Where to start… I live in a relatively safe neighbourhood so it feels horrible that I can’t even feel safe walking down my street. When I was 13, I was walking my dog with my younger sister when a group of boys came up to us and told us to give them our money or they’d rape us. I was so shocked that I just froze, but I didn’t give them anything. I am very protective of my younger sister so when my instinct kicked in I told them that they didn’t understand the seriousness of what they had just said and that. they were just trying to show off in front of their group of friends. They walked away. Another day, I was walking home in my school uniform and a man cat-called me on my street. I now can’t feel safe even outside my own house- I’m constantly pulling down my skirt and looking around me and constantly worrying about being touched in crowded spaces. Fortunately I feel secure at school because it has a feminist reputation yet I am absolutely SICK of being treated differently in social and academic terms. When I told my brothers, they said I was exaggerating and just wanted attention. They’re not even adults yet and it breaks my heart that they have already been conditioned like this as children. My relatives have made it clear that they believe my brothers are smarter just because of their gender… they raise their eyebrows when I say I want to study sciences because ‘girls aren’t as good as boys in maths’. They’ve said this to my face. The worst thing is, events like these have happened to most women I know. I’ve been hurt by sexism and I’m not even an adult yet. These things exist and it is so important to share these stories and recognise their importance. To any men that might read this, I’m asking you from the bottom of my heart, not only for me but for millions of other women, please please please hear our stories. Educate yourself about sexism. Be mindful of it and recognise that all your female friends have to face it. And please, when you see an act of sexism taking place, whether it be a misogynistic joke or a sexist comment even if there aren’t any women around, please call it out.
My aunt is an inspiration to us. She’s always been quirky,hilarious and entertaining. We asked her to start a youtube channel as we felt it would be a good platform for her to be creative. Her husband , a self proclaimed “modern” man thinks it’ll bring way too much attention and focus on her and claims it’s not “ideal” for a wife and a mother to venture out in something so public. Basically he wants her shine all for himself and for him to occasionally parade her to his friends like an invaluable artifact aquired. It’s an arranged marriage. He’s clearly insecure that she would have never been his if our family actually married for love.
We used to visit my grandparents’ house frequently when I was little. My grandpa has had a stroke and he’s bedridden. I remember that one day of our visit ( I think I was around 9 back then and my body had started to mature a little) I went in his room to say hi and check up on him and as usual I shook his hand and kissed his cheeks (it’s a custom to do in my country) but when I was turning around to leave he groped my breasts ( not technically breasts I was so young like my body was still like children like there was nothing sexual about my body like wtf) Anyways he groped me and I had no idea what he was doing and I thought it was a normal thing cause he’s my grandpa he wouldn’t do anything weird and again I was only 9. After that he let me go and this happened another time and I remember coming to the kitchen where my parents, my grandma and one of my aunts were there and I don’t clearly remember how exactly but my dad kinda figured out what he was doing Idk maybe he thought it was not that serious or maybe he was afraid of his father ( because now from the things I’ve heard about my grandpa is basically that he was a very abusive, drunken father and husband and … he was just an asshole so maybe my dad is still traumatized about his past… anyways) To be short my dad didn’t really do anything about it (or from what I know because I haven’t really talked about this with him because I don’t know how and I don’t want to see him hurt or have to live with this guilt because I love my dad so much but I know I have to talk about this someday and I will) Anyways that day when the secret was revealed everyone went quiet and … I don’t remember much anymore but from that day on my mum never left me alone with my grandpa and at some point we stopped visiting there that often. Years passed and at 2019 when I was chatting with my mum about my father’s family, she told me that he had also done something similar to her and she had told my dad and my grandma that she will never visit my grandpa alone and still everyone kept quiet … I didn’t really think about what had happened to me till now and I now realize that I was sexually assaulted by my own fucking grandpa who fucking watched me grow up when I was a baby in his arms and he assaulted his own granddaughter. No one really talks about this stuff in my family and I KNOW I’M SURE of it that he has done this to someone else and god knows how many women, girls in this family have been assaulted by him and if he wasn’t sick and he could move freely I can only imagine the worse things he could’ve done to us! And now I’m angry I’m so angry I want him to suffer for everything he has put my grandma into for what he has done . My mom says I should let go of this but I can’t I don’t know how, now that I know the truth. I don’t know what to do he’s already dying and perhaps suffering in his state because now he can’t even do the simplest of tasks… But that’s not enough for me I hate him so much I just want to see him before he dies and tell him that I know what he has done and that I hate him and that I hope he suffers in the afterlife ( if there is an afterlife)
When relatives and family friends always ask “so have you got a boyfriend yet?” It makes me feel like all girls are supposed to do is have a boufriend
As a child, I would regularly get cat calls and have obscene gestures directed towards me from men many years older than me, often twice my age or more. I was told by my family and by teachers both in primary and secondary school, that they probably just really liked me. I was also told from about the age of 12, that I should wear baggier clothing, as I was overdeveloped for my age and this was probably confusing them. I spent my mid teenage years wearing baggier clothing, and got fewer sexual comments, but men would often tell me to ‘smile more’ and that’don’t worry, it probably won’t ever happen.’ I didn’t really understand what was going on at the time, until I cam across the phrase resting bitch face. Turns out I suffer from this. It was during this time that I was repeatedly sexually assaulted by my first boyfriend. Only, I didn’t realise that this was what it was at the time, as he was my boyfriend and I assumed that it was normal. My friends didn’t believe me when I told them, and so I stopped talking about it. After escaping that relationship, I quickly found myself in another abusive relationship. He had had a difficult time of it, and so whenever he physically attacked me, I would explain it away. People never bothered to ask about the bruises, as they felt sorry for him too. It took three years for me to finally understand my worth and walk away from him. After that, I spent three years single, finally able to explore my freedom and come to respect and love myself. Unfortunately, I have experienced sexual assault more recently, being attacked by someone I considered a friend. When I tried to talk about this with friends, they were supportive and helped me through it. But they were not surprised, and one had been assaulted by the same man. It never occurred to us to report him. As who would believe us? The hardest part about that assault, was when I tried to tell my partner at the time, he grew upset. Not with what had happened to me, but because I had ‘put myself in that situation’. I struggle with the rage that I feel about the injustice of being blamed for an attack done to me. But it told me I was right not to report it. Because even if people believed me, they’d only blame me.
We used to have a friend of the family, who was a few years older than me. When he was 17 and I was 9 he came over to our place with his mum. I always liked it when they did, he always let me play on his phone and I always felt so calm around him. We went up to my room and sure enough, I got to play on his phone. But this time he had a condition, I could play any game I liked, but afterwards, we would play a game of his choosing. They were agreeable terms. Except the game he wanted to play was to give each other handjobs. I was 9 years old and had hardly any knowledge about sex. I “played along”. He told me that you weren’t supposed to play the game when you were just a kid and it would be best if I kept quiet. I didn’t tell anyone. As he came over more often the games got more intense and as I often wouldn’t be up for it he would sometimes tie my hands behind my back. Saying we would play until I broke free, as a fun little twist on the game. He told me that if I didn’t play along he would tell my parents that I kept trying to make moves on him and then I would get in trouble. As I got older I obviously realised what we were doing. What I did not realise is that this wasn’t my fault. I told him to stop and he didn’t. I couldn’t possibly tell anyone for I would have to admit that this was going on for quite some time. As he said, it would simply reflect badly on me. I simply couldn’t see a way out. I avoided him as much as I could. I shut myself off. Then after 5 years, he let it slip to a friend who told his parents, who told mine. My parents didn’t know how long it had gone on for. They just knew that it had occurred more than once… My mum simply stated that part of me must have wanted it to happen or it would’ve stopped after the first time. Thus, confirming my fear that I was indeed to blame. It still haunts me in every relationship I form with a man.
I was around 9 when my cousin groped and cornered me in my grandparents closet space during a game of ‘hide-and-seek’. My cousin was a year older and at the time I didn’t know that this was not normal. My cousin’s father found us and didn’t say anything about what he saw. I buried this right down inside me to a point where I forgot about it until I was 15 and groped on the street in a public place. This older man was running down the street and groped me first and another lady further down. My mother asked what was wrong (I had made a noise) and I started crying and pointing at the man, just before he groped the other woman, people around me stared and I instantly felt awkward and out of place. My mother travelled overseas that day and I was left at home with my dad and brother. I made a report with the police 2 weeks later because I didn’t want to go with my dad to the police station. Before my mum left at the airport my dad made a comment about “how I should be grateful that someone had an interest in me.” From there I was cornered again at a party by an older guy who started to touch me. I continued to be around him until it was time to leave with my family. It was 2 days later that I told my mum and we didn’t do anything. My boyfriend then dumped me because I was too afraid to be touched and was instantly triggered by these incidents. I received therapy that helped by I still tend to go on a downwards spiral. I put on weight thinking that no one would want to touch me then and constantly wore daggy clothes. I get nervous in crowds and hold my hands behind me (over my butt) when i walk in them. I’m 18 now and one small trigger could make me spiral into taking 2 weeks off school where I would spend it in bed. My mum told me that I had to stop calling these incidents ‘sexual assault’ because it’s not like I was raped or anything.
I am happily married ( to a man ) for several years, no children, and pursuing a career in academic surgery. At a recent large, family gathering, having been telling my aunt (a teacher!!!) my upcoming career endeavors, she leans in to give me hug goodbye and whispers into my ear ” I wish you a baby”.
my brother (who is almost 11) has been watching right-wing sexist idiots on youtube and has decided that feminists are crazy and that women actually have more rights then men! i dont know how to explain to him that he’s wrong, because he just ignores me. for example i sent him this article about why we still need feminism and he refused to read more than the first paragraph. he has started acting more sexist and ignorant recently honestly wtf do i dooooo
My husband and I have been married 2 years and together 7. We do not have any kids but would like to in the future. I have a wonderful career going that I am fortunate enough to work for a company that wants me to grow in my career. My husband cheers me on in my work and supports all that I do. We believe we are a team him and I take care of each other and when we have children we are a team and we raise them and we provide for them. My mother in law doesn’t know when we plan on having kids but once said to me “a working wife is an insult to the husband. It takes the pride of being a man away from him. It is best for the kids of you are a stay at home mom and it is selfish if you have a career.”