I’m 15 years old. I was recently discussing my college(UK) applications with my mum and older sister(25yrs old). I want to go to a top college so I can get the support needed for me to get into a top university. This particular college gets up to a hundred oxbridge offers a year, on average. However logistically, it’s a pain in the arse for me to get there. My mum kept saying that it wasn’t essential for me to go to a top university, and she’s right. But it’s my dream. Then she says this: ‘that eventually, most girls go off to work, then get pregnant, and have to give up their careers. And that you should give up work if your husband wants you to.’ Now my mum is a housewife. But she isn’t happy. She’s an academic at heart. if my brother wanted to go to Oxford or Cambridge, she wouldn’t say to him that it isn’t worth it because he’ll be a father one day. My sister said nothing to agree or disagree with my mother on this. I’m still going to aim for Oxford or Cambridge.
I was watching my younger sisters baseball game. Her team is the 16U girls team which is also known as team British Columbia. Since baseball is not generally the most welcoming sport for girls as many people consider it a “boys” sport I was happy to see an entire team of girls all playing ball together. I was also proud to have parents in the crowd supporting the girls and I truly believed that all of the parents were feminists, especially because they all seem to believe that girls should have just as much opportunity in sports as boys. I still believe a lot of the parents feel this way but recently my positive spirits about this community were shifted due to a man in the stands comment on my vocal support towards the girls. Every time the girls start doing well or I feel that they need some encouragement I cheer words such as “let’s go girls you’ve got this”, “let’s show these boys what you can do”, “lets go *insert individual girls name*!” And today in the stands I said quietly to the parents “I really hope the girls beat the boys today, I think they should be beat because I think the girls are the stronger team and they can do it!” A man in the stands (from our own team!) quickly told me to shut up as he was shaking his head and I replied by saying “I’m never going to stop supporting the girls!” He then said “you’re such a little bitch” in a very harsh tone and then proceeded to tell me that no one wants to hear what I have to say. These comments hurt because this was coming from a community that I thought was sort of a safe haven for feminists, a place for women and men to support each other. I told him that by using misogyny to defend his own misogyny will never silence me supporting girls baseball! I then turned to some of the mothers and grandmothers in the stands looking for support but instead heard comments such as “I can’t believe she is bringing this up at a ballgame!” And I was told that my response to the man was wrong and was encouraged once again to stop speaking. During this time the man continued to call me a “bitch”. My mother stepped in telling him to never say that to a woman again. My mother’s support gave me the courage to share my story because I know there are women out there that will support me and share ideologies such as my own. Even if my comments were a little too “out there” I will never apologize for sharing my voice with the world and will never ever be silenced by such hate. Thank you Laura for making this absolutely phenomenal site and allowing me to share my story of being referred to as a “bitch” at the ballgame. I hope this story empowers other young girls to refuse to be silenced by men who don’t want to hear our voice.
I’m 13. I’m in my schools chess club. I was playing against a guy who was new to the club. I promoted my pawn to a queen and he then told me condescendingly that pawns couldn’t do that. I explained to him that we could. One of the two chess coaches (female) explained how promoting worked. He still disagreed. Then, the male chess coach came over, said “you can promote pawns” and walked away. The kid immediately believed him. My first meet at said chess club, I beat everyone in my club (all guys) and they proceeded to compliment me by saying things like “I can’t believe I got beat by a girl! Good job!” “You’re actually really smart for a girl” “guess some girls have a brain” and they teased each other for losing to me because I was ‘a girl.’ I should add that I am non-binary. I wear pronoun pins every day, and have informed the entire school several times that I go by ze/zir pronouns, yet they still refer to me as she/her, and call me a girl. Stereotypical men are assholes.
I lost my job for being an assertive female in a small minded place where women are expected to always smile and be soft spoken but men are allowed to get angry and speak up.
I deal with sexism every day at my work. I am the ONLY female at a facility with over 50 men. I deal with constant derogatory remarks from the men, one of the guys (he is over 50 years old) constantly comments on my body and how “if he was younger, he’d make me his” and he is always telling me how sexy I am and that my body looks great and things like that. It makes my skin crawl and makes me sick to my stomach. About a month ago, one of the younger guys was sending the nudes of the girl he was sleeping with, with all the guys at work. When I got upset, they told me that if a girl sends a guy nudes, he has every right to share them with however he likes. It made me so sick and angry. I tried to find out who the girl was so I could warn her but they absolutely refuse to give me her name. I could honestly fill a book with all the different sexist and misogynistic stuff I deal with just at work, not even including the stuff outside of work. This job pays really well, has good benefits, and a super flexible schedule that I need so I can finish college, and quitting this job would severally hurt me financially.
I was on my way to my best friends house one night and I had JUST left my apartment. As I was walking down the street, a car pulled up beside me, slammed on the breaks and one of the men inside yelled at me “hey bitch, down for a threesome?” I was so scared that I dropped my phone and it broke.
I’m part of a “secret” local Facebook group which also meets up irl. When I was first added this group was doing lots to support refugees and other really positive stuff. It was basically left leaning and a substantial number of the male regulars self identified as feminists. I felt safe there talking about things that had happened to me including gang rape and domestic violence. Recently there has been a massive change. Since Weinstein these men who seemed so supportive have attacked women in the group, we’re apparently “jumping on the bandwagon”, our experiences are “saccharine victimhood” and much worse. Only a few weeks before, a young woman in the group felt very scared of two older men who verbally harassed her on the bus, these men were really supportive to her yet a few weeks later they were ridiculing women for reporting similar things. Compared to my first marriage and gang rape this verbal abuse and feeling of not being believed may not seem much, but the effects on my emotional well-being are devastating and have brought back all my self-doubt and lack of confidence in my ability to make good decisions. Over the past two and a half years I grew to trust and admire the same men that are now referring to me and other women in the group as hysterical man haters. I feel so humiliated and let down as I’ve gradually opened up and my trust has once again been violated.
I was on a bus home alone late at night in South London and was on the phone to my boyfriend. I often call him when I’m in these circumstances as it makes me feel a bit safer. Whilst on the phone this random man said excuse me very loudly. I turned to him wondering what was wrong. He said ‘When you get off the phone you need to talk to me.’ I said ‘Do I? Why would that be?.’ He said ‘Because I have a nice face, and you have a nice face and we can talk about marriage and babies.’ This man was about 50. I’m 24. I would have loved to have told him to go fuck himself, but was worried in case he was getting off at the same stop as me and if he was going to follow me once I got off the bus. I turned back and started talking to my boyfriend on the phone again and very loudly joked about the ludicrous man old enough to be my father who wanted to marry me. I think the man felt a bit embarrassed after that and luckily he got off way before my stop. I’ve had a lot of similar experiences with men thinking their harassment is light hearted and ‘just a joke’ I find it so frustrating because for me nothing about these experiences are amusing. Being made to feel unsafe everywhere I go is not funny, it’s disgusting and it in infuriates me that there don’t seem to be any public awareness campaigns on public transport and no formal channels to report these instances of harassment and prosecute these individuals.
I had to liaise with an external company to hire some audio equipment for an event at work. Now…I’m not going to claim to be an expert in audio equipment, but I can find my way around it if required and, after nearly 30yrs of existance as a woman, I am more than capable of realising when somebody is bullshitting me. The guy tried to bamboozle me with big long explainations, every so often throwing in a comment like “I just don’t think you’re understanding, hen…” and when he gets here I find out that he is literally just plugging in a cable and sticking some wires to the floor and charging us through the nose for it cos he knows that at this late stage I have no choice but to go with his company. He also tried to mansplain gaffa tape to me…….of course I’ve heard of freakin gaffa tape, who hasn’t heard of gaffa tape? Jesus man…
I need feminism because when I was 4, we learned the colours. After class, a group of boys came up to me and asked what my favourite colour was. I said “blue” and and one of them replied, “you can’t like blue, it’s a boy colour”. Upon telling him that my dad’s favourite colour was purple, I was told, “your dad must be a girl then”. I didn’t tell my dad because I thought that being compared to a girl would upset him too much. My dad is a feminist. I need feminism because when I was 13, my class worked on a project with NATS AIS. In the final stage of the competition, I was transferred into a group with 6 boys ‘for representation’. As project manager of my last team, I assumed that I’d have some creative input and delegation opportunities. I was put on research with a guy who played 2048 the whole time but still took full credit for the work I did. One lesson, the project manager was away so I took it upon myself to show some initiative and start the PowerPoint presentation. The next day, it had been deleted without a thought and a new one was being made; it was exactly the same but grammatically incorrect. When I tried to argue, I was called bossy and told to ‘get back in the kitchen or wherever [I was] supposed to be’. I need feminism because I saw the bewildered look on Harvey’s face when I did better than him on a physics test., despite the fact that I had beaten him on every science test beforehand. He used to call me dumb every lesson, still does. He just can’t believe that a somewhat attractive girl has the capacity to be good at science. Or maybe his ego’s just big. I need feminism because a girl I go to school with got raped by a boy in our year. For three weeks leading up to the event, she had reported him to the school 6 times for touching her inappropriately in class, she even had witnesses. He got a ‘serious talking to’ and nothing more. He wasn’t even moved away from her in class. She came into school crying and she stopped talking for a few days. One of our mutual friends got really mad at her for ‘being over-dramatic and complaining too much’. When I got angry at this, she said “well if it had been me, I would’ve just told him to stop and kicked him in the balls’. I had no words.