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.

If you prefer to e-mail me at laura@everydaysexism.com I can upload your story for you instead. Follow us on Twitter (and submit entries by tweet) at @EverydaySexism.

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Hannah

My mother and I live 3 hours apart and like to meet up at interesting places for a coffee every month or so. This month we went to an animal sanctuary. This happened when I ordered 2 coffees at the refreshments desk after my mother had already been chatting to staff there. Note: I’m a veterinarian and my mother likes to drop this into conversation at every opportunity. She’s proud I guess and I am mildly embarrassed by it but don’t mind too much.

Me: « 2 coffees please »
Male server: « And how long has the young lady been a vet? »
Me: *slightly taken aback by the condescending tone and non-sequitur* « I’ve been qualified 2 years »
*Awkward pause*
Male server: « Is that all you’re going to say? »
Me: *looks blank*
Male server: « Did you not notice that I gave you a compliment? »
Me: *looks blank*
Male server: « I said YOUNG lady »
My mother: « She is young! That’s just a statement not a compliment »
Male server: *holding the milk out of reach* « Well I said you were young and that’s a compliment. You should notice that I’ve complimented you. »
Me: « Can I have the milk please? »
Male Server: « I said you were a young lady »
Me: *reaches over to take milk and walks away* « Well thank you for that attempt at a compliment »

Later, same male server approached to clear empty mugs.

MS: « How old are you? »
Me: « 28 »
MS: « You don’t look like it » (Note: this is a lie. I look late 20s. Which is my age.)
MS: « See, that was another compliment. I’m 28 too. I don’t look my age either do I? Are you going to compliment me? »
Me: « No » *leaves*

Grrrr can we not even get coffee at an animal sanctuary without the self-righteous « You should be grateful for male attention » attitude?!

Caroline

While what I’m reporting isn’t as serious as something like rape, I still find it important and I want to publicize it. I am in the 8th grade and I’m going into high school next year. I’ve been bullied and harassed in the past so when someone says something offensive or rude to me I try to ignore it, move forward, and stay positive. At my school, there are multiple guys who make “jokes” to me. They’ll say things like “that’s what she said” and call girls sexists or feminazis when they point out that a “joke” a guy made went too far. (Yes, they’ll call the girls sexist!?) While these guys have never actually hurt anyone, they have the mindset that this is harmless and totally okay. When I told one boy at my school that he was making sexist comments and needed to stop, he just said that I was being sensitive and needed to relax. No one else spoke up either. This is NOT okay. A baby isn’t born sexist, they’re taught to be that way. By who? Our society. We need to make it clear that this is not okay! A majority of rapists, sexual assaulters, and sexual shamers have all committed actions like these. If we don’t shut behavior like this down when it happens, we are just breeding young boys into future sexists! We need change! I may only be fourteen but there are toddlers who are raped and sexually assaulted by men and pedophiles every day. On a side note, I am also a proud Jew. And people may not realize this when they first meet me, but I have family members who were murdered in the Holocaust. They were shot by Nazi soldiers on the outskirts of Hungary or killed in the gas chambers of concentration camps. When people call me a Feminazi, I want to punch them. People don’t realize that comparing me to the people that murdered my family is one the worst things they could ever say to me. It doesn’t matter that they didn’t know that I’m Jewish or that I have family that died in the Holocaust, they should never have said that to me that in the first place! I don’t want to grow up in a society where I feel like I am less of a human being just because of my sex or gender. People may think that just because we “have the vote” we live in a post-feminist society, but we don’t! We need to come together and help society see that sexism is wrong, because if we don’t, who will?

Talia

I am 11 years old and I normally play with the boys at lunchtime but today they decided to play a game where you tackle each other down the hill. Now I’m not a very violent person so I hesitated but agreed to play any way. The boys immediately responded, “Oh, this is more of a boy game because it’s too rough for girls.” So I got all my friends and went up to them and asked again. Again, all I got was the same answer. The next day, I decided that I didn’t need their opinion because it was my choice. So whether they liked it or not, I played. And I won. They never doubted me again. For all you girls out there, don’t let boys get in your way of life.

Harper

At my school there are things like boys ganging up on the one or two girls who are playing basketball or not letting the girls play. That has happened to me a few times. One time one boy started untying my best friends shorts.
Sure they were just decoration but he touched her without her consent.
He said later it was a joke and when I said touching someone without their consent isn’t a joke he was like, don’t be such a feminist.
He also didn’t get into that much trouble.
And my friend,she was so freaked out. We all were.

Bernadine

When I was 14 my parents and I were at Costco standing in line at the register. This 40 year old man in front of us started to help us load some of our groceries onto the converyer belt without anyone asking for help. I thought he was just being nice so I smiled at him as he helped. My dad asked me to go throw some wrappers in the garbage so I left the line and didn’t realize that man followed me. After throwing away the garbage I turned around to see him kind of hunched over and walking up to me with his hands together.
“Can I have your phone number?” The man asked me almost shyly and softly so I did not hear him clearly.
Confused and kind of nervous, I said, “ Excuse me?”
“Can I have your phone number?” He said it while slowly coming closer, all hunched over and creepy.
I was scared because this man had the audacity to do this in a public place where my parents’ line of vision, but they were too busy paying for our groceries. I don’t know why, but I just said, “I’m sorry, no!” I ran back to my parents and hid behind my 4’ 11” mom by the register.
While we were in the car, I went over the incident over and over again. Was it because he thought I liked him since I smiled when help load our groceries? Were my pants too tight? For a while, I thought he maybe had a mental disorder because of how he was hunched over and acted awkward. That should not excuse those actions though. Reguardless, I was scared, scared to tell my parents or report him while we were still in Costco.
During the car ride home I joked about it to kind of just slide it into the conversation. My parents were shocked. They said that I should have told them and they would have gone straight to security. They were right; I don’t have to spare that guy’s feelings and I shouldn’t have said sorry to him even though it was an impulsive answer. My parents even joked, “He asked for your number? You should have given him 911!”
Now I’m 16 and am becoming an anti-human trafficking activist. I have a better understanding that what is “normal” is not what is always right. I still remember that day very clearly and I want to inform other boys and girls that even something like an old man asking for your number should not be taken lightly.

Anna Williams

I saw an advert at the cinema on 9 June 2018 for Open University courses. They were being promoted on the potential benefits to your career. This included the line that as a result of being on an OU course, “Mark got s pay rise, Phil got a promotion and Sam impressed her boss”. (I may not have got the names 100% correct, but the main wording is as stated.). The implication was that the men got ACTUAL rewards in their careers, but the poor girl Sam was sidelined and just got a pat on the head. Ok, they did have a pic of a woman labelled as a physicist, but dear God, the OU really aren’t getting the message, and this ad is so wide of the mark, so patronising, so insulting, and so bloody ignorant!! Their women’s studies course must be rubbish if they can put out crap like this. Morons!

Johanna

A few days ago, I was outside my flat, cleaning and working a bit on my RV when a car full of young guys (maybe 24yrs) stopped next to me. One guy leaned out of the window and asked me if id like to have a threesome with him.
Him, me, and my baby… I’m 8 months pregnant

I just turned away. I was to suprised about that crazy comment, to come up with something.

They all laughed, and drove away

Bethany

I was out with a girlfriend in Newcastle (Uk). We had been to a comedy show and decided to go somewhere to dance afterwards. I was driving so wasn’t drinking . We went into a venue with live music and were enjoying dancing together. We are two heterosexual single women but we were just enjoying our girls night. Two men came over to dance with us and ignored repeated attempts by both of us to move away. One eventually gave up but the other kept sidling closer to each of us. We ignored him and eventually left to dance near a sh in another room. We met a group of lads on a night out together. We were dancing near and with them and everything’s was friendly. I sat down as I was hot and three of the men made a joke of fanning me while I sat there. I laughed at the joke … and suddenly one of them jumped into my lap straddling me , another jumped onto the arm ignored the chair at my shoulder. I felt uncomfortable but tried to be polite and pushed them off with a laugh. One then again jumped onto my lap and took several shoves to get him off. One of he guys obviously didn’t approve and sat shaking his head, the rest laughed at the joke … I went outside as was feeling very uncomfortable by this point. I didn’t want to leave my friend so once I’d cooled off and my heart rate had settled down I went back in. I realised my phone battery was low and with a sick child at home I wanted to get back to my car before it died so told my friend I wouldn’t be going soon and could I give her a lift. We decided to dance to one more song before we went. I got up to go to the dance floor and she started talking to one of the group of boys. I waited beside the dance floor for her but another of the guys grabbed my arm to pull me over to dance. I pulled my arm back and told him I was waiting for my friend. He again pulled me, I repeated myself. He then grabbed both my wrists and pulled me over to dance, despite me trying to pull my arms back he resisted until I pulled hard and pushed him off. I left the club to the bemusement of my friend who hadn’t seen this and ended up in tears outside. I’m sure these were “nice guys” who feel they don’t do anything to contribute to tape culture and ongoing sexism…

Myrtle

I own a small bookstore. Over the course of working retail I have discovered that men and woman are rude in quite different ways: women are rude to you, personally. Men though, are rude because it has never occurred to them that they can’t say whatever they want, to women.

The other day a man came in and bought a copy of one of that series which started with “French Women Don’t Get Fat”.

He asked me, “Have you read FWDGF?” “No I haven’t”, I replied, politely.

“You should”, he said, “All Australian women should. It teaches them style”, and off he went.