Anon.

At school, boys in my year often make comments about how annoying feminists are or that women should ‘go back to the kitchen’. It’s always said as a joke (and it’s only a small minority who make comments like that) but I’m always left feeling angry that when I try to explain why I disagree they refuse to listen.

I have also noticed that if someone is well liked then their actions often go unchallenged. A [particular boy in my year has slapped girls’ bottoms or simply put his arm around them, which may not sounds like much but is a complete invasion of privacy when you are minding your own business.

School uniform rules are also ridiculous in my opinion – you are not allowed to show your ankles (is this the victorian era??!?) and my friend once found a section in the sixth form dress code which said that you couldn’t where tops that showed our shoulders. When we asked someone why, they said that male members of staff might be distracted. Not students. MEMBERS OF STAFF. I was furious that they said this so casually and completely missed the point of the matter – teach others not to objectify people rather than telling us to cover up!! This reminded me of conversations about rape victims being asked what they were wearing – victim blaming is horrific and completely wrong – but I digress…

I have an afro, and since my hair is not as long as some of my friends’, I have been told that I look like a boy. Not great, but not heartbreaking to hear. However, through people’s looks and comments, (‘you have massive feet’ or ‘you know you have hair between your eyebrows right?’) I have often felt like the ‘ugly one’ or the one who doesn’t quite fit in in my friendship group. My friends themselves have never made me feel this way – they are all proud;y feminists, and always make me feel included – but I can’t help but feel that by not being typically feminine, I’ve ‘gone wrong’ somewhere. Being a mixed race, (closeted) bisexual teen, I often feel like I have to prove to everyone that I am worthy of their respect. I know others have it much worse, but it still makes me feel so frustrated that women are constantly having to earn a place in society. However, it’s sites like this that give me hope – one day, we won’t have to have these discussions. If you’ve made it to the end, thank you for reading (hehe) and remember that you are not alone in feeling upset, frustrated or angry – cheesy as it sounds, we’re in this together.