The Everyday Sexism Project exists to catalogue instances of sexism experienced on a day to day basis. They might be serious or minor, outrageously offensive or so niggling and normalised that you don’t even feel able to protest. Say as much or as little as you like, use your real name or a pseudonym – it’s up to you. By sharing your story you’re showing the world that sexism does exist, it is faced by women everyday and it is a valid problem to discuss.

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Another story a bit like Catherine’s (of 13th April 2018)

In the 80s, I rented a room in a flat with 3 other girls in a North London Council block. One evening, I passed a guy I knew slightly and didn’t fancy at all on the stairs. We started chatting and he asked me if I’d Iike a coffee at his flat. Because I had a lot of male friends at the time who were very decent I misjudged his intentions and said yes. As usual I was dressed modestly, in a summer dress.
As soon as we were in the flat, his manner changed suddenly and he pushed me intto his room and started taking my clothes off. I kept saying ‘no’ and he slapped me and told me to be quiet because his mother was in the next room (I could hear the television.. I stopped talking and then tried to crawl off the bed instead to the door. He pulled me back by my legs and did what he intended. I was stunned and shocked by how sudden this was and by his strength (he was an amateur boxer).
I don’t remember anything about how he was, getting dressed or getting away after that until the point where I was back in my flat. The other girls were home and saw immediately something was wrong. They aske me what had happened and I just said I’d been downstairs at X’s flat. (Thirty years later, I don’t remember his name.). It was summertime and they pointed out that my knees were very bruised but I just said I was OK again. I know they were concerned and didn’t believe me but nothing else was said.
For many years, I reproached myself for not being able to speak up and my mind kept trying to convince me I hadn’t been raped after all – it was just a terrible ‘misunderstanding’. Now that I understand this was an explainable reaction for someone who had been sexually abused as a young child in a public hospital in mainland Europe (“if you make a noise or tell anyone, they won’t believe you”), my reaction makes more sense but I still feel ashamed about it all.
Although I’ve mentioned to my long-term partner that I was raped, this is just one event from my very abused past and I’ve never described the details to anyone before or been able to articulate them this clearly. Even today, I wouldn’t go to the police as it would just be my word against his as I lost touch with the other girls from the flat and because I’m pretty sure that, despite the glaring evidence to the contrary, the guy somehow kidded homself that he hadn’t done anything wrong. (I don’t know how I know this – maybe it was just the way he continued to behave afterwards as though nothing had happened, at all, while I made a point of avoiding his attempts to speak to me.)
Catherine, I hope sharing my thoughts about what happened to me helps your understanding of your own situation.

Pritika

A few months back, I learned that my uncle narrates weird bedtime stories to my little cousin. And guess what, it’s about me getting married just after finishing my college. One day my aunt even came to my mom and started blabbering about one of her acquaintance, who can be the best suitor for me. I was hurt very badly.Maybe I’m overreacting but I’m doing so because it’s my life, and I’m only 16, who the f*ck gave them the rights to decide about my future. I can’t say anything to them because it’s not taken very nicely by the society though I wanna curse them to death.
I live in a developing country with very strict rules of the society and chauvinism at every corner of it, nevertheless I dream of flying high and being free.

kate

the first time i got catcalled i was 12 years old. as a heavier girl with wider hips and a larger chest than both girls my age, i didn’t look 12. i live about 2 hours from Melbourne and this incident was the first time i had been there without my parents. however, i was with my brother, who was 13 and rather useless. during this one day, i had been told about my ass, my boobs and what people wanted to do to me in general four times. in. one. day. i don’t know whether my brother din’t hear them, or just chose to ignore them, but he din’t do anything. i just thought it was normal.
in the four years since this, several more incidences have happened, and until now, i haven’t shared any
these include,
-being groped at a school event
-being followed around by a man in Japan
-told that i should ‘cover up’ because ‘i’m asking for it’

Jess

To the random dude in the street – no, I’m not ignoring your invitation to suck your dick because you’re black, I’m ignoring it because you’re a random dude in the street.

ZZY

I am a Chinese girl and when I was 12 at McDonald’s, a middle-aged man walked past behind me twice for no reason while I was bending down to wash my hands and rubbed his fingers on my butt twice. Each time it didn’t last for long and I was too young to realize anything. Some time later I realized what had happene and I was really afraid and disgusted for days.

Enjoy the view.

I’m almost 20 years older than my boss. We started at the same time. He with little or no experience, me with 30 years experience. Apparently, he has a better understanding of what I might want in a new office and that do, given i was excluded from the planning and execution. Apparently we didn’t want a bathroom. Now each time I have to go to the bathroom I have to take a walk in the elements to another building. Maybe it’s a little thing, but I doubt any right minded person would choose this option, and it was a choice. Not sure, can’t really ask the other women as they were not asked either.

Veronica

There is a house undergoing renovations on my walk home from work. The workers were taking a break on the front porch steps and as I walked by one of then said, “Hey beautiful, want to take a break with us?” This took me aback since catcalling rarely happens once I’ve made it into my neighborhood. I stopped dead on the curb (my incredulity made the men laugh) and blurted, “How much of a stereotype can you be? Does that ever even work?” I hadn’t worked myself up to being angry yet, I was still taken aback. The men laughed even harder and one of them said, “You’re actually the third person to say that today!” as though it were some accomplishment to join the ranks of harassed women. And it made me so angry that even after those other (at least two) women snapped at them, the men had no shame about how they were treating strangers and they seemed to think harassing women was an amusing pastime.

Cherie Bradley

The way people at work use me as a way to talk to someone. They know the persona of ‘dumb blonde’ is feasible as it matches and links with my appearance. I’ve spent 28 years being mocked and stories being told of things that I have done that is to be repeated for humorous effect. Most people make mistakes but I make silly, repeatable stories that are fuelled by my appearance.