There was a technical problem with the film my boyfriend and I saw at the cinema. After the film, I went to a male staff member to ask where I can make a complaint. A few moments later my boyfriend appears next to me, and the member of staff turns immediately to him and asks my boyfriend to explain the problem (again). Apparently my word isn’t enough.
I’m a high school teacher, and my male co-workers made a comment about how our male college “had to be at work” a week after he became a father while his wife “got to be at home”, as if growing a human, pushing it out of you, and then taking care of it while recovering from said birth is a vacation compared to coaching a football practice. It deeply concerns me that these are people molding the minds of impressionable teenagers.
My 9 year old daughter regularly plays dinosaurs with one boy. Another boy came over and told the boy playing with my daughter that he needed to stop playing with her so he wouldn’t become a girl. When they kept playing the other boy told my daughter he knew two new dinosaurs “Penissaurus” and “Vaginadon”.
I slept with one of my friends, which we both mutually consented to. We only did it once because well hormones. It was purely casual and we went on with our lives being friends and what not. But one day we were hanging out with friends and he brought me back to his dorm to get food. It was just me and him. I sat on his bed and he got some cereal but didn’t have any milk. So he left to get some but before he did he came back in the room and said “be naked when I get back, k.” . He left before I could say anything, but I was like no. He was drunk so I let it slide. So he came back and was like whatever and we sat on his bed while he ate his cereal. He then was like take your pants off and I said no. He was like why? And I said one I don’t want to and two I’m on my period. He said oh okay… Well suck my dick. And I was laughing at this point, I said no lol. He then took out his penis and he told me about 20 more times where I continued to say no. He then grabbed my head and forced my head down to his penis. I used my arms to cover my face. He tried to do that to me another 10 times where I kept telling him no get off of me. I can’t talk to anyone about this because I’m embarrassed. People will laugh at me. I guess I should just get over it.
Coming out of my last class at university, I was stopped by a young man holding a stack of papers. He pulled me to the side and put one of the papers in front of me, asking me to read the title of the poem he had written (entitled “You’re Beautiful), and told me to “read this whenever you’re having a bad day”. I looked it over, feeling pretty uncomfortable at his insistence that I read it, simply by his body language. He stood in front of me, watching my reaction as I finished it. Upon reading it all, he said “so, what do you think?” What I wanted to say was: “First of all, as a woman, I don’t need ANYONE to tell me I am beautiful, nor do I NEED to be beautiful, or at least YOUR shitty standard of beautiful. If I am to be considered beautiful, it will be on my terms. Secondly, the fact that you would automatically equate what you think my bad day is with not feeling beautiful/pretty/attractive (because that’s every woman’s goal in life, right?) proves to me that you are just another sexist, entitled ass that thinks he is doing me a FAVOR by “complimenting” me. Of course, as a woman, I gave the answer I have been conditioned to give to strangers’ “compliments”. “It’s sweet. Thank you.” I immediately regretted this reaction, and as he walked away pridefully, I took out a pen and scribbled what I really wanted to say on the back of the paper. I found him in the hallway a couple minutes later, in the process of handing another unsuspecting woman a copy of his bullshit. At first chance, I handed it to him, gave him a look, and went on my way. I truly hope he got the message.
A man told me that he thought I was cool and I would be cooler if I were sleeping with him. When I told him that I was engaged, he started to make jokes about how women weren’t really entire people- he said women were worth about a quarter of what men were.
Years ago, I worked at a shop selling vinyl records. In the 80s, many album covers were sexist & borderline lewd— nearly naked women in dog collars, overly lipsticked disembodied mouths sucking popsicles, figures in scant lacy lingerie & high heels kneeling in front of some guy with a guitar. Anyway I worked in the stockroom of this shop and was, for most of the time, the only female. When records were so beat up they were beyond re-sale even as “used” they were tossed, but the racier album jackets went up on the walls. Then more & more explicit pictures of women started to join them. When I complained, my complaints were dismissed and made fun of: “Boys will be boys,” “be a good sport,” etc. When I complained to the owner of the shop, I was told to grin and bear it, even when I renewed complaints when it got to the point where the pictures completely covered the walls and interior door of the only staff bathroom. Alas, one fateful night, I slept with one of the guys, who, within days, “confessed” to the owner (there was a non-fraternisation policy). I was fired. He was suspended for three weeks, with pay.
My Dad tells me at my sister’s wedding that I shouldn’t be wearing the dress I chose for the ceremony presumably because it’s strapless – God forbid I wear a strapless dress when I have sizable breasts, even when the are completely covered. I am the only woman in my family with an hourglass figure and this has caused countless comments about my body, clothing, judgments about my sexuality, judgments about my male friends, slut shaming (with no evidence) comments about “what boys will think/do” and what basically amounts to body policing. My parents are well educated professionals who should know better. I can’t imagine what it would have been like if they hadn’t been. It’s very clear to me that the “sexiness” (whatever that means) of my body disturbs both my parents, not to mention the problems it raises outside of the home. I didn’t chose to have this body – but I love it and am glad it’s mine. But why do I have to constantly worry about it’s effect on other people? I have better things to do with my time!
When I was a sophomore in high school, I had this class called Ap statistics and probability. This is classically a senior or junior class, but I was in it. During class, I had to sit next to an 18-year old who was almost 19. During the first half of the year , he didn’t bother me. However, the second quarter he started to place his hand on my leg and started to move it up. After awhile I asked the teacher to move me and I thought that was the end of it. That was till he started dating my friend. When I told her what happened she told me that he was just friendly and that was just how he was. Then, once she left he came and told me that he didn’t know it made me uncomfortable.
One of the men I worked for (he was my boss) he told me that “if I wasn’t married, I’d have a lot of fun with you-but that would be it.” I am still not sure of why he thought to say this to me. I wore mascara and make up that day, and usually I would not wear any make up at all, and wore ragged ugly clothes too. He then took me out to eat, and attempted to talk to me about his wife not being supportive of him. I felt sorry for him, but he was the most confusing, scary person. I was wrong for working for him for so long, but I felt sorry for him. He also called me nurse ratchet. Prior to him calling me this, I tried to enforce reasonable boundaries. After a while I would loose my temper at times, while at the same time I would always minimize or rationalize his behavior. I thought I was just making a big deal out of nothing! I guess I didn’t realize that you don’t have to be 10 to be sexually abused or harassed. A law firm I worked at had a similar type of person. A certain lawyer would occasionally walk into the room where I had to use the postal machine to weigh out going mail. He wore nice clothes, gold jewelry. I don’t get why I remember that, but anyway he would actually sit on top of a table right across from me, grind his bum on the table, while making small talk with me, and simultaneously pulling at his crotch…..like pulling up his pants, but just near where his bulge was! I think he probably grabbed his balls one time, but it’s not like I was paying attention. True story. I hope this isn’t too graphic. These are just a couple of examples. The list is too long to write out completely.