I was hobbling down the corridor at work on my crutches after hurting my knee at football, and a male colleague asked “What have you done?”. I said that I had torn my ligament playing football to which he replied “What are you doing playing that? That’s a boys’ sport!”. I really couldn’t tell if he was joking or not, but seeing as I didn’t really know him, I thought probably not. I was so astonished by the outdated cliché remark, all I could say back was “It is 2020 you know”, but I wish I’d have been able to think quickly enough to say something a bit more thought-provoking.
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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The first person to draw attention to my developing breasts in public was my dad. He said it was to toughen me up and ready me for the outside world. I was about 11, I am now 45 and it still pisses me off
When I started reading the book I spoke to my sister about it and we both exchanged stories of sexual assault/harrassment, and when our mum came in the room she told us of an instance of assault that we didn’t know about, as well as one her friend recently shared with her. These instances were just the ones that had stuck in our heads because they were the most disturbing/scary/memorable but I made a list on my notes on my phone later that night of all the instances I could remember and split it into sexual assault and sexual harrassment. JUST in the sexual assualt list I had over 20 instances that I could remember starting from school years, and I’m almost certain its not an exhaustive list. It was actually effortful to remember all of the instances and made me realise how I’d actually dismissed most of them and how I’d normalised them. But actually writing them out and reading them back made me extremely emotional and brought to light how utterly fucked up it was. Most of the instances I felt I couldn’t speak up because even if people believed me nothing would be done anyway. So it’s easier to stay silent.
I told a man about sexual assaults I’d endured. He told me I was lying and a man-hater trying to make men look bad. Sad thing is, I’d only told him of three of them.
I am a professional in my late 30s. I had my year end review in work this week. I got a top rating. I’m the only one in my team to get that. I have had a good year and worked hard for it. What bothered me is that my boss got very defensive when I tried to initiate a conversation about pay. At the end of the conversation he said he hoped to see me smiling more than I had done in this meeting/ Zoom call.
I was stretching after cross country practice and a man yelled at me to “stick my booty up, stick it up.” I told my father and he said: “Well you’re a girl, get used to it.”
I’m a senior manager in a blue chip company. At a dinner last night the former president of our company was sat next to me, I introduced myself and he asked if I was a personal assistant for our male colleague at the table. I said no I’m the regional manager. He was shocked.. I was shocked that he assumed I was an assistant. He proceeded to call me young lady (I’m 40) and told me what I should say my male colleagues. I deserved to be at that table, I used my voice and experience to try and change his perspective of women. Pointless though.
A few years ago, I worked with an older man who I trusted a lot and was a good friend to me. I had no reason to mistrust him and I always looked forward to being on shift with him as I knew we would have a good laugh! This one time, he gave me a friendly hug and squeezed my bum and laughed. At the time it felt gross, I didn’t fancy him at all. But we laughed it off. When I think of it now, it makes me feel sick.
I happened to be on a crowded bus on my way back to school when I was 17. A man stood right behind me and placed his hands on my waist as he was getting even closer and closer and eventually started to practically grind on me. I initially froze and did not know what to do but when I finally got the courage to ask him to leave me alone he just laughed in my face. I looked around in the bus trying to find someone that might help and I noticed that everyone had seen what was happening and yet nobody did anything. When I got off the bus the man followed me and grabbed my hand telling me to come with him. I repeatedly said no and asked him to leave me alone but he would not let go of my hand. Eventually, some stranger grabbed him behind his back and told me to run off as fast as I could.
I am a secondary school student who aspires to become an aerospace engineer. I am top of my class in physics and chemistry, yet when I mention my future plans, everyone says: “Oh, isn’t engineering really hard? I don’t think you’d be able to handle it, maybe if you like science so much you should be a (less complex, ‘womanly’ job).” Yet when my male classmate expresses his wish to be an engineer, no one bats an eyelid. When I counter this, I get called a bitch who must be on the blob. And they say sexism doesn’t exist.