Media

Anon

Why is it that many voice activated computer assistants are given female wake names and female voices? Is it because the software was developed by men? Did these men ask permission from real human women before using real human female names as wake words? Did anyone consider the impact this would have on the women or girls? Do these men realise how much chaos, frustration they would cause women and girls who (not by choice) share names with these bots? What if a woman makes a video call to her friends, one of her friends says her name and then the computer device goes off? What if her friends tell her not to say her name any more? What about her identity and dignity? What about her social and educational life? What if a woman (who had her name first) is subject to a constant barrage of jokes and commands? What if she is told she is irritating just for stating her own birth name because saying it apparently makes the music stop, lights go off or the microwave pause? What about girls bullied and sexually harassed at school just because they happen to share a name with an ai program? None of these women and girls chose to be treated this way. They woke up one morning to find the world constantly asking them to “check the weather”, “turn on the lights” or “play [insert name of popular song her]”. This goes on week after week. Why are women name shamed because of the coincidence of sharing their name with a piece of software? What did they ever do to deserve such degrading treatment? What if a small boy sees his Dad yelling in frustration at a device with a real human female name? What does that teach children about how to treat women in general and how to treat women with that name? It bothers me a lot seeing adults and children yelling at machines assigned names that belong to real women. By naming the machine’s default wake words after women and requiring people rudely command the devices with saying “please” or “thank you” sets a very bad example of behaviour for young children and society in general. These devices have essentially become glorified electronic BoBo dolls where the user is rewarded with entertainment and comfort for being lazy and speaking in demeaning ways towards women who through no fault of their own share their names with the default wake word of the device. If people are forced to call an electronic device by a female name transference of the rude behaviour onto real human women with the same name will occur by association. These devices teach people to bully and harass (sometimes sadly even sexually I’ve heard) women who’s name was programmed by someone else to be the wake word. Also the women and girls with the name are forced to into silence by friends/colleagues so as not to wake the device. These women and girls are unfairly being forbidden from saying their own names! What does this do to a person to dread saying their own name while other people yell commands using it constantly? Also the advertising misleadingly refers to the electronic device as “she” and calls the device by the default wake word (which is a common woman’s/girl’s name). So sadly anyone who watches the ads will associate the woman’s name with an electronic “servant” even if that woman has other career plans. The women with the name used to activate the device are unfairly placed into a “do this do that” box. It is the most insidious form of unfair stereotyping I have ever seen in my life. How is this fair or acceptable? This is not okay. This is not cool. This has to stop now. Why do people make jokes about this? Don’t they care? Why can’t non-human connected wake words be programmed into voice activated assistants? Lots of people (especially Sci Fi enthusiasts) enjoy media with robot assistants in the story such as R2-D2. The Sonic games have the E series robots with unique numbers. If a wake word “robot style” code was used similar to these robots then no human beings with human names should be adversely affected or confused with these assistants. Why can’t robot style wake words with numbers and letters instead of using names that already belong to real human women and girls? Or if you’re a Trekkie, why not change the wake word settings to “computer”? A genderless robot sounding voice would be cool too as well as customization. Just some ideas. If they keep using human female names as wake words for voice activated personal electronic assistants then remember… Your name could be next. BTW I am ticking the “I am not a robot” box because I am a human woman.

Anon

One weekend, when I was a young girl my Dad was very interested in developing my science education and making my watch educational programmes. He wanted me to have a better education than he did when he was younger because it was a struggle for him. “There’s a programme called ‘Weird Science’ coming up on the telly, it’s about to start!” my Dad called out to me up the stairs enthusiastically. I ran down the stairs slightly irritated because he had already made me watch several educational programmes that week. We started to realise that the show was about some sexually frustrated American teenage boys trying to make a robot woman. “Look away! Look away!” called Dad as he turned the TV off: “I’m sorry.” Fast forward many years and I am terrified discover that there are now real male roboticists making artificial women catering to male fantasies. Not much has changed. Yay for science! *sarcasm* If this carries on then we may be doomed.

Heather

On Facebook today. Pictur. A woman (possible bridesmaids) holding flowers. (Picture could have been edited) she has large breasts and no bra on and you can very clearly see her nipples. The caption “can anyone identify these flowers?” Only men commenting and yes all the “flowers” comments and obviously about her breasts. A few examples; “I dont know but whatever she feeds them they blossomed very well” “I’ve been looking at the photo for 20mins and still can’t see any flowers” “Tu-nips” You get the picture. My comment “This is a funny picture. It’s meant to have a desired reaction. But that’s only acutely because our current social norms still can’t see that this is abuse. But I understand many people don’t realise what counts as sexual abuse. A photo headed to objectify a woman and invite sexual attention. I hope all men would be ok with there daughters and sisters being talk about like this. Even is the photo wasn’t edited. But it’s just a laugh. Still in 2020 it’s still ok to talk like this. I wonder how the boys and girls of today will grow into men and women.” I had a few replies. Here is my best reply. “Heather we were put on this planet to reproduce. Sexual attraction is part of that process. What is abusive? Please explain” I hope you don’t mind my long reply to him. “Robin Melhuish. Thank you. I’m keeping that special nugget of everyday sexism. It’s a common misconception that women are on this planet to reproduce. Maybe you have no other purpose for being alive but I certainly do. Infact there are a great number of men and women that can’t infact reproduce at all. But maybe you think they should just commit suicide right now because they don’t fit your narrative. Now let me just simply why this is still abusive. The photo (edited for a joke or not) is simply a photo. The caption I’m sure was not intended to offend as all, is innocent. However put them together and it becomes provocative. It provokes people to sexually objectifying the woman. Now let’s just be extremely clear. If that lady was in a private space holding the flowers with the person she loves and that person makes comments intended to sexualize her, she may well welcome it and they have blissful sex. However as the “flower” comments that (perhaps accidentally) turns her from a person with feelings to a sex object to entertain with hilarious witnessism. She didn’t ask to be objectified. She doesn’t even know she is being laughed at. So now she becomes a symbol. She could be your wife, sister, mother, daughter or granddaughter. It perpetuates a problem and is a small factor why women feel devalued. It’s funny, I get that. It’s a part of our society that needs to start changing. Now if you hear someone say some of the unwanted comments about the woman you love, you would like her talked about like that. If sexual comments are Unwanted it’s sexual abuse. I’d underlined the word Unwanted if I could. Just another drop in the ocean.” Just to add one man not the one about had a very sexist and witty comment. It was so clearly funny another man said it could not be bested. Maybe I should mind my own business but it got to me it was not nice. So I replied to him “… Name… it’s going to be funny when men talk about your daughter that way.” He tried to say he was only talking about the flowers. I said how I hope he doesn’t think all women are as stupid to believe that. Now I just want to say that his original unbeatable witty (discussing) comment, and all his comments, he has deleted. I wonder if my last comment to him made him think about his own words. “🤣 that’s funny. Men don’t like it what there own sexist objectifying comments could easily be about there own women. Flowers! 😂 you made my day. Oh how it will be different when you hear a man say that when your little girl is holding flowers. Im sure you would laugh along then. But don’t worry your no different from all the other men commenting.

C

Oh my, I lost count of how many times I was subjected to sexism (English is not my first language, so I apologise for potential spelling mistakes). I’m a victim of sexual harassment: being catcalled, being wolf-whistled, being told sexist jokes and I once found an unsolicited dick pic. I’ve closed my facebook account because I was fed up of seeing sexist, homophobic and racist jokes, sexist memes such as “Go fix me some dinner”, rape jokes (and I saw even women who laughed as such jokes!). I frequently see sexist memes; today I saw one that said “Women, stop fixing computers, fix us some dinner!” and another one:”See that?It’s a kitchen; get back in there!”. I’m deeply horrified by the amount of sexist memes I saw on Know Your Meme. I remember a Chemistry lesson when I was 15, when the Chemistry teacher (who was a woman, btw) told girls in my classroom that we should never wear tops with thin straps at schools, because it’s distracting for the boys. I had a religion teacher who was a misogynistic pig, who once said that abortion should be illegal. I was bullied by girls; those ones who promote girl on girl hatred and internalised misogyny. Xenophobic, homophobic words were also frequently told in my presence. Patriarchy is still alive and well. I’m disgusted by the fact that society still teaches us “Don’t get oppressed”, rather than “Don’t oppress”. I hate those “men” out there who laugh at rape jokes, who believe femicide is justified and think it’s their right to judge women’s looks and bodies!I hate those assholes who try to find excuses for the behaviour of misogynistic politicians, misogynistic celebrities and criminals. Fuck patriarchy!

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 🙂

corinne

When I repost a picture of last summer traveling to Vietnam, wearing a swimming suit, then a friend of mine who is a boy replied: You show your gap (my breast) again? Then I don’t know why I feel bad.

Maria

I was dating a guy I met online, he is from North America and I’m orginally from South America. He had ways of approaching that at times were sexists and inappropriate, but always covered by some sort of “dark humor”, so I didn’t pay much attention to it, also since they were almost always within certain sexual or flirtatious context I convince myself to don’t take them so seriously. But now we stopped seeing each other about 6 months ago, occasionally chatting over internet, and last night in the middle of a normal conversation over internet, he said to me “you’d look hot with a dress showing off that full latina bum”. I felt so small, so insignificant, just reduced to a stereotype that does not belong to me. Such a small phrase made me rethink and review the months we were together. I’ve fight against the macho culture, all my life. But I never felt objectify by someone I was actually dating. And now I feel guilty and as it is my fault for allowing him to treat me that way from the very begging.

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 🙂

Maria

I was dating a guy I met online, he is from North America and I’m orginally from South America. He had ways of approaching that at times were sexists and inappropriate, but always covered by some sort of “dark humor”, so I didn’t pay much attention to it, also since they were almost always within certain sexual or flirtatious context I convince myself to don’t take them so seriously. But now we stopped seeing each other about 6 months ago, occasionally chatting over internet, and last night in the middle of a normal conversation over internet, he said to me “you’d look hot with a dress showing off that full latina bum”. I felt so small, so insignificant, just reduced to a stereotype that does not belong to me. Such a small phrase made me rethink and review the months we were together. I’ve fight against the macho culture, all my life. But I never felt objectify by someone I was actually dating. And now I feel guilty and as it is my fault for allowing him to treat me that way from the very begging.