Once when I was 17, I was leaving my place of work and walking out to where my mum was parked in our car. There were a couple of drunk men outside making fun of one of our delivery drivers who had just arrived back at the store. It was nighttime and I knew it wasn’t safe for me to get involved, so I kept walking. They noticed me and started yelling at me. I was scared but I didn’t want them to know, so I didn’t speed up or turn around. They yelled at me, referring to me as the name of the place I worked, and before I closed the car door, I heard “show us your -“. I told my mum once I was in the car and she did not seem surprised or angry at all. It was just another day. That was the first moment I became keenly aware of how normalised sexual harassment is, and it sickens me.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org I can upload your story for you instead. Follow us on Twitter (and submit entries by tweet) at @EverydaySexism.
Search through everyday sexism entries
Add your story:
I am a twenty three year old woman. I was working night shifts a few months ago and got off work at 4 AM. I was on my way back home ( I was riding my motorbike as I don’t have a car) and I slowed down a bit to take a turn. This guy pulls up next to me (also on a motorbike) and tugs at my clothes in an attempt to make me stop, he showed me pornography on his phone. In this moment, I thought I am going to be raped and this is it.I sped up and he kept following me. I finally reached a point where there were some people on the road and I begged them to stop and help me. As soon as he saw me talk to these people, he sped off. Ever since that day, I have been traumatized to the core. I never step out of my house without pepper spray, I am always on alert even during the day.
Sadly ,this isn’t the only time I have been harassed or assaulted. I was in 10th grade when a boy grabbed my breasts. On public transport, men have tried to touch me and rub themselves up against me.
I am just so tired of living my life in fear. And its so sad that every woman I know has been through something like this.
I am seventeen years old. I got wolf whistled at on a run yesterday by a 30-40 year old man. last year a man came up to my mother and asked ‘to buy my pussy’ it was 5:30 in the evening. In year 8 I was at a bus stop in my uniform coming home from school, men knocked from inside a pub window and told me to come in for a drink, when I turned away they called me a slut. On a run when I was 15 I passed a group of boys who said ‘run fat bitch run’ and ‘ let me see those tits bounce’ as I passed one slapped by bum. I came home and cried and it took a year for me to go for a run again. I saw a man in the gym who was in my sisters year in primary, he is 21 I am 17, he looked me up and down and said ‘ well you’ve grown up ‘ and winked. I was in year 6 when a classmate said he could see my bra and that I have big tits for someone my age. I was rock climbing with a youth organization when a staff member, a 50 year old man, said ‘you have child bearing hips’, the same man never attended any sports events other than swimming, where we would be in swimming costumes all day, everyone knew why he chose to attend. I donated 17 inches of hair to create wigs, now ‘ I look like a boy with tits ‘. I didn’t respond to a boy on snapchat when he asked what knickers I had on, he said ‘your just a little slut who hasn’t had a good fucking yet’. the same boy saw me out and told me your look better when you smile. I go to rugby games, in queues old men grab my bum. I played rugby from ages 13-15, men who I told said ‘ girls playing rugby is something id like to watch ‘. I went on a walk with my older sister in the afternoon, walked past a van as a man said ‘don’t be boring show us those tits’. I was awarded an amazing engineering scholarship after months of hard work, I overheard the boys and a group of their friends who applied but didn’t succeed call me ‘fat’ ‘ugly’ ‘at least she has good tits’, they said ‘ she only got it because she is a girl but she wont do anything with her life’ another called me ‘stupid’ the lesson after he asked for my help, ‘but i thought I was stupid harry?’. later that night three of those boys messaged me one apologized, one didn’t say anything after I blanked him, the last one told me he only wanted to motorboat me anyway. I told the teacher who said what, I cried, something I never do, and missed my bus. he took the names of the boys who said things, that piece of paper was on his desk till I left school, nothing happened. ‘rugby? that’s a boys sport’. I’ve never had a boyfriend, I am constantly teased at home for this. I broke down in class once ‘ she’s just on her period’ my auntie had been diagnosed with stage three cancer that morning. I got told I was fat in year 8 by a boy I barely knew, since then I have made myself sick when I eat badly, its been four years I did it two days ago. ‘ do you think going to the gym makes you attractive, it doesn’t’. ‘well you developed early, men cant help it’ ‘ Ruth, I know you’re not the best looking but you have boobs and that will get you somewhere with boys’. ‘sexy’ ‘fit’ ‘massive tits’ ‘blowjob lips’ never ‘intelligent’ or ‘strong’.
I am 17. this is a fraction of my experiences, whistled at weekly, boys telling me what they would do to me. I feel worthless, a piece of meat. I am sat here crying at half two in the morning feeling worthless as I relive the thing people have said to me. I go out and im scared, I walk home a 5 foot 2 inch girl whose only protection is the keys she has stuck in between her fingers. I have many men in my life who I love, my father, brother, grandfather, my friends who have often been witness to men whistling at me ‘ignore them’ says matty while I have to stop ethan from trying to punch them. I love them and I know they would never hurt me. but in general I am scared of men and boys. I worry about dark alleys and walking past vans, just as I also worry about walking down the street in broad daylight with my mother. this is not okay.
I am 17 years old not even an adult yet.
Around my second year in university I was on a night out with friends. We went to a club and were having a great time on the dance floor. Then I feel a hand brushing my body. I move away. Then I feel a hand on my ass. I turn around and a guy stares at me with a sheepish grin on his face. I tell him no. After the third or fourth time, me and the girls move away to a different part of the dance floor. Suddenly I feel a hand grabbing my ass, and trying to go places. I turn around and there was the same guy grinning at me. I was disgusted and angry.
I threw my drink at him and punched him the face, hard. You’d think he’d be shocked, but he actually had the gall to offer me another drink and a chat at the bar ‘to make up for it’. So I told him to fuck off unless he wanted the left fist too, and showed it to him. By that time my girl friends must also have looked ready to break his nose, so he went away.
For a long time I was mad that he didn’t stop at ‘no’. But really he should not be touching random girls in the first place.
being told not to worry that my boyfriend had already learnt his theory and I hadn’t because “boys are born knowing that stuff”.
I’m a 14 year old girl and when I had just turned 14 and it was Valentine’s Day . Me and my two girl friends went out to eat and found roses sitting on the ground so we gave them to each other to support each other and as I was walking home a man started yelling at me he said “ hey, you got lucky today didn’t you and kept yelling at me to turn around and pay attention to him and then started revving his engine and following me. It was raining so I had an umbrella and covered my face and didn’t turn around. No one in the other cars with the windows open or near me pay attention or tried to help. I turned the corner and ran . Then I called my dad to pick me up but I was pacing around the neighbour hood for 20 min waiting for him and trying to stay away from this man. When my dad got there I was standing in the rain crying. This isn’t like me I am a pretty strong person and people usually come to me for advice and I’m sort of The mum in our year level at school. I felt very scared for the first time in a long time and I felt vulnerable.
I don’t no why it was me, I don’t know what I did wrong because my dad said you could have gone into someone’s house or walked back to the house because I wasn’t that far away but the thing is you can’t just go to someone house and knock on their door and wait for them to open it even if the think about opening it .
There wasn’t really anyone I could talk to and when i told my mum she didn’t really say anything, so I immediately thought it was stupid of me to consider this wrong of the man and I still think that.
It’s 6 months later and I haven’t walked home from the train station ever since because I have been to scared and when I tried to walk to my friends house down the street I asked her to meet me half way because I was so scared.
What really hurts me is that girls at my school have expireinecd boys hugging them and touching them in a weird place and being uncomfortable with it. AND NOT ASKING FOR IT I don’t know how to help them and I wish boys at school were taught this sort of thing because school if meant to be a safe place as is the suburb you live in. I wish they knew what had happened and I wish I could tell them what is right and wrong
I am proof that it can happen to the strongest of people and I can’t imagine how bad these things get if mines not even that major.
I really want to help make a difference but I don’t no how I’m still a kid after all.
I want to share a synopsys of my experience as to try and keep it short. To shorten my story does not lessen it’s impact on my life and how it has affected people around me. I think of myself as a survivor and advocate for others to share their stories. It is so important to rip away the veil and expose the inequities each other face every day.
I grew up middle class, we never needed for much, but from it came a great price. What I lacked was affection and love. My mom couldn’t be bothered to handle my problems. Problems that culminated from the domestic violence between my mother and step dad and my step dads lack of boundaries throughout my childhood. When I complained she shrugged it off and provided him excuses. My step dad molested me and ignored pleas for privacy during showers or dressing. Fast forward to after I liberated myself at 17 by moving out. I went to live with my father and step mom only to have my father also molest me. During that time I was also exploited while pursuing a career in body art. The owner exploited me sexually in order to gain experience in the field. In my naivity and history of sexual experience I thought “this is normal”. It is not normal. I did not come to this realization until I was raped by my now ex-partner. He had witnessed all of my abuses and still proceeded to repeat those abuses to me. I survived Stockholm. Since a young age I had only known sexism and exploitation of girls/women. I repeated the same cycles of abuse from every man I ever attempted to seek relationships from. After my ex raped me I had an epiphany of self worth. I revisited every trauma from the big things mentioned to the passing sexism of strangers trying to pick me up while walking down the street(a very common occurance). I continue to revisit these memories as I tell my story to anyone willing to listen. I am not ashamed but have become empowered. Each time I can share these stories I feel as though I heal a little more. And when I hear others stories I can empathize and uplift.
I still hear the the voices of my abusers as it haunts my progress toward living free from domestic abuse and sexual misconduct. Child abuse comes in many forms across all classes, rape is rape no matter if it’s a partner/friend/family member/stranger, domestic violence can happen to absolutely anyone at any stage of life. These are the conversations we need to be having to normalize speaking out and condemn toxic behaviors. I still battle the passing sexism of strangers and address it head on. I am educated and brave enough now to protect myself and stand up for others. Keep sharing and thanks for reading.
I am a man. The oldest child, with 3 younger sisters. Growing up I was always favored over them in some way. It was most apparent in our grandmother, who would coddle me and defend me from getting scolded for my mistakes, but wouldn’t extend that same privilege to her granddaughters. She definitely held me to a different standard than my sisters, but it wasn’t until the three of them started pointing it out that I started noticing it too.
For example all four of us siblings know our way around a kitchen by now, but where I got to learn at my own pace, after graduating from college, my sisters were roped into helping in the kitchen as early as high school. Even now, when they help around the kitchen, it is only what is expected of them, but when I do it I am praised and lauded.
I worry about what it must do to my sisters’ self-esteem, when they’re treated as less important than me by the people who are supposed to be our home. They take refuge in each other, I think. I want to be there for them the way my grandmother was there for me – as a sort of shield against the real world – but as we get older that seems less like something they need. I just want them to know I’m there for them in any way that they need.
Apparently my fianceè’s coworker/uncle gave him the following sound advice: “you should never let your woman rope you into helping out with the housework. It’ll spoil her!”
First of all, he does not “help out”, we do the housework together and in a shared way because we both live in the house. Second, there is no such option for any man that lives with me to decide wether or not he will participate in the housework. I make money too, I contribute just as much to the shared expenses, why would anyone think it’s a possibility to let me do all the cooking, cleaning and washing alone?
I am a lecturer in a department with mainly women, 2 men. When I became pregnant one of the men said to me ‘all pregnant women should be sacked’
Sexism towards women is not restricted to men. In the same department, another pregnant women was made to feel ill at ease by female colleagues who criticised her for taking time off work ill in her 3rd trimester. The discussion was that female colleagues who had chosen not to have children should not have to step in and do the lecture on behalf of someone who had chosen to have a baby.
I think internalised sexism by women is an equally big issue in the department where I work and more widely in society