NHS, you name it. Hate crimes, disability, misogyny, religion, racism. Brexit and Trump obj inflamed the situation.

ANON

Hello, I’ve recently read your book, Everyday Sexism and I have to tell you I am so thankful for it. I have always blamed myself for what has happened to me and I now feel like I can accept that I was not at all to blame. I am 26 now. When I was 19, I started at university and lived in university accommodation. I was SO excited to move in with people my own age and be independent. The first night there, we were greeted by ‘Fresher reps’ who were older students, there to take us out drinking. There were heavy drinking games, chants, ‘icebreakers’ etc. And the atmosphere was very geared towards those who are into partying. Everyone joined in, because we were all so eager to be involved and make friends. One of my flatmates was a very attractive guy and my friend noticed this straight away. He wasn’t really my type. He instantly took a liking to me and whilst were out he tried numerous times to rub up against me and get close. I made it clear that nothing was going to happen between us. At the end of the first night, he tried to invite himself into my room and I declined. The second night of freshers’ week, I went out with my flatmates again. I got separated from the girls and ended up with the same guy from the previous night (call him J) and another guy from my flat. We shared a taxi back and sat in the common room drinking. I remember being sure in my mind that NOTHING would happen between me and J. I was quite drunk and we were playing a drinking game. They handed me a glass of alcohol to drink and dared me to down it- so I did. That’s the last thing I remember from that night. The next morning, I woke up completely naked in J’s bed. I remember feeling extremely embarrassed, sore down below and he wasn’t there. I gathered my things and ran to my own room. I felt so ashamed because I had sex with him, even though I hadn’t wanted to. I blamed myself because I downed the drink and impaired myself. I felt humiliated as I couldn’t remember anything that happened after that drink. I couldn’t even remember when (or if!) the second guy had left. A few days later, I saw J in the kitchen and he came onto me. This time I had sex with him consensually. To this day I don’t fully know why I did that…because I didn’t feel attracted to him and I was still utterly humiliated and confused. I think I wanted to take control of the situation. I thought ‘what the hell, I’ve had sex with him once.’ I didn’t tell anyone about what had happened for years because I figured that if I did, I would be asked why I had sex with J if he had raped me a few days before. I thought of these encounters as one night stands, but remained confused and disgusted at myself. After this experience, I became withdrawn, depressed and my grades suffered. I have since opened up about it to a couple of female friends. One of whom told me that something similar has happened to her, the other one seemed to disbelieve it. I have recently told my current boyfriend and he dismissed it- saying that I chose to have sex with him the second time. Confirming my fears- if that’s his response, I’m glad I never bothered to go to the police.

Alex

I recently went clubbing with a male friend of mine and one of his friends. I met him at university about a year ago when we were on the same course, and since the course ended I’ve met up with him maybe three or four times outside of the classroom. I have not given him any reason to think that I’m interested in anything other than friendship with him. Nonetheless, when I was dancing he kept putting his arm around my shoulders and my waist. I have been sexually assaulted and raped on a number of different occasions, by different men and boys, starting from the age of 5, and I struggle with symptoms of PTSD. Sometimes in situations such as this one, I become paralysed in fear and panic and don’t react to protect myself. This friend had never done anything that I felt uncomfortable with before; I try to stay well away from men who make me feel uncomfortable because of the reaction that I tend to have in these kinds of situations. The next day I told a (female) friend about what had happened and she told me that what I had to realise was that he didn’t do anything wrong and that it affected me so much only because of my past experiences. But doesn’t it say something that what he was doing to me was reminiscent of past experiences that were traumatising? Doesn’t that in itself suggest that something wasn’t right? To me it seems clear that it was wrong of him. I think that if I had a boyfriend, my friend might have agreed that it was wrong. It’s a thought that saddens me because it implies that I’m just an object for all men to use as they please unless I’m the property of a particular man in which case other men should respect him by respecting his property. An object itself doesn’t demand any respect. But I’m not an object, I’m human.

Katrina

I complained to the police about a male who was stalking me and the response I got was he has a right to drive around in a place at the same time as you. He had just been released from jail and was on bail for robbing a bank. I gave all the peoples names that he sexually assaulted to the police and not one of them or another person said they believe me. The sexual assault centre discharged me numerous times on the basis that I was apparently doing well. I have reason to believed that I am being stalked at least on occasion and it has been more than ten years since the first incident.

Abby

An engineering group from my dorm booked a workout class at the recreation center, but when we arrived there was no teacher. When we consulted the management about this, they repeatedly told us that we could not possibly be the group that had booked the room because we were all female.

B

This week really made me think about sexism amongst groups of boys. I went out clubbing in London last weekend for a friend’s 21st birthday. At the end of the night I shared a taxi home with 4 friends (1 girl, 3 boys), on the journey home the driver told us about his stand up comedy in his spare time. He offered to tell us a joke, and we were all happy to hear it, but myself and the other girl were horrified when we heard the punchline, which was that he would sniff our seats once we got out of the taxi. The boys all laughed and even after we expressed our disgust at his crude joke, they couldn’t understand why we didn’t find the joke funny. Once the boys were dropped off, the driver apologised to us for making us feel uncomfortable and explained that he has 3 young daughters whom he wouldn’t want to hear the same comments. We accepted his apology, but it was upsetting was that he begged us not to tell the boys. It made his apology seem insincere that he couldn’t apologise whilst the boys were present, as if it was too embarrassing to accept that he was wrong in front of them. Later in the week I was back at university and during a seminar the topic moved onto Trump’s offensive comments. One boy (I’ll call him X) seemed surprised that the class thought that Trump’s comments were extremely offensive. When X asked for an example, a boy listed Trump’s misogynist comments about women to which X replied ‘oh come on, you’re a guy, you know what it’s like when you’re in a group of your mates’… as if being in a group of boys completely validates sexist, misogynist and disgusting comments towards women! These two separate incidents in the space of 1 week has just reminded me how a lot of the time, sexism isn’t even considered an issue and how it is consistently brushed off rather than spoken about.

Rafaela

– When my uncle would, as a joke, grab me, put me across his lap, bare my butt and spank me while singing “Pe calul balan” which translates to sth like “On the white horse” even though I told him to let me go. I tried laughing and not making a fuss about it but I secretly hated him with burning anger in my mind. He already was an intruder to me since he married my aunt. I felt humiliated and I was also 8. I didn’t know if I had the right to not like it or to feel bad about it. I still hate him to this day and despise him for being an asshole most of the time to everyone. – My dad told me that women are beautiful if they had long hair and that men don’t really like them otherwise. I told him that “so that’s it, one day I have long hair and someone starts liking me, so if I decide to cut it the other day, then he’ll leave me cause that was my only worth? What? Then I’d rather cut my hair and if someone likes me like that, good, if not that’s that.” He told me it’s my business if I don’t want anybody to like me. (my dad is a really nice person, but unfortunately he also grew up with these kind of ideas. Don’t even get me started on my mom.) – As a child I was very innocent for my age. Some would even call me naïve or childish, but I had a notion of living life that most of the adults I know still don’t have. I was 10 or 12yo and making my way back home from school one day (not more than a 7 minute trip) when I passed an older boy/ young man who I now assume was either renovating or was working part time in constructions. He was carrying a few construction materials and when he was about to pass by me, he called out to me like he wanted to ask me a question. I was a timid person, but I stopped thinking that maybe I could help with something. My parents never really stressed the importance of “stranger danger”. He asked me how much I it would cost to fuck me… It felt so crude. I was just dumbstruck and didn’t know how to react to this. I stood there frozen and looked at him for a few seconds unmoving, like he just violated my trust or something, and then speed walked away feeling shameful and thinking that I somehow looked dirty. I think I even shouted at him that he was a stupid idiot (and felt stupid and guilty myself for that) while walking away. I got home and cried for some time hiding away from my mother because I didn’t want to seem weak. I felt disgusted with myself. I was depressive at the time. It was one brick added to my fragile, plummeting self esteem. I want to mention that I was basically a walking stick. I’m 21 now and I still look younger than my age. I didn’t even have boobs or ass or anything developed then. – Last year, in my first year of University, I was walking with my friend in broad daylight on a running lane along a small river in a populated area. We were eating cheese pie with parsley (my favorite thing ever) and as we walked we started hearing grunting and moaning sounds getting more and more audible. On the other side of the river, 5 meters from us was a guy jerking off in the open without inhibitions like it was Christmas. My friend had the luck of me seeing it first and I told her to not look. The damn shit ruined the food for me and I started yelling at him that he looked like a gross pathetic gorilla in heat and to get a room and I was so angry. I really wanted to eat that parsley cheese pie in peace. – My homeroom teacher scolded me in 5th grade that I had a tee shirt which had cropped shoulders (it was showing just a bit of them) and she told me to cover them up or I would have to leave. Like I didn’t even understand why the fuck shoulders would even be inappropriate… – I was working my first job as a waitress at a hotel open only during summer. An older patron started making nasty comments that I was incompetent to which I responded with humor or let them pass. At some point he got up and took the tray out of my hands and proceeded to show me how to properly hold it (I have a waiter’s diploma. I took a course.) I explained to him patiently that I have weak wrists and can’t carry it in one hand, even though I demonstrated that I did know what the proper way was. I don’t think he was expecting me to say anything cause he dismissively told me to leave this job if I couldn’t do it right. He seemed pretty uneducated judging by his manners and vocabulary, yet he still got the guts to talk. It was a particularly stressful day, I was the only serving person in the whole hotel and that was just the last drop. I’d like to say that I went and confronted him, but I actually went to the bathroom and rage cried for about five minutes before trying to recompose myself. My boss had a word with him (she’s a woman) and his companions later came and apologized about it. Obviously not him.

Anonymous

Is it normal to constantly measure yourself up against your male classmates? I’m a female student at a UK university and the longer I’m here the more and more I feel like a phoney. I know logically that I’m not, I get high grades in my classes and have got awards before, but I cant help feeling like it’s all been a mistake. Like they should have got it and not me. Like it’s only a matter of time until I trip up and people realise that I’m not actually that clever at all. I’m terrified to hand my work in because I’m always convinced it’s awful and I’ll fail, even though I never have. I really want to do a postgraduate course but I’m scared to move to another university in case they don’t think I’m good enough. Sometimes I’m really proud to be a woman, but sometimes I feel like I have to apologise for it. I know how few women make it to the top. I feel like they’re better than me, and I don’t know why.

Lauren

at university me and my flatmates went on a night out . One of my flatmates was this guy who I was friends with, we got on well and had never shown any signs of weird behaviour , he particularly got on well with females just because he was a bit more effeminate so he would hug me and my friends often but it was always very normal . All of us where dancing in a club , me having started to sober up considerably and as he hugs me (which he usually had done to many girls ) out of nowhere he turn me around and tried to put his hands down my jeans and underneath my underwear. I pushed him away and tried to give him the ‘benefit of the doubt’ but then he tried again a few weeks later on another night out. A few weeks later I plucked up the courage to tell my girlfriends in the flat about what happened, they already knew something had happened and didn’t tell me . they also didn’t know what I should do about the situation . he had unwillingly put me in a situation where I would either confront him and lose friends as he has preached about how he respects women and I knew people would believe me to be lying over him . or not tell anyone and live with it .

Linda

I play the piano well and I like to play in the lobby of my dorm or in the student union, or other public places, and I get compliments on my playing. Whenever a girl compliments me, she usually calls out that I sound great as she walks by. But whenever a guy compliments me, he comes over, stands next to me, and tries to win me over with his compliments. Its always uncomfortable for me. They stand right next to me and wait for my song to finish to talk to me which can be a couple minutes. Then they start having a conversation with me that I don’t want to have. Sometimes they’ll take up a seat near me until I’m done with all my songs and try to walk out with me. Its hard to complain about because no one wants to hear complaints about guys hitting on me, and they aren’t being rude. People will say they were just complimenting me, but I’ve never had a girl compliment me by coming up next to me and ask me how long I’ve been learning.