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Chloe

I was once talking to friend of mine on Snap chat. He asked if he could see a picture of me smiling since I was upset about a family matters. When I sent the picture he replied with “you have very nice cleavage. I’d love to see what’s underneath that top”. At the time I didn’t really think much of it. I had heard of many girls in my school being commented on about there appearance and whether they were sexy or not. Now looking back I realize the comment he made wasn’t okay or wasn’t acceptable or normal. So now whenever a guy asks me for any nude photos I simply say “How would you feel if your mum or sister or aunt or cousin was asked the same? Do you think it would be right for them to send nudes? Do you think it would be right for them to be harassed for photos?” and this makes them think twice about it. I’m really pleased that I can tell my story and reading everybody else stories has inspired me to speak up about every day sexism and to tell women that its not okay to be objectified. Thank you for reading my story.

c

Ever so often when I, an early career academic, work together with male colleagues they imply that their priorities, and hence their work, are more important that mine, and that they are busier than me, even when we are on the same career level and have the same amount of duties. This is also true for some of my friends, who tend to be men rather than women: whenever we envisage a meeting, it is them who wish to set the priorities. Of course I do make it clear that I have my priorities as well. But this is rarely taken as a given.

laura

Been in the city for about 7 years, first in college and now living in a flat. Almost every year something happens on the street or public transport; usually much older men trying to touch me on the bus or block my way on the street and try to stop me getting passed. Once a guy I was seeing tried to get me into a threesome with his other, female friend. Neither of them were interested in consent. it was a few years ago and it still haunts me. My mother said it was my fault for having sex with someone casually. few weeks ago current boyfriend said he felt like I was trying to control him with sex because i wanted him to get in the pool with me and i said id make out with him later if he did,he know of the things that have happened to me and he also said he doesnt like my weight- how is that rational thinking considering he knows my past and doesn’t like my body apparently. female relatives also expressed vast relief when the weight went down- like id become repulsive because bit of weight went on like it does for all sometimes. they were almost offended by me not being slim. it didn’t bother me when he put on weight for a bit. I dont like my body anymore, and i dont like being hyper-sexualised by so many people. I know my things are much less then others have suffered but they point to a society that doesnt realise how sexist it is.

Jo

When I was about nine years old, I didn’t realise what it was. Right now, however, it’s clear to me that what had happened was not normal. After my sister’s Christening we had a party. This who horde of relatives was present, so were my cousins. In particular – one who is 8 years older than me. My brother and the rest of the cousins were running around somewhere and I was really bored, so I was sitting on a hammock looking at the ground and swinging lightly. My older cousin sat down beside me and started talking to me about something. I came up with a reply and was talking when I felt his hand slip under my blouse and then up my back. That made me stop talking instantly and without saying anything I just looked up in confusion. I can’t remember what he said to me that made me let him continue touching me and then continue at the front of my body. All I can remeber is feeling really uncomfortable. I know I wanted him to stop but I didn’t say anything. I know I should’ve said ‘stop’ but I didn’t. I don’t know what’s happened with him now, but I do hope he is no longer like that as he does have a nine year old sister who stays at home alone with him rather often.

Clare Mosko

My mother got an email from a friend at our church who was looking for someone to help move some boxes and furniture from a storage unit. The women asked if perhaps my younger 17 year old brother and one of his buddies wanted to take on the job for $10/hour. My brother was not interested but I, a fit 20 year old woman home for summer from college, was. I thought a male friend and I would be fit for the job so I responded to her saying a friend and I were up to the job. I promptly received a response declining my offer citing that: “this is more than boxes. It’s very heavy furniture. Thanks for the offer though.” Insulted, I responded clarifying that my friend was a male and was quite strong. She responded saying she thought it was a “gal pal” of mine, but still was hesitant about letting us do the work. A couple days later she said she would rather hire professional movers. She would rather spend more money than entrust a young woman with some heavy lifting.

Fate

First of all, look out for those inherently/ subconsciously sexist people, who proclaim vigorously that rape culture does not exist, despite there being an environment where women are objectified and have their traumatic experiences viewed with indifference. Secondly, don’t worry; sexists will be punished due to karma under God, no matter what the Bible states. God is fair toward everyone and there will be justice. Moreover, always speak up whenever you receive any sort of sexist remark; don’t let it normalize any further, and please try to re-educate those who are sexist.

Is feminism bad?

I asked my brother if she could meet anybody dead of alive for a day who and why. My brother said of and im guessing you wanna see some womens rights person an old time femminist and he did it in a tine that made it sound like wanting that was bad preaching for equality was bad. I said No. I wanna see Mother Theresa (because I was named after her). He said oh ok. My brother seems to think all I care about is sexism. I might care but its not all I like. SO should I not care about sexism at all because its ruining my relationship with my brother and I think my dad aswell. but it also might hurt my mom and dad because they take diffrent sides. I dont know what to do.

Katie

When I was 12, I got called a slut for wearing shorts with unshaved legs. Since that summer day I have been sexualized one way or the other for the past 3 years on a daily. I matured faster than most girls in my class and so in 6th grade I got hit on by boys who were from the age of 12 to 19 years of age. I got called a whore because I gave guys hugs and they said that I kissed them and gave them head. Last year I did something stupid with a guy I thought would protect me and that I trusted. He ended up telling everyone that he and I had sex when in all actuality all we did was kiss. But the most disturbing and disgusting encounters I’ve had was just last week. I was walking from my house to across the store across the street and this old man cat called me and said “hey Lil Mama how much for a night I got a couple of hundred dollar bills?” I was shocked I’m only 15 and I looked like it. But the worst part is that when I told my brother and grandma, their replies to me were “I was young and pretty once too, just ignore it.” And ” are you from the ’90s nobody says cat calling anymore”. This messed me up pretty bad, my reply was ” I’m not going to ignore this, this is rape culture and I will not live in it. I will keep saying this until my voice gets mistaken for a man’s and they listen, I thought you were all for women’s right that you burned bras and did marches grandma.” They didn’t say anything back to me just ignored me like I was crazy or something.

Jane

I approached a young man, in his mid twenties, asking him to do a decorating job for me. We agreed the price. An older male colleague of his appeared. The young man, showing off in front of his colleague, said to me “Awww, don’t you have small feet”. I realised it was some sort of innuendo but I didn’t understand the exact meaning, however, I told him that his comment was personal and unprofessional and I said he wouldn’t be required after all. I found out the next day that when a man says a woman has small feet he means she is good for only one thing. Washing up! If you have small feet you can get closer to the sink.

Christina Nee

My teenage brother makes constant “jokes” around the house about women cooking, multi-tasking, and other blatantly stereotypical, sexist topics. He isn’t a bad guy in any sense of the word, and I love him completely. But it is clearly seen as the norm for young men these days to engage in this everyday sexism, even at school age. When challenged, he doesn’t see the harm in it and tells me to “take a joke” – how can society move forwards when the young men of the future are growing up in a culture of underlying sexism? I don’t blame him yet, he is young and will learn… it is up to society to educate the next generation about the ramifications of such harmless “jokes”.