Tag Archives: University

Linda

Hurray Imperial college has posted a female engineer on their LinkedIn feed! Oh, it’s talking about pole dancing. (No really – go and take a look…)

Anonymous

I had a rough time at university. I had two very beautiful female friends in my first year, and I was constantly told stuff like “don’t worry, anyone would look ugly stood next to those two” when I had said nothing to contribute to a conversation about these girls. One guy saw a picture of me from sixth form, when I had been a size 8, (now a size 10 so not fat), and he said “I want to fuck that girl” and then encouraged me to go to the gym. I’m ashamed to say I did straight after that conversation. The boys in my halls were all about hooking up with girls and joking about them, often after my friends had slept with one of the guys they’d be treated like desperate whiny girls and ignored. I actually put effort into being one of the ‘cool girls’ for a long time, by joining in their sexist humour and pretending their constant comments about my appearance didn’t bother me. And it worked – they thought I was really cool. After all it’s only ‘banter’. I slept with one of the guys once, and didn’t want to again. We didn’t know each other well at the time but actually became better friends after, we had similar taste in music and would be up till 5am playing each other stuff. It was never more than friendly on both sides. One night after we’d been out, he came to my room as I was getting ready for bed. We lay at opposite ends of the bed chatting about stuff for hours and I kept saying I felt really ill, I was lying down but it was as if I was going to faint. Eventually he said that he wanted a blow job and I kept telling him I didn’t want to, I was feeling unwell and didn’t want to sleep with him again. He persuaded me into it and I stopped after a few minutes really angry with myself for getting talked into it. I had a massive go at him and kicked him out my room. Yet he’d still be so rude about my looks in front of everyone all the time. One other guy I was friends with once brought a virgin home with him after a night out, he was telling us the next day how she’d had a hairy vagina and he told her to go and shave and gave her a razor. She did, and when she came back he told her she’d done an awful job and to go back and try again. She did, and then she slept with him. When he told us, the boys were laughing and saying stuff like ‘savage’ while I told him that was horrible. I couldn’t help but think about this poor girl having lost her virginity in such a horrific manner. After a brief summer fling with a really lovely guy in my home town, I met up with this group of boys I’d become friends with at a festival. The first night, I didn’t go out because I was so upset. They left me sobbing in a tent all night because I was suddenly able to see how unpleasant they were. I gave up trying to be friends with them, continually pleading with my beautiful best friend to see how sexist they were. She constantly rolled her eyes at me and kept hanging out with them and wouldn’t protest if they were rude about my appearance in her presence. She thought I was just being dramatic. By the end of second year, I had majorly drifted from all my friends and my best friend as a result of this. They acted as if I were some crazy girl making a fuss over everything and I felt really alienated from all of them. I’m now not in contact with any of them, but I still have this niggling thought that I just should’ve had thicker skin, just put up with it, join in. I had such a confidence low, hate the way I look now as a result of uni. I used to be so much more confident and outgoing but the experience really beat it out of me. Just sharing that I feel like I lost all my friends because of their attitudes towards belittling women all the time, it wasn’t just me either, a few of the other girls who knew them had ditched them and all felt the same way.

Student

Minor instance of what I believe to be sexism from a friend – today for example I said something he didn’t understand, instead of asking me what do you mean he turns to my other friend and just says ‘I don’t know what she’s talking about’ as if I am not there at all. I’m aware of how minor it sounds but it is the way he talks about me in the third person all the time as well as many other incidents of mansplaining and general patronisation that make me want to write here. He doesn’t act this way towards any of our male friends!

Anon

Was never ever told about how to report sexism from teachers at school. We were told that we should report general bullying between students, but as students, we were never told what kind of procedures we would need to go through to report a teacher for gender prejudice. All genders of students: female, male and other, I feel should be able to safely report a teacher for sexist conduct. This could be sexual harassment or verbal remarks. I am not a young student any more and I strongly feel that young people coming up should be given clear guidance as to what is appropriate behaviour for teacher and what to do if a teacher or other member of staff engages in behaviour that the student is not comfortable with. This could include homophobia, biphobia, queer phobia or gender prejudiced remarks. This can be a thorny topic because some things that some people consider to be sexist or gender prejudiced others such as some teachers consider to be fact and “hard science” such as what women’s and men’s brains are supposedly hardwired to do. Some teachers may think that male and female students need to be taught in different styles according to gender (not accounting for individual differences or preferences). Some literature and debate contains sexism. I am not advocating for shielding people with “safe spaces” or squashing debate. It would just be nice if there was some respectful dialogue between people with regard to these issues. I also see some company training groups say that in order to promote gender equality, people should realise that men and women think differently, therefore need to be treated differently. Hence the “different, but equal” argument about how women are supposedly more empathic than men and how men can supposedly throw more accurately and read maps better. By the way, does it make me weird or “mentally disordered” if I as a shy woman would prefer to read a map or go on dead reckoning rather than ask people for directions? Would the psychologists and psychiatrists be circling me, like sharks after blood if I even mentioned this to anyone? I just don’t know what to think any more because men and women clearly have physical and hormonal differences, but what about hermaphrodites or other people who don’t fit into a neat little conceptual box? It’s hard work, but I think that people should be treated as individuals with their own histories, bodies and preferences rather than be shoved into gender stereotyped boxes. It is lazy thinking to assume that all people you put into one gender category look and behave exactly the same way. Nature is messier and more complicated than that. There could be outliers and exceptions to categories people graphically draw up.

Groping@Union

Student : I am so glad your here. I thought we could go to the union to celebrate Friend: yeah sounds good. How gropey is your union mines not great but the ones in ****** weren’t as bad as they usually are only 2 or 3 times yesterday. Katie: yeah it’s pretty good here to be honest normally only happens a couple of times Friend: okay sounds good I’ll wear the skirt then When did being groped in a public place become so normalised. When did we accept that it is okay for other people to do what they want to our bodies and determine where we go out and what we wear.

Clara

A selection of thoughts after reading your book “Everyday Sexism”: – Not exactly a big deal, but was ridiculed at school for having “small breasts” (as though I could have done anything about it). – On one occasion in my mid-teens had to go to the pharmacy with such a bad stomach ache that I was doubled over in pain and could hardly walk. Significantly older man in the queue behind me thought it would be funny to make thrusting gestures with his crotch while standing close behind me. Pharmacist laughed. For the record (not that it really matters), I was wearing baggy jeans and an oversized hoodie, so was hardly was society would describe as “sexualised”. – At uni it was a common occurrence for my female friends to report that they had been groped whilst on a night out or followed home. One of my friends was even raped. Not being a fan of clubbing, I never had the “pleasure” of experiencing any of these advances, but know that my friends got so tired of it that eventually they started going to the local male gay club, because they knew the men there wouldn’t be interested in them. The uni did work hard to combat groups of young men who sought to seduce female freshers and then score them on how attractive they were, but since most of it went unreported and it’s generally not overt it was very difficult for them to shut such groups down. – Like all women I get the occasional catcall or wolf-whistle, but would consider myself lucky because the abuse I suffer is nothing compared to what some of my friends go through on a daily basis. Since reading your book, I have often wondered why this is. I have come to the conclusion that I must just be so mediocre in my looks as to not attract any attention! Or maybe I just have a particularly angry resting face… Who knows!

Bugging tho

In history these microsexisms happen every day, I know it’s small but so bugging that it goes uncorrected ” In 1715 he married Jeanne de Lartigue, a Protestant, who eventually bore him three children..” Why are we told his wife bore children for him? Didn’t she want children? This is from Wikipedia and the article can’t be more than two three years old, but it happens all the time, I suppose this time we at least know his wife’s name. But the idea that women only have children for their husbands is kind of weird and pretty unacceptable. Guess that’s why it’s called HIStory … call it out and you’ll be called a nit picker…

Mainsplained

A guy from Uni I barely know lent me a book of short stories we had briefly discussed, asked me to read one of them. When I returned the book a couple of weeks later, he asked me what I thought of the story, and I briefly explained I liked most of it but didn’t agree with some aspects and some of the actions of the character. I was in a rush, so we left it at that. Later that eveningt, I received 7 long paragraphs of text from him over whatsapp, in which he “mansplained” the plot of the story, the motivations of the characters, as well as my own opinion and comments on the plot back to me. MY. OWN. OPINION. Needless to say, I found it infuriating that he had the audacity to send me – completely unsolicited – these long messages about his views and why his thoughts on the story are “right” and more valid than mine.

Julia

My ex-fiancĂ© choked me on the last day I allowed the relationship to be. He told me I am too physically delicate and also told me I was too big to model ever again. He proceeded to try to ‘make’ me want to be 117-120 pounds at 5’10 with heart murmurs by saying “I felt closer to you when I could feel your ribs.” He would grade how I looked constantly, even with him being at least 100 lbs conservatively overweight and not showering all the time, and belittled my viewpoints on really everything. He told me corrective sex would make me not be asexual, I had this corrective sex for 1.5 years, I am still asexual. Happy he is out of my life. I am stronger now though. I do not date guys that want to have sex since I am asexual. I finally got to that point in realizing that no, my being this way since birth was not due to any kind of medication, I don’t smoke and drink, and am a clean vegan besides the occasional use of cow’s milk creamer when I am presented with coffee somewhere that does not carry almond milk and the like. I have become such a clean person to narrow down the grounds of possibility of why I am asexual. For example, if I took antidepressants or hard drugs – I would probably blame my asexuality on the side-effects of those drugs. I have never been raped. I have grown up happily and live well now, if not a bit underpayed. I don’t resist my normal self any longer. I don’t have sex because it’s normal and I am beautiful. I am by myself, asexual, and f*cking happy for the first time in my twenties. I will be thirty in 3 months. Find your truth and get away from the craziness faster than I did.

Kate

Student finance England refer to me as sponsor two for my son’s university finance application. He only has one sponsor so I queried this, sponsor one is always the man and sponsor two is always the woman even when there is only one sponsor.