I remember when I was around 22-23 I went to a reputed university in my country and city to visit a play. It was a class trip organised by a very strong teacher who I really respect. She had most of us sit together and we all had some snacks. The university is well-known for holding such plays, however, this was my first time seeing one. I grew up a bit overprotected so I hadn’t gone to see many plays before. The play was about the capturing and torturing of revolutionaries. The student-actors conveyed their emotions and dialogues very well. Then one of the authority figures in the play said “Bring the girl out.” And one of the male students in the audience gave this cheer. This whole cheer reverberated the entire hall. I was really shocked and wanted to yell something back. Then they show the aftermath of the scene where the character has been visibly assaulted. Tortured more so than her male peers. This was the scene a male student in the audience cheered for. A scene that implied rape. This happened back in 2008 or something but I still remember how obscene it was.
I made a joke in a stage combat class and my professor laughed and swatted me on the ass on with a sword. None of the girls I attend school with make me feel valid about being uncomfortable.
Indian transit is known to be pretty crowded regularly so it’s normal to be touched or even groped and not realize it. But there was one specific incident when I was with my mum on a bus where a fully grown guy came up behind me and kept groping my ass until my mum saw it and stabbed him with a safety pin. I was only 12-13 at the time and was in too much shock to do anything myself.
A couple of months ago I was on a night out for a friend’s birthday. We were doing a pub crawl and were a few pubs down and tipsy. It was a fancy dress theme and I had a see-through top on with a bra. A friend of the birthday girl called me over to all of his friends, sat around a table in the middle of the pub. He was really friendly to me, rubbing my back and introducing me to everyone around the table (all males) so that everyone was looking at me, and then suddenly undid my bra in front of them all. Everyone laughed and I didn’t know what to do- I walked off quickly and told my friend, then ended up running outside so no-one could see me cry. I felt like an idiot, suddenly my top felt ridiculous and like it was my fault for dressing like this. My friend (male) came out and comforted me, and later when the guy who did it tried to come back to our house, my friend kicked him out in front of everyone and explained the situation, and everyone was supportive which was so important for me.
I started university last year, and one of my flatmates was older about 21 and this was his third time resitting first year. He held a lot of authority in the flat, due to the fact that he was older, male and also very middle/upper class. He had a girlfriend yet confessed to us that he had cheated on her occasionally. He was a big Donald trump supporter too so as you can guess I didn’t take much of a liking to him. He and I began to have a rocky relationship as he constantly stole my food from the fridge and when I accused him in front of the flat he would deny it, and then when it was just me and him in the room he would laugh and admit it was him. Once he moved all of one of my flatmates cutlery/food etc. from one cupboard and hid it in a different draw, he then blamed it on me and convinced the whole flat that I did it. Again, when we were alone he confessed it was him. When I protested to my flatmates, they laughed- I think they deep down knew it was him but were too scared of him to actually confront him. In second semester, things got worse- I would go into the kitchen before a night out and he would make weird comments, like my skirt was too short, or tell me how bad I was for going on so many dates with different boys. One night, we went out as a flat, with some other people from our accommodation too. He had never come out with us before but this night he did. In the club, I would be dancing and catch him stood on the stairs, watching me from above, and it weirded me out. I left the club with a couple of guy friends from my accommodation but he came out and decided that they were ‘harassing me’. We all walked home together, but he said that he would take me back to the flat through the side entrance to get me away from the other guys. He seemed genuinely caring as we were in the lift saying how he was worried about me being with those guys and just wanted to make sure I was ok, but then as soon as we were in the corridor he pushed me against the wall and slapped me, telling me I was so stupid to walk out with those guys. I later realised he was acting nice beforehand because there were CCTV cameras in the lift, but in the corridor there weren’t. I practically ran down to the flat to which he remarked ‘don’t run, it only makes me want you more’. I opened my bedroom door and he caught me asked me where I thought I was going, picked me up and took him to his room. At this point my flatmates were still at the club so the flat was empty. I was seriously freaking out, he broke my skirt, literally ‘ripped’ my underwear off and was about to rape me when I heard my flatmates come in. I whispered to him that I would get him arrested, he said he didn’t care, I said i would scream and he said ‘you wouldn’t dare’ so I screamed and he let go of me in complete shock. I sprinted to my room and seconds later my flatmates came knocking asking what had happened. I lied, and said that he had been being annoying me so I screamed at him as a ‘joke’. I don’t know why I lied/protected him like this. Probably because I felt ashamed, and if I had told them, I would have been too upset if they hadn’t believed me, or not taken it seriously. He never tried anything again, and I tried to avoid him, I didn’t eat in the kitchen incase he was in there and went out for a lot of meals instead meaning I wasted a lot of money and went into my overdraft. I also drifted from my other flat mates because I was never in the kitchen/living area incase he was there, so I never saw them. I’m now in my second year of uni and live away from him. I told my friends from home about it, but didn’t want to make it seem like a big deal so I tried to tell them in a light hearted way and act like it hasn’t affected me. I think I am only realising now how it has affected me, I will never ever forget this. I still haven’t reported it, I don’t know why, I feel hopeless like it will do nothing anyway, and won’t be taken seriously because he never actually raped me. But I do plan to report it soon and I don’t blame myself in any way, and no girl ever ever ever should.
I’ve been catcalled twice this year now , both times I was too shocked to react and just went along with my life. It isn’t until I saw the ted talk on everyday sexism that it hit me that I was “old enough” to be sexualized , because if you think about it, no one cat calls little girls or kids , it starts usually after these girls are seen as women in society and I think that’s quite sad because often times these girls who are now seen as women, may still be innocent and defenseless.
I’m a first year college student. Just turned 19. I live on campus and have never before felt so unsafe. Whether it be from older students or men old enough to be my father, every single time I leave my dorm I get honked at, shouted at, jeered at, stared at and I shouldn’t be. It’s completely disgusting. I look really young too and strangers don’t know my age. It’s gross. Just gross.
I’m a third year law student at university, and the 60+ year old Dean of the Law Faculty is known by everyone as an “overly friendly” man. I was unlucky enough to run into him on the ground floor of a university building with no one else around. He seemed really kind at first, asking how my studies were going. He then proceeded to touch my shoulder, then rub my arms and lower back, all the while getting closer to me and talking about how difficult a law degree is to get and how he is so happy there are more women graduating. Then, some people entered the room and he stepped back extremely quickly. He knew what he was doing was wrong. He is nationally regarded as an expert, and there is no way the faculty aren’t aware of his behaviour. They will never do anything, despite how completely inappropriate it is. After talking to others it became clear he invades the space of every female student he teaches. However, this behaviour is not covered by the university’s code of conduct, so there is nothing we can do; he knows that. It would also likely cause huge detriment to our studies due to the power he holds over us. I have no problem with addressing any harassment I have received before, but the situation and his power have made it impossible for me to report it without doing more detriment to myself than him.
At the university I attend, there is a student-only nightclub, which I go to every week with my friends and it is usually a good night out. It is commonplace in these environments for people, especially women, to be subjected to some form of harassment or assault, to which me and my girl-friends are no exception. I have experienced guys grabbing my bum, or trying to grind on me from behind, and most nights there is usually a guy trying to dance with our group and get close to the girls, which is usually unwelcome and seen as creepy by most members of the group. Luckily, almost every time this happens, the guys in the group can sense if the girls are being made to feel uncomfortable, so they will push them away or tell them to leave us alone, or swap positions with us within the circle and block them. They always say to tell them if we need them to help out and step in and are a great comfort to have on a night out
Growing up i developed a keen interest in things like politics, sports and music largely as result of my dad’s interest in them as well and his encouragement for me to do so, so he could have someone he could discuss issues and share ideas with.I learnt quickly enough as I grew older that boys,and later,men, felt awkward and very uncomfortable when I join in discussions related to these interests; they either become quiet and move away or they try to steer the conversation towards more ” feminine” topics like fashion, babies,things of which I had no interest or knowledge of, Initially I considered such attitudes patronizing or ignorant, and occasionally demeaning. Sadly, nothing as changed.