Tag Archives: Public space

Love this site

A man easily fifteen years my senior, utterly unattractive, whom I hardly knew, trapped me at night in a flat in the middle of nowhere and demanded to know my feelings for him. When I told him I had no feelings for him and wasn’t attracted to him, he demanded to know the reasons why – I could tell he would try to argue me out of my decision. I arranged alternative accommodation by making phone calls from the bathroom, and once he saw me packing my things in a hurry, he asked angrily what I was doing. “Leaving.” He whined, pleaded and shouted at me that I was wrong to want to leave. Yes of course, I’m wrong to disagree with you! He told me I was overreacting, he would sleep on the sofa (between my bed and the door!) and that we could still be “friends.” Why would I want to be friends with a creepy old stranger! I was scheduled to give him a lift home the next day – we were in another town that we’d travelled to for the sport we both do. In the morning I messaged him on whatsapp telling him I was furious about what he’d done and he could get the train home. I then blocked him. I enjoyed the drive back so much. I felt so free and empowered. He has since messaged me several times on all other forms of media he can find me on, arguing that I have the wrong impression of him, he’s always gentle and kind to women (I don’t remember suggesting he wasn’t gentle…alarm bells) and that we should be friends. He even mansplained to me that he wasn’t condescending. Imagine explaining to someone that you’re not condescending!! Hilarious if he weren’t so horrifying. Every bit of his behaviour since I decided to leave that place has told me I did the right thing in leaving. God knows what else he would have done if I had stayed. Always, always trust your gut. If your gut tells you something’s off, it is. Remove yourself from the situation, before it gets any worse. Do not apologise. Do not feel awkward. You have a right to enjoy your life, and be away from situations that make you uncomfortable. Men will try to undermine your judgement, make you doubt yourself. It’s just another tool to manipulate you. Your gut knows who to trust. Finally a thank you for the contributors to this site – reading your stories helps me know that I’m not crazy, and that it’s not just me. It makes all the difference.

Megan

I have so many stories I could tell – from being told I wasn’t hired for a job because they “needed” a male hire or the time a man stood in front of my car door so I couldn’t leave until I gave him my number, or having men grab at my ass like I was a prize. But the one occasion that stands out to me the most also breaks my heart the most. I was walking to my car after taking a Barre class. I won’t lie, I wear tight clothes to these classes, and I’m a curvy woman. I’m used to being hollared at by men, and usually, I stand my ground with them and tell them to buzz off. But as I was walking to my car this night, I heard this voice say “Mama Mia what a body!” I looked around, and just saw a car driving by. Didn’t think much of it. Until I saw that car stop. I continued to walk toward it, and as I walked past, I looked at the car. Again, I heard “Mama mia, what a body!” I looked right at the person who said it: this boy could not have been more than 10 or 11 years old. And his mother was sitting in the car. I almost always shout something back at the men who catcall me, and this time, I hesitated, but then I quickly realized… this is a CHILD. He needs to know, more than anyone else, that this kind of thing is not ok. So I shouted back “Hey, you should not be talking to a woman like that, ever. You should treat women with respect.” I half expected the mom to come and yell at me, but she didn’t. I almost wish she had. Because despite my response in that moment, I doubt he actually learned that what he was doing was wrong. A child cat called me. A child objectified my body. That is not okay.

Sue

Walking back to my car in lidil car park when a man in a van starts waving at me.i just ignore and walk on. my car is parked behind his van. He roles down his window and says hello, would you like to get to know me!

Zack

A lot of people assume that only Women are victims of sexism, and see me as an entitled white guy. I’m treated like I’m brainless and only want to find a relationship so I can have sex. Believe it or not, some people actually just want a kind partner who appreciates them being around.

Elizabeth

My manager frequently uses sexist terms to describe female colleagues, usually older women. Examples of language he has used in recent months: old bag, old cow, old biddy, bitch, harridan, old trout. I’ve had enough and have decided to speak to our E&D manager about it today.

Erika

I sat in a coffee shop to get away for a bit as I had issues going on at home. I got my notebook out and started writing, I managed to write over fifteen pages on sexism on that day alone. My pen ran out so I went to two different coffee shops. Both times being stared at by the men sitting near or opposite me.

C

I am a teenage girl. One day, I was riding my bike and a man in his 50s wolf-whistled at me from the other side of the street, which felt so degrading. I believe that we should work together to stop this kind of behavior.