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Poppy

My mother has to make my stepdad every single meal, wash all of his clothes, dry them, iron them, fold them. She does the sole work of looking after me and my brother, goes to work, cooks and washes up and hoovers and does EVERY SINGLE JOB in the house. Now that I’m old enough I take on the next biggest portion of house work, meaning I have hardly any time for school work (I’m doing A-Levels). I’m so sick of him sitting in front of the TV all day every day while she does everything for him like she’s his mother and he’s not a grown man. He never thanks very, offers to help, takes her on dates or does anything for her and she deserves so so so much more. I wish she would leave him and I’m so sick that this is normalised in the eyes of the world as a ‘normal’ relationship and she should ‘just be grateful he doesn’t hit her’. My brother follows in my stepdads lead and doesn’t do anything in the house either, and my mum is too sick and tired of asking that she just accepts that me and her should do it all. I try and talk about this with people but they always say stuff like “that’s just what men do” and “it’s her job to take care of the house anyway”. I’m so angry that men get to spend their whole lives doing nothing while the women are their slaves. She deserves better, and he needs to grow up and treat her like his equal partner, not his babysitter.

rouaa

my name is rouaa, i am 19 years old from Benghazi libya. i have been reading and learning more and more about feminism and sexism and the more I do, the clearer it is to me how unfair i have been treated in the past, because it was just what everyone thought was normal and okay. when i first started experiencing men catcalling me in the streets (i was probably 13) my mother told me i should never look at the man or respond or even defend myself if he tried to touch me because he might get angry and hurt me, i listened to her for years. another time i was in a crowded store with my mom and dad standing in line, i felt a hand brushing against my ass, i figured it was by accident because the store was crowded, but the second time i felt uncomfortable and told my mother, she told me to “be quiet” because she doesn’t want my dad to hear me and then start trouble with that man. Early on i was taught to always cover up, my dad would send me back to my room to change because my pants were “too tight” and i hated my body because i didn’t wanna be a sex object. i was furious with questions and i was always shut down from people who said it was our religion or our culture. my cousin once told me that my house would be “dirty” if i worked because i wouldn’t have time to clean. my uncle told me it was my job to sacrifice and compromise because that’s what a good mother does for her family. I saw my aunt thanking her husband for holding the baby like he was doing her a favor by taking care of his own child. in libya we have tribes and these “important” tribe meetings which women are obviously not invited to because, well, because they’re women. i have a cousin who would ignore me every time we met, he would shake hands with everyone in the room but me, i never knew why but i figured if i was a man it surely wouldn’t have happened. when you’re a girl you’re automatically less important, easy to ignore. in family dinners we have to make sure the men’s plates have more food and look more presentable because they’re more worthy of that for some reason. when my cousin was 16, she was forced to marry a man she didn’t want, and the same had happened to her sister. when anything bad happens to you youre automaticly blamed for it because men have needs, men cant control themselves, “its okay for men to catcall and hit on you because its a “phase” that they go through” a crush i had (believe it or not) once said to me, but why should i be the subject of your phase? why do you feel entiltled to my body and to talk to me or even get my number? why is all this bullshit okay and normal?. in libya youre not really suppossed to dye your hair or wear makeup until you get married. i of course didnt care for that and wore makeup to events and occasions anyway and people always judged me for it. i wasnt allowed to wear makep going out (still not allowed actually) and one time i got in trouble for wearing makeup to uni. its like everything we do is for men or for their attention. and so many more things that are happeningto me and girls in this society. but im so grateful im unlearning everything i was taught growing up. i wont be a victim of internalized misogyny anymore.

anonymous

Having been reflecting- I once woke up to a male friend (we had been platonically ‘spooning’) fondling my breasts. I was attracted to him at the time, but that does not make it okay for him to randomly fondle me in the middle of the night. This again happened a few years later, but that time I was so drunk I could not move. Luckily both times a different friend had woken up and he stopped. Both times were u18, which really shows the importance of education on consent to both girls and boys, from a suitable but young age.

Kasturi

Yesterday I went to visit my grandparents who live in the next building. I had been reading a Sanskrit (an ancient Indian language) storybook and asked my grandmother a question about it. As she was answering, my grandpa who was standing nearby started answering loudly, without acknowledging that grandma was speaking. This made her stop; so I asked her to go on, pointedly ignoring my grandpa, who butted in again. I’d like to mention that my grandma has a PhD in Sanskrit, and my grandpa has an engineering background. She clearly knew more about the topic than he did, and she was already talking, yet he ignored her and started speaking. Later grandma told me that he had always interrupted her and ignored what she wanted to say in the past. If i directly confront my grandpa about this, he’d feel insulted and I’d get scolded

M

Twice now I have had food delivered to me where the delivery guy then proceeded to add me on Facebook. The first time it was after a ten second interaction where he handed me the food and I gave him the money, and there was the usual “cheers, thanks, bye”. A few minutes later I get a friend request on Facebook and recognize him from the picture. I didn’t do anything other than tell a friend about it. The second time was weirder, the guy started giving out to me because my address was apparently too hard to find, and he kept giving out to me and I felt like I couldn’t leave but eventually I just said “okay bye” and closed the door on him. About an hour later he sends me a facebook request. This time I complained to the delivery company, who replied after two weeks saying that they informed the restaurant but that the restaurant wanted me to call them. They also gave me a voucher I haven’t used and probably won’t. I mentioned the delivery guy’s name in my original complaint but I was too scared to contact the restaurant in case they fired the guy – I was worried he’d be pissed at me and would come to where I lived. Both times what freaked me out the most was knowing that these guys knew where I lived. The second time was ages ago, I’ve ordered food once since but only for my boyfriend who I promised I would after he paid for one of my meals and I thought it would be a nice gesture. I don’t think I’m gonna order food again ever.

Your Daughter

Don’t get me wrong, my dad is a wonderful man. I’m thirteen, and my father has a ‘man cave.’ I don’t feel welcome in there, not because of the name, but because he keeps erotic images of women on the wall. I remember, one is of a girl in a tight Peter Pan outfit with a bow, another of a woman with a cat tattooed along her back, and the third of a woman splayed out on the hood of a blue-print like car. I would pretend not to see these images when I was in there with them, or even stand in the doorway if I could to avoid them altogether. It was normal for my father, a married man with a daughter, to have these things, he was a man after all! That’s what I told myself, until I realized I was normalizing the sexualization and dehumanization of women. Her body was the same as mine at its core, and if my father couldn’t respect her, then how could he respect me? I decided to talk to him about it. It came up rather suddenly, I just asked, ‘Why do you have pictures of women like that?’ And he laughed it off, ‘They’re album covers,’ he said. I couldn’t help but notice only one of them seemed the right size and shape for that, and that there weren’t any others that didn’t depict partially naked women, so I asked, ‘would you want a guy I was talking to to have pictures of women like that in his room?’ He said no, and chuckled again, joking that it was a double standard. I left, and shed a few tears on the way to my room. I thought he would take me seriously, or be embarrassed, but for some reason I was the one who was ashamed. But I quickly realized that i shouldn’t be. I refused to normalize this, to pass over it and say ‘boys will be boys,’ because men should be men. I didn’t think he was going to change anything the way he treated it, but I knew that speaking up and saying something meant that I was part of a solution that could benefit my daughters one day. It felt good to be part of a change. I walked in that ‘man cave’ the next day and the images were gone. Who knows where he put them, but my father, a cisgendered, 56 year old white man was able to admit that he did something wrong to a thirteen year old girl. Neither one of us said anything about their disappearance, so I’ll say it here. I just wanted to share that it is possible for ANYONE to make something change by bringing it to the light, and explaining that it shouldn’t be normal. No young girl should feel unwelcome anywhere in their home, or worry about the sexualization of women by their own family. Because maybe looking at women in this way isn’t harmful. But does that change if it’s your mother? How about your sister? What if it’s your very own daughter? Perhaps this problem isn’t nearly as urgent as others discussed on this website, but I just want to say that it is possible, for any woman out there, to change something sexist if you just have the courage to say something, whether you’re 13 or 30.

Patricia

I have a creepy uncle who every time that greets me with a hug, slides his hand right on my bum. He started doing that when I was a teenager (as far as I remember), and he continues that now that I am 28 years old, privately and publicly. I have never said anything to him, to avoid confrontation and embarrassment; and I have only told my sister, as I have never felt that I would be taken seriously by my family members. Few weeks ago I found out he does the same to my 20 years old cousin… I have decided last time he did that to me was going to be the last time he would ever do that to any of us. After more than 15 years of silence, shame and disgust, I am taking control for me, for my cousin and for the rest of the young females in my family.

S

When I was around 12/13 years old, my cousin’s boyfriend, who was around 20, put his hand inside my jeans and held me between my legs. Eventually, I wrote a letter to my Nan and she told my mum who asked me about it. My mum and auntie took me to the police after calling my cousin to tell her what happened. The police told us that it would be stressful and upsetting to press charges and that he would only get community service if he was prosecuted. They told us not to bother. None of my family asked me about it again.

Vi

It took me several months to write this and post it here. I had to overcome myself to take out my pain. However, I know for sure, this resource www.everydaysexism.com is of paramount importance since it helps to destroy sexism. Everyone who writes here is a hero. Women and men who share what is inappropriate to speak openly are heroines and heroes of our time. I’m especially grateful to those men who found the courage to admit their mistakes and apologize, it deserves respect. I was six. My fourteen-year-old cousin has seduced me twice. I remembered that nightmare forever. A little helpless girl struck with horror. I’m half a meter from his lowered pants. He repeats in an unctuous voice: “Come here, touch, kiss…” I came closer and realized that he wanted me to do something bad, but I didn’t understand how bad it was. It’s very scary for a child to refuse an adult. I remember the state of numbness when you want to scream, to run, but you can’t move. I had the strength to overcome my stupor and escape. He waited for a while and tricked me into his room again but I ran away immediately. I was a six-year-old child! He calculated the situation to create an alibi for himself. My father had just left the family, and there was no one to protect me. Hardly anyone would have believed me. Of course, my mom would defend me, but this would be perceived as baseless accusations against my father’s relatives. Since then, this bastard kept his distance from me, and I kept my distance from him. He was even afraid of me; perhaps he subconsciously recognized my strength. Who else became his victim? He’s a general now. Sometimes psychological abuse is more powerful trauma than a physical one. The child’s psyche hides traumatic events, represses them. Decades later, I remembered EVERYTHING. The memory began to extract events and experiences from childhood, youth, and all my life from archives. My memory is very powerful, I remember all the details and feelings, emotions, and sensations. My thirteenth birthday. Me, my sixteen-year-old friend, a fourteen-year-old cousin (the younger brother of the pedophile), and a neighbor boy of my age went for a walk on the beach. It was in May, almost summer, at 4 p.m., a huge public beach of a large industrial Ukrainian city with a high crime rate. However, what ‘A’ grade girl thinks about crimes? There were no sunbathers, but there were enough people to wait for trouble. It all happened quickly. More than a dozen teenagers sent our boys away, I could see them turning their backs. They just left. I saw how a friend of mine, surrounded by ten guys, went to the bed of rushes, and two more took me to other bushes. I didn’t immediately understand what they wanted from me. I haven’t yet had my menarche. They began to explain what I should do, vaguely and confusingly, but I understood it quickly. My first expected reaction was a cry for help. Several warning strong slaps in my face, ringing in my ears – I calmed down. They didn’t know, neither did I that unjust physical pain triggers specific psychological and physical mechanisms in me. I distinctly remember how my mind began to perpend the situation; using the search method, I analyzed the chain of possible events. At the same time, I was thinking about my friend: where is she, what’s going on with her? The worst scenario was that they’d beat me, and I’d bite with my teeth into their stinking flesh until I gnaw through the main vessels of these bastards. I didn’t like this option, I hate the forcible touching, and even more so physical violence against my body in any form. I already knew that. I nodded, pretending to be listening to their instructions, subconsciously trying to stall for time and looking for an option with minimal losses for myself. To run away was perfect, as I already had a junior category in track and field athletics, so they wouldn’t catch up with me. I understood that they didn’t need any fuss. They thought they could handle me quickly and easily. With my peripheral vision, I found an opening in the bushes leading to the path, but I didn’t turn my head so as not to give myself away. A God of the universe, chance, or fate favored me. I noticed the silhouette of a woman with a dog. They noticed her too. When the woman came up with this heck of a place, they became silent for a moment. And I took this chance. I ran faster than any sprinters in the world and yelled louder than Krakatoa. I never turned around. I saw people turning and heading to me. I ran and continued to study the surroundings, looking for help for my friend. Several truck drivers rested on the shore, I headed to them, explained the situation as I could, and pointed my hand in the direction of the second hellish place. The men grabbed big tire levers and ran there. Everything worked out well. Was it a HAPPY-END? My friend, “our” boys and I never discussed what had happened. They probably still think we were raped. I didn’t tell anything to my mother – I knew that she’d find them. Did those bastards stop at least for a week or two? My child’s psyche took this situation for granted, as a norm of life. Is this the NORM of life on planet Earth?

Aditya

I am from sangli, Maharashtra (India),now I am 19 years old BOY.When I was 11 years old that time I faced such abusive things and I still remember that and I never shared that abusive matter happened with me to anyone still today’s day . There was one man besides my home ,he asked me for coming with him to his farm.i didn’t think that it will happen with me ,he just told me that he needs help of me ,I went there with him and after sometime in the farm he started abusing me like he was trying to kiss me that was not normal,and he told me for shaking his penis it was so horrible . Still I can’t believe that happened with me This happens with me almost 3 or 4 times in one year by same person . Now this is the 1st platform that I am sharing my such things Now feeling little bit better 🙂