patriarchy

Bea

I work in a small office with two male colleagues. The general manager just walked in, greeted both of them by name, had a brief chat with one of them and then left, addressing them both by name. Not once did he acknowledge me, despite me making eye contact and saying hello.

Mary

Dear All, I live in Italy. Everyday sexism is a sort of cultural phenomenon here – a country that prides itself on being forward and always in. We are all familiar with the image of a ┬┤made in Italy┬┤ woman – a fashionable, always fabulously groomed lady with impeccable manicure and dyed hair, preferably blonde that will not move even if a tornado attacks it. There is a bipolar schematic idea of a woman. You can be either saint Maria or a prostitute – the best option would be both – a saint and a perfect mother during the day, a corporate lioness at work in high heels of course, and an escort in lingerie ready for her partner in the evening after having prepared tortellini or pizza from scratch for dinner. Some people would say that patriarchal cultural background and the fact that a woman is the actual winner in situations like divorce (alimony and kids with mamma), dating (men should pay for dinner, drinks etc.) it is not considered actual sexism. However, it is not the father who has to deal with bringing up their kids and statistically, as we know, it is the man who gets paid more for exactly the same job because he is not going to get pregnant or take a day off to stay with an ill kid. It all sounds like we are looping in a vicious circle of stereotypical images of genders and expectations that follow. An Italian male child has to wear blue and play with masculine toys, dolls and pink are left for a female child and for the love of god she cannot choose anything else or she will be considered problematic. There are too many striking examples of everyday sexism to describe here.All I can do is give you the big picture. How can you protest against everyday sexism that is a cultural norm in this country?

that feminist grl

my dad just called me a ranty feminist. whenever sexism comes up in conversations he tries to avoid it. when I asked what it was, he said – man hating. the word needs to get out that it isn’t. at school, girls still wear skirts and skorts – shorts that have a fabric part of it over the top to make it look like a skirt. the world needs to change.

ALHANOUF

hello everyone, i am 22 years old and apparently i cant travel by myself just because it is too dangerous for a girl.

Jess

When I picked up a rental car with my boyfriend (who doesn’t drive), the valet assumed I was the passenger, explained all the controls to my partner and tried to give the keys to him.

K

A man has been brought in to ‘help’ me with my job because my boss, a man, ‘hasnt got time to look at it in detail and give feedback. My boss is currently standing outside chatting, after coming in late at about 11 and making toast and tea for himself. The man who has been brought in is not doing the job very well at all… He has already admitted that much of it ‘seems to be there already anyway’. And the particular areas that are supposed to be his speciality – the harder tasks, he has simply skimmed over and saying we will work on them together I guess… Now Im now having to re do it all myself. He will get the credit for helping me and saving the day. Another man who was sacked originally for doing the job so badly that the project was falling apart is going to have equal authorship on the entire project. Another two men in charge of the flagship part of the project have lifted completely large parts of my work (the same work Ive been told I need help with) and incorporated it without asking or crediting. I found this out an hour ago. All of them are paid more than me. Ive been doing this job for over fifteen years and have won multiple awards. I feel so very tired.

Stephanie Hayes

My housemate – “There are two types of women – the sexy one’s, and the pretty one’s. The sexy one’s men want to sleep with, the pretty one’s men want to marry.” “My mate says I like the collectibles – the women that are worth keeping for future. Like those little lego figurines, you know that you put in a line on your shelf.”

Stephanie Hayes

My housemate (he’s 24 years old, I’m 32) – “Women should never shave any part of their heads, it’s a big turn off for a man. So if you do it, just so you know – I’ll hate it!” I did it – I fucking love it! : ) MY HEAD, MY HAIR He also added, “Women should never have tattoos on their arms or any part of their body that are obvious.” I have a tattoo on my wrist, my shoulder and my pelvis. And just for you, Adam – I’ll soon get a whole sleeve of tattoos, on MY BODY

Stephanie Hayes

Just heard a man around 19/20 yrs old talk about getting some ‘pussy’ Then another man on the phone talking about meeting up with ‘another bird’ We are being de-humanised! It’s time for another Women’s Liberation Movement

Elizabeth

When I was married in August, 1999, my husband who was a deeply religious man said that God spoke directly to him. He and I were both members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and my husband believed that his judgment was basically infallible because of the “personal revelations” he received from Jesus Christ. I found out just before we were to be married that just a few months prior, he showed up at the doorstep of a woman who barely knew of him let alone interacted with him proclaiming that “the Lord declared to me that I should take you as my wife. Will you marry me?” He was dead serious. Of course she turned down his offer. Since he was thoroughly convinced of the infallibility of his revelations, he put the blame on her saying that she was being “stubborn” and “willful” against the voice of God and would suffer in the hereafter for her obstinance. Shortly after we were married, I had trouble with insomnia and chose to stay home from church so I could try and sleep. His demeanor towards me changed from warm and loving to cold, resentful, and accusing me of being a liar because “you made yourself look so much more dedicated to the faith than you really are just so I would marry you”. Later on I decided to make friends with some women who were Jehovah’s Witnesses and read some books which were critical of our faith. He told me that unless I repented and threw away the books and my friends that I would be damned in the hereafter. He claimed to see evil spirits following me everywhere. Later on I actually did leave the faith, but he remained with me. He told me that he expected me to wear the garments, pray with him, participate in church activities, etc. or I stood in danger of losing my children forever. This wasn’t a veiled threat, it was something he knew scared the crap out of me, and for a while I was incredibly surreptitious about what I read, said, wore, and did in his presence. I felt as though I was living a double life. In 2010, he left for Afghanistan and I came “out of the closet” as an apostate. I had a credit card, enrolled in school and started looking for jobs to prepare for the consequences of what would more than likely happen. A mutual friend apparently told him about my openness about leaving, and he wiped our bank account clean of every penny over night. I was petrified. We had only the credit card to rely on and that was only $500.00: after that we would be without food, gas, and possibly a place to live. I pleaded with him to make things work, trying to buy time until I could get out of the situation. He put the money back in the bank, but I had to be careful that he didn’t see me drinking coffee or doing anything else that could clue him in on my “little lifestyle” as he called it. If he thought I wasn’t at least trying to be a believer, the money would be gone again. In 2012 after he returned from Afghanistan, I couldn’t take the pressure to be someone I was not anymore. My mental health was suffering and I was physically starting to fall apart as well. The anxiety attacks were a near daily occurrence. We mutually agreed to a divorce, but he took my children. In the State of Tennessee there is literally no protection for Military spouses who need legal assistance, and he kept such close tabs on the money I spent that squirreling away enough money to get an attorney was extremely difficult. He disowned my daughter (She had called him Daddy since she was 4 and she is now 20) and took my two sons to North Carolina. His new wife believes I abandoned my sons even though I call them daily and actually showed up at their doorstep in an attempt to see them Everyone believes he was the victim in this situation and that I was crazy, irresponsible, etc. My Father, also a Latter Day Saint, tried to keep my kids’ address from me because he “promised (my ex) that he wouldn’t share the address” with me. Like my ex, my Father is extremely patriarchal in his mindset and believes Michael’s words over mine. This has permanently damaged our relationship.