avery

One of my closest friends is a senior in high school and has been raped on two different occasions. One of the boys that sexually assaulted her has gone to college but it now texting her asking if they can meet and the other is still in high school, a junior and she sees him all the time (he also wants her to hook up with him again). She doesn’t know how to handle the situation and I don’t know how to talk to her about it seeing as I don’t think I know the full story and I have no personal experience with what’s she’s going through. My only guess right now is to be a supportive as possible and be there for whenever she wants to talk.

avery

I live two blocks away from a college campus. There’s a house for rent that every couple of years has a bunch of guys living in it and there’s a house a block over that’s a frat house. I walked to and from school every morning of middle school (aged 11, 12, and 13) and I walk home everyday now as a sophomore in high school. At least once a week I would get catcalls from cars driving by where they would yell things like “hey sexy” and “I heard you fucked my sister”. I was 11 when one guy came up behind me took one of my headphones out and said “hey baby what are ya listening to?” At 11 I understood what sexism was and how men could make you feel uncomfortable. So I looked up at this man-child and responded that I was 11 and asked him to go away. The guy didn’t talk again but he walked beside me for another 10 minutes before turning. Maybe he had to walk that way anyway or maybe and more likely he was a creep that got rejected by and 11-year-old.

Noelle

My male roommate and I were arguing about sexism as a social construct and his immediate response was to call me a cunt and tell me I was lying to myself. He did not get the irony.

Hannah

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.

Alice

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.

Kai

I’m currently in high school and I’m Asian, female, and bisexual. I here a lot being spoken about me behind my back. A lot of sexual things. This one time I got asked-to my face-by an older boy if “I was sexier and better at sex. Because I’m Asian and bisexual”. When I told someone they brushed me off saying “you should take it as a compliment, they’re noticing you!” . Honestly, it feels very degrading when I’m trying to be myself in the American education system, and constantly I’m sexualized for who I am. And another time was this kid said I was “less than a person, because I was born in another country”. I am a legal citizen, and even though English is my second language, it’s still my primary language. Ugh! It’s just really frustrating.

Ana

At the age of 8 I was sexually assaulted by my best friend. She was enduring abuse at home and expressed her pain by doing the same onto me. At 10 again, I was sexually assaulted by a girl on the bus. My teacher saw her doing it and kept walking. At age 13 I was being sexually harassed online by a boy, which lasted for years. 15 I had my first abusive boyfriend who sexually assaulted me. At 16 my manager raped me and continued to do so for almost 2 years. When cops were called, he was in the middle of the act, he was only given a minimum of a few years and I was sent to a mental facility. I had Stockholm Syndrome. Along with anorexia and self harm issues. I was punished for what he did. The victim blaming still goes on till this day. Now, a few months ago, I had to quit my job because I was being sexually harassed by coworkers. I’m bisexual, I’m mixed race (latina and italian), and I’m a woman. All these things that happened were ignored but somehow I manage to remind myself that I’m a victor, a survivor. Not a victim. For those who commented before me and will comment after. You are beautiful. No matter your race, age, body type, sexual orientation, religion. It doesn’t matter. We are one.

Julia

I was in my advertising class on Monday and people were giving presentations on a product or company that they selected to create a campaign for. One of my peers did Mercedes Benz and said he was gearing his advertising campaign towards men because women don’t care about their cars at all. They just drive a Prius he said.

kate

I was five years old and walking home from school with a group of kids from my street. It was a warm day and half-way home, I took off my jacket. I was wearing a yellow tank top with red flowers. An older boy whistled at me and said that I had sexy arms. Even at that age, I felt shame. I felt embarrassed. I wondered what I could do differently next time. I never wore that shirt again.

Maya

I’m 14, and I was groped this summer at a water park. I was with my day camp hanging out with my friends in a crowded pool. The next thing I know I’m alone and this man has one hand on my butt and the other on my stomach pulling me closer to him. He starts groping me and then I called to my friend and he let go. I was shaken up so I went to sit down and he followed me and gave me a flirty “hello” and walked away. I went over to my counselors and stayed with them for the rest of the trip.