I was volunteering at a food drive at church with my mom. Out of nowhere, a man came up to me and took a picture with just me (not a group picture). I found it strange. Later when I told my mom about this, she told me that he’d said I was pretty (I was wearing a face mask and a cap, which thoroughly concealed my face) and something along the lines of “if only she were older.” I am 15. My mom tried to convince me that it was a compliment.
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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I was at the gym squatting when a guy I had never seen before deemed that I needed help. I didn’t. He came mid-set to ‘spot’ me, literally hugging me from behind as I was lowering down. After that rep I stopped, pretended I was done, and left the gym. This was 5 years ago. What bothers me to this day is not slapping that MF instead of cutting my workout short and leaving.
As I walked back home alone after a day out, I was groped by a man who I didn’t recognise. When I told my friends/family, even teachers, about it, they all asked what I was wearing.
I was 9 at a school event. This was my first experience with sexual harassment that I can remember. We were in the room for the Frozen sing-a-long (this was 2014). He was sitting behind me. He started using these cheesey pick up lines on me. I told him it annoyed me. I told him to stop. He didn’t. I continued to tell him to stop. He didn’t. Eventually, I told him I would punch him if he said one more word. He found a loophole. He told his friend what to say to me. I kept telling him to stop. He didn’t listen. Later I found out that he did that to every girl in class. Every. Girl. He hit on every girl and didn’t listen when every girl told him no. We were 9 and 10. Sexism is taught at too young an age.
Several years ago I was working for the University of California, where I experienced subtle harassment from my boss. I took my concerns to his supervisor and I was told that while he wished it were the first time he had heard this complaint, he simply couldn’t act on it, because my supervisor brought so much value to the department.
I was 10 years old, walking home from school when a man in a large white van pulled up to the curb next to me. He asked where I was going and told me that if I got in the van he could get me there faster. I refused, and he said that I was “an ungrateful little bitch”. He said that I was lucky that he even stopped for me because usually he only extended that kindness to pretty little girls, not fat whores like me. At this point, a woman ran up to me and pretended to be my mother to get me away. She walked with me the rest of the way, consoling me. For nearly a year I feared that the man had followed me home. I feared that he knew where I lived and it was only a matter of time until he tried to take me. I never told a soul.
I’m 13, yesterday I was walking to an ice cream shop with a friend when a 20-something-year-old man shouted from his car that he would love to fondle my breasts if only I lost 10 pounds because he didn’t fuck around with fat chicks. Keep in mind I’m 5’4 and 120 pounds. This time I stood up for myself, flipping him off and shouting “I’m a fucking minor”. To which he replied, “Minors don’t dress like hookers”. It’s July, so I was wearing shorts and a loose-fitting crop top. My friend stood up for me too. She was told to shut up and let her legs do the talking.
when i was about 17 i received a snapchat message from a guy i didn’t know. he was friendly at first so i responded. the conversation took a quick turn when he asked me to send nudes. i said no, to which he then decided to send me an unsolicited dick pic and said, “you know you like this.” and proceeded to describe in great detail what he wanted to do to me, despite my disinterest. i remember at the time thinking it was kind of a compliment, and that at least he found me attractive so i shouldn’t be so upset. it took me so long to realize i had been sexually harassed.
I was having lunch with a friend of mine (who is a boy) and a bunch of girls come in making fun of us saying things like “how are the two love birds?” And just generally being rude. It went too far when one of these girls said “Shouldn’t you two be making out on a bench?” It really pisses me off that some people think girls and boys can’t be just friends. The worst part is that there were plenty of people around and no one stood up for us. I know others have faced so much worse but I really needed to get this out.
I am seventeen now. I was sexually harassed when I was 10 years of age. I was harassed by a music teacher and I am talking about it at the age of seventeen for the first time. This incident made me stop playing musical instruments altogether. Feels rather good to be talking about it now.
I often go running alone at a park near my house. The trail I take is low traffic and very narrow. One day I was passing a man on the trail. He stopped me to ask how often I come to the park, where I lived, and what time I visit the park. The man himself seemed odd and so did his line of questioning so I lied and told him days and times I never visit the park.
I feel lucky I haven’t run into this man again; however, there have been other men that have followed me in the park. They stare too long and offer a fake smile.
I know I often feel a vague risk whenever I go out jogging at the park alone. It’s even scarier when I have to pass a group of men.