Public space


I was walking home from the gym last night in Brighton. On a well lit street, whilst I was on the phone to a friend, and in front of a restaurant, some guy grabbed my arse. I was stunned. I followed him round the corner and shouted to him to come back. I kept shouting at him and he pretended (or maybe this was genuine) that he couldn’t speak any English. I shouted at him some more. When I turned to walk away, he grabbed me again. I was more scared this time that he’d done it again so I didn’t want to get too brave and retaliate. I don’t really have any words, feelings, or a point to make. I just wanted to share this.


A male doctor told me I did not need antivirals I requested to treat the infection he diagnosed me with, despite me being a full-time wheelchair user. Subsequently went to a female doctor for a second opinion – they were prescribed within ten minutes.


i’m a server and i have to get pretty close to people to reach over and grab dirty plates and today i was going to this one table a lot because they had a lot of food so a lot of dirty plates. i was reaching over a man to get his second plate and when i was walking away i heard another guy tell him “i guess she likes to smell you 😏” i’m a teenager and it just makes me feel really embarrassed that grown men think me doing my job is me trying to get close to this man and smell him. i avoided the table for the rest of the night.


The Landlord of a pub I often visit with my family, is unable to serve us without passing inappropriate comment on myself and my 13 year old daughter, invariably related to our appearance. I annoy myself by not saying anything to him and put that down to the fact that he is probably in his 70s and that my contact with him is minimal enough that I can just write it off.


My friends and I were collecting a takeaway after school on a Friday. We were still wearing our uniform. When walking back home we heard honks and catcalling from a van. We realised the man driving it had been in the takeaway shop with us. We’re teenagers spending time with our friends after school, why are we getting attention from a middle aged man ?


I’m not quite sure if this qualifies but I wanted to share about it anyway. Today I went out to my local mall with some of my friends where we were catcalled by a group of boys. We were sitting in a Boba shop and they kept sending us weird looks, they even tried to get our numbers and stuff. It was overall just weird and we decided to leave the store. As soon as we walked out the door, they also got up and started following us from a safe distance. We wouldn’t have realized except we decided to take a selfie and saw them approaching behind us. I don’t think I’ve ever been that scared. We walked incredibly erratically to try to lose them, eventually having to duck into a store to lose them. Again, I’m not quite sure if this qualifies but I wanted to post my experience.


An everyday sexism that irritates me. When I go out to a restaurant with my boyfriend 8 out of 10 times the waitress / waiter will give the bill to him instead of me – never mind if it was me who actually asked for the bill. And sometimes only thank him for visiting/paying (we always split the bill). It’s minor but it frustrates me so much. I work hard, I get paid. Let me be in charge of my expenses.


I think what I’m about to write applies to every women who has ever stepped foot in a club before. I can’t even count the amount of times I have been approached by a male and given unwanted attention, even after making up that I have a boyfriend they still consistently try to kiss and touch me.


After Sarah Everards tragic murder my local community started to tie ribbons and tributes to her memory on the gates of the local park. I went, tied a ribbon on the gate for her and decided to take a walk in the park. On that walk I was whistled at by two men and I couldn’t turn around or say anything to them it made me feel so ashamed. After I walked away from them I walked down a hill towards a group of 4 men who all stopped chatting with one another to stare at me while I walked towards them. It took everything in my power not to run straight past them. I felt so uncomfortable. I came home and cried. I started that day with thoughts for Sarah and all female victims of sexual violence and hope that her story would be leading to a better society for women. By the end of the day my hope was gone.


I was sexually abused as a child and imagined that the experience made me, some how, different. I wondered whether I was ‘setting off a hormonal reaction’ in men – maybe smelling different? Because as a child, a teen, pregnant, a young mum, middle-aged and now fifty, with multiple sclerosis – I have been consistently; molested, leered at, touched, commented upon, put down, treated inappropriately etc…the list is endless. I now know that it is not just me – it is happening to all women and girls.