Tag Archives: School


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.

Melissa or Mahlisa?

My first year in public school, I was seven and loved playing in the field during recess. A boy in my class cornered me when I was alone and pushed me over before shoving his hand down my shirt. I told the teacher on duty and there was a forced apology but he was in my class all year. Every storyline project (where you make up a family/life) he wanted to name is wife after me and the male teacher let him as long as the spelling was different…

Kristen Reed

It had been puzzling to me why I felt a bit depressed this past week. My anger was just below the surface waiting to burst out of the water at the slightest irritation, and I couldn’t sort out why. To my husband I had to blame hormones (which, at my age is definitely part of the cocktail) but there has been something more…an oppressive cloud I refused to acknowledge. The root of my anger comes from years of being traumatized by men in one form or another. I’m too sensitive they say, or too emotional, but after nearly 40 years of self-suppression, it rips holes in one’s skin where steaming geysers form in every direction. Let go of your anger they say. Love is the answer they say… That’s all well and good, but once you let down the barrier of anger what remains is the overwhelming sadness that at every turn nothing has changed. Sure, Harvey Weinstein is getting a public lashing. But he is only one man. One guilty party in the sea of acceptable misogyny, that women all over the world are forced to tolerate with a smile, every single day. It isn’t just Hollywood, or the performing arts in general. Corporate culture, and even our own governments (who think it’s not only their right but their responsibility to control how we take care of our bodies) constantly exacerbate the problem. The urge to vomit out the onerous sorrow impresses upon me from every angle. All I want is one moment’s peace, an exhalation, sanctuary from being constantly on guard. Don’t you think I want to let it down, be free, laugh and smile, dance about when it pleases me? I do it anyway, so much, all the time, but it comes with advances, stares, leers, and uninvited guests. What are we supposed to do? It can seem easier to oversexualize ourselves, where we have the power and control, but the opposite effect arises…bringing the unwanted closer and in turn they feel granted with permission. I feel everything and nothing about this display of public outrage. The rest of these men are wiping their brow, for now, as we slaughter the sacrificial lamb (or wolf) center stage. But this too shall pass, and the lurking shadows will come to life once more, behaving as they have always done. Passing whispers in our ears, indignation if we reject remarks on our beauty, manly chortles when we assert boundaries, or god forbid intelligent ideas. And those are only the mild degradations. I am tired of being angry, sad, and frustrated. All I want to do is lay down my weapons in this fight. But how can I?


My friend was sexually harassed by a boy in our grade who she was friends with, but had no romantic interest in. She is now so uncomfortable walking by him or his friends and is afraid to talk to him. He keeps smiling at her and winking, and she is disgusted.


#metoo 1) Aged 10. In the cloakroom at school on my own. Two traveller boys enter, and unexpectedly start touching my bum. And laughing. That laughter, I still remember that sound. I was scared & embarrassed, and too young & scared to say or do anything. I kept my distance from them for the rest of primary school. 2) Aged 18. Freshers week. Drinking games. Such a cliche, stupidly blind drunk. Hazy blurred memories of being in bed with one of my new ‘friends’, who I don’t recall liking that well, him trying to force his penis inside me, but not being able as I wasn’t even remotely aroused. Him putting it in my mouth instead. Waking the next day to a foul taste & such a sense of shame and guilt. My fault/not my fault? I don’t remember consenting. Or not. Another ‘friend’ shows me a picture later of me being dragged back along the floor of the corridor to my room that night by my arms. I have no clear recollection. The rest of the year, trying to avoid the guy, never telling anyone. But he tells. And his friends start making blow job faces at me whenever they pass by. I feel sick just thinking about it & how stupid I was.


When I was 13 I didn’t know what sexual harassment was, but I already knew something was wrong. We had a teacher, who I still see now and then, that used to touch our hair and clothes and do massages while we were in class and while we were making homework. He also called us by invented names, which he didn’t use with boys, and explain sexist jokes in front of the class. Sometimes, when we were talking about him between boys and girls, boys would say that he was the best teacher ever and a f****** boss because of his ideas. Now, I don’t tolerate any action that feels like harassment, even if people say it is a normal thing. Sexual harassment shouldn’t be a problem we have to deal with, so let’s change that and educate young people to respect both man and women.


I was walking down the hall and a group of guys started very obviously looking me up and down and whistling. One of them winked at me, and there was a professor right there! The professor was a guy, and didn’t do anything. I just walked a little faster and gave them a dirty look, but I wished I had done something.


I am 14 and two boys on some of my classes are repeatedly saying sexist things to one of my friends. She has to sit next to them in her geography class and they are constantly saying things like “shut up and go make me a sandwich” and making almost everything she says sexual. She doesn’t seem to mind at all and just laughs about it but I can’t help thinking that if I was in her position I would feel horrible.


Off the back of #MeToo I’ve been remembering stuff that happened to me, some of which I’ve pushed to the back of my mind for a while. 1. I couldn’t have been more than 13. We were lining up to hand in our work at the end of IT and the boy behind me slapped my bum. The teacher didn’t spot anything and he gave a blank look when I looked round and glared at him. I think he was trying to get a reaction, as I had a bit of a hair-trigger back then. 2. 18, working in the bar at our local football club. I was filling up the fridge and got the usual ‘I like to see a girl on her knees’ comment. 3. School, around 2010. Our music teacher asked for some of the boys to help move the speakers from the school field into the hall, as the school concert that night had to be moved due to the weather. It wasn’t until he saw me looking that he revoked his comment and changed it to ‘some volunteers’. 4. After work, 2016. I was going through the ticket barriers at Warren Street tube station in London during the usual commuter crush. As I went through I felt a hand on my bum through my skirt. The man I am sure it was made no eye contact and just walked past me. I stood sideways on the escalator so as not to present the same target twice and didn’t wear that skirt to work for two months. 5. Around 2015. I was out running, training for a half marathon. A boy went past me on a moped, honk his horn, and made a rude gesture. This was made somewhat better by the fact that he nearly crashed into a signpost on the pavement as he took both hands off the steering to make said gesture.