University

Vi

It took me several months to write this and post it here. I had to overcome myself to take out my pain. However, I know for sure, this resource www.everydaysexism.com is of paramount importance since it helps to destroy sexism. Everyone who writes here is a hero. Women and men who share what is inappropriate to speak openly are heroines and heroes of our time. I’m especially grateful to those men who found the courage to admit their mistakes and apologize, it deserves respect. I was six. My fourteen-year-old cousin has seduced me twice. I remembered that nightmare forever. A little helpless girl struck with horror. I’m half a meter from his lowered pants. He repeats in an unctuous voice: “Come here, touch, kiss…” I came closer and realized that he wanted me to do something bad, but I didn’t understand how bad it was. It’s very scary for a child to refuse an adult. I remember the state of numbness when you want to scream, to run, but you can’t move. I had the strength to overcome my stupor and escape. He waited for a while and tricked me into his room again but I ran away immediately. I was a six-year-old child! He calculated the situation to create an alibi for himself. My father had just left the family, and there was no one to protect me. Hardly anyone would have believed me. Of course, my mom would defend me, but this would be perceived as baseless accusations against my father’s relatives. Since then, this bastard kept his distance from me, and I kept my distance from him. He was even afraid of me; perhaps he subconsciously recognized my strength. Who else became his victim? He’s a general now. Sometimes psychological abuse is more powerful trauma than a physical one. The child’s psyche hides traumatic events, represses them. Decades later, I remembered EVERYTHING. The memory began to extract events and experiences from childhood, youth, and all my life from archives. My memory is very powerful, I remember all the details and feelings, emotions, and sensations. My thirteenth birthday. Me, my sixteen-year-old friend, a fourteen-year-old cousin (the younger brother of the pedophile), and a neighbor boy of my age went for a walk on the beach. It was in May, almost summer, at 4 p.m., a huge public beach of a large industrial Ukrainian city with a high crime rate. However, what ‘A’ grade girl thinks about crimes? There were no sunbathers, but there were enough people to wait for trouble. It all happened quickly. More than a dozen teenagers sent our boys away, I could see them turning their backs. They just left. I saw how a friend of mine, surrounded by ten guys, went to the bed of rushes, and two more took me to other bushes. I didn’t immediately understand what they wanted from me. I haven’t yet had my menarche. They began to explain what I should do, vaguely and confusingly, but I understood it quickly. My first expected reaction was a cry for help. Several warning strong slaps in my face, ringing in my ears – I calmed down. They didn’t know, neither did I that unjust physical pain triggers specific psychological and physical mechanisms in me. I distinctly remember how my mind began to perpend the situation; using the search method, I analyzed the chain of possible events. At the same time, I was thinking about my friend: where is she, what’s going on with her? The worst scenario was that they’d beat me, and I’d bite with my teeth into their stinking flesh until I gnaw through the main vessels of these bastards. I didn’t like this option, I hate the forcible touching, and even more so physical violence against my body in any form. I already knew that. I nodded, pretending to be listening to their instructions, subconsciously trying to stall for time and looking for an option with minimal losses for myself. To run away was perfect, as I already had a junior category in track and field athletics, so they wouldn’t catch up with me. I understood that they didn’t need any fuss. They thought they could handle me quickly and easily. With my peripheral vision, I found an opening in the bushes leading to the path, but I didn’t turn my head so as not to give myself away. A God of the universe, chance, or fate favored me. I noticed the silhouette of a woman with a dog. They noticed her too. When the woman came up with this heck of a place, they became silent for a moment. And I took this chance. I ran faster than any sprinters in the world and yelled louder than Krakatoa. I never turned around. I saw people turning and heading to me. I ran and continued to study the surroundings, looking for help for my friend. Several truck drivers rested on the shore, I headed to them, explained the situation as I could, and pointed my hand in the direction of the second hellish place. The men grabbed big tire levers and ran there. Everything worked out well. Was it a HAPPY-END? My friend, “our” boys and I never discussed what had happened. They probably still think we were raped. I didn’t tell anything to my mother – I knew that she’d find them. Did those bastards stop at least for a week or two? My child’s psyche took this situation for granted, as a norm of life. Is this the NORM of life on planet Earth?

Aditya

I am from sangli, Maharashtra (India),now I am 19 years old BOY.When I was 11 years old that time I faced such abusive things and I still remember that and I never shared that abusive matter happened with me to anyone still today’s day . There was one man besides my home ,he asked me for coming with him to his farm.i didn’t think that it will happen with me ,he just told me that he needs help of me ,I went there with him and after sometime in the farm he started abusing me like he was trying to kiss me that was not normal,and he told me for shaking his penis it was so horrible . Still I can’t believe that happened with me This happens with me almost 3 or 4 times in one year by same person . Now this is the 1st platform that I am sharing my such things Now feeling little bit better 🙂

Aditya

I am from sangli, Maharashtra (India),now I am 19 years old BOY.When I was 11 years old that time I faced such abusive things and I still remember that and I never shared that abusive matter happened with me to anyone still today’s day . There was one man besides my home ,he asked me for coming with him to his farm.i didn’t think that it will happen with me ,he just told me that he needs help of me ,I went there with him and after sometime in the farm he started abusing me like he was trying to kiss me that was not normal,and he told me for shaking his penis it was so horrible . Still I can’t believe that happened with me This happens with me almost 3 or 4 times in one year by same person . Now this is the 1st platform that I am sharing my such things Now feeling little bit better 🙂

Kate

I am 19 y. old and I am a Computer Science student in one of Ukrainian universities. Back to my school years’ end (2018) most girls were told that they should study languages and then major in them too. Embroidery was an obligatory lesson. Those, who didn’t cope with it really good or didn’t want to, were told things like: “A woman must do this”, “A woman must know how to knit clothes for her kids because it’s eco-friendly”. This lesson STILL EXISTS in every school! Then I secretly decided to enter CS at our local Polytechnic. None of our teachers was happy about it. My German teacher kept insisting I wouldn’t pass exams (What? But I have a gold medal at school for my studying). Another teacher said she was very disappointed because of me. I did my exams and am getting a scholarship now. It’s become a bit easier at uni but..I ecountered sexism from boys. And this doesn’t come from the best students but from the rest – the majority (I’m #3-4 in group rating and I’M NOT super skilled yet). First, they didn’t believe me that I had scholarship, while most don’t get. Then they started saying “You’re getting good marks 4 and 5 out of 5 only because you’re a girl”, “Females are stupid”- I was told this semester in autumn by a guy who is new here and couldn’t even solve simple equations. During my first 3 month at university a guy called me “Fucking bith” when I refused giving him my work and helping him. That happened during a practise class when a woman professor was in the room (it’s very small, for max. 16 people). Then he wanted to remind me of this the next day. I had good relationship with some people who then wanted to take my works too, so when refused, they call me bith, “You fucking MUST give me”. Another guy from my group asked me online directly without talking in person “Wanna date?” I said no. He responded “You’re angry because u never had a guy”. I also heard other things like what smb would do with me, etc. I was despised for not drinking alcohol or hanging out, or having a boyfriend, or not sharing my code. When I try to protect myself with words, I was tried to be grabbed while he said “You’re damn so small, how you dare, you can’t object to what we’re saying!” And yes, I’m only 157 cm.

Violetta

I don’t think I realised how big this problem is until recently. I am 25 years old, I see myself as self-confident, smart, attractive, sexy and beautiful woman. In school I guess I didn’t feel it, because I didn’t feel my female power and confidence as much as I have it now. Few weeks ago I was walking back home from seeing my mum it was a day time 3-4pm and I was wearing short jeans skirt and t-shirt with top (which is totally normal outfit but not for me anymore), there were 2 men standing at the bench and I saw how one of them was staring at me. I tried to avoid his eyes because I hate situations like this and I try always wear headphones and pretend that I don’t hear all these comments which men say to me sometimes, especially when I am in skirt or in skinny jeans. So he grabbed my hand and tried to stop me, it was so disgusting. I wanted to vomit. Since when men decided that they have a right to touch ANYBODY ? Especially female and especially at the street. It was a daytime, kids were playing 10 meters away. The worst part is that I couldn’t even answered to him, I hated myself for silence. When I get back home I asked myself “Should I have try to fight with him or what? Why is this so normal”. The same day later I was walking to shop and car was beeping and stopped whilst I was walking. Why do they do it? I live in Moscow, its a busy city and because of constant rush and lack of time I used to wear very comfortable clothes no highheels, no dresses, rarely I wear skirts and when I do I already know that something like this can happen and it so sad that I became NORMAL. I bet if men were grabbed at the street or wolf whistled themselves they would had a better understanding of women. If I want to be beautiful somedays for myself, not for anyone else and wear not my usual jeans and sneakers but maybe shorts or skirt or dress why should I always have a fear that I might get touched, grabbed or that another car will stop and will try to “bring me wherever I need”. That isn’t the society I want to live in, it isn’t the place where I want my kids to grow up in future. I believe that we can do better. So after this accident I was really disappointed and I remembered all similar experiences I had. When I was around 18 yo I saw a man masturbating at the street during the day and people were just walking by, like no one saw him. Few times I was touched in the club and when I was younger I used to excuse these accidents thinking “this is club, its fine, maybe people are drunk there”. Last year, I was walking home and 5 years old boy slapped my ass. It was shocking and again I was paralysed, couldn’t properly react, few seconds later I said something to his mother but she didn’t say anything to him. It just a little boy, why would he did it? Was it because he watched it in the cartoons, the treatment to females? Or same thing happened in his house? When I was 20 I was grabbed by my hand and followed for few mins in Paris whilst I was travelling. Public transport is a separate issue. I am just sick of it but I dont want to wear always neutral clothes from now only because some men cannot control themselves or because they are so ignorant and pathetic. I don’t want to be scared every time I wear a shorts or short skirt/dress. But this fear still exist. I really hope this issue will gain more attention and in few years or in few decades there will be less women facing this everyday sexism.

Alice

I go to uni in a very small town, and one day last year I was just minding my business walking down the street and a man sitting outside a pub by himself just shouted “smile!” really aggressively at me and other girls walking past. I mostly just couldn’t believe that in such a small town he could get away with intimidating me like that in broad daylight on the street right near my flat too.

Sonja

I am a lecturer in a department with mainly women, 2 men. When I became pregnant one of the men said to me ‘all pregnant women should be sacked’ Sexism towards women is not restricted to men. In the same department, another pregnant women was made to feel ill at ease by female colleagues who criticised her for taking time off work ill in her 3rd trimester. The discussion was that female colleagues who had chosen not to have children should not have to step in and do the lecture on behalf of someone who had chosen to have a baby. I think internalised sexism by women is an equally big issue in the department where I work and more widely in society

Brooke

It happened during the university’s homecoming weekend of my freshman year. I was wearing baggy, thick sweatpants and a dyed purple baggy long sleeve t-shirt. I had a few drinks and met with 2 or 3 of my new uni friends. After a few hours, I was sober but my friends were still slightly drunk. We decided to go back to my dorm room to just take a nap as we already had a long day. I was cuddling with one of my friends, about to fall asleep and my other friends were in the same room, doing the same. He starts to rub my breasts without asking me, with my other friends still in the room, hiding what he was doing underneath the blankets. I took his hand firmly and moved it away from my breasts underneath the blankets to stay subtle. He then travels down to my pubic area and start to rub there too. I moved his hand away again. This happened three more times before I gave up and let him do this and more anyways because I was too scared of overreacting in front of my new friends. He told my other friends to leave and we had sex because I felt obligated to. He did not ask for consent. I never reported it because of the ambiguity of the intoxication and the fact that I had sex with him. I haven’t worn the clothes I was wearing ever since and I see him everyday in my classes.

V

I’ve had my fair share of sexual harassment but lately I’m in a situation I don’t know what to do about… So short side note first, I live in a flat that is connected to another one though we are 2 separated flats (it’s difficult to explain). I’ve lived there for 2.5 years now and one of the tenants living in the adjacent flat as been kind of stalking me since I moved in. It started with inappropriate messages (let’s go swimming together/how about we have a drink in my room tonight) and escalated to an kiss I did not consent to. I have been ignoring him since the beginning but he just doesn’t stop (even for the short period of time he had a girlfriend!). Last Saturday I was invited to a birthday party of his flatmate (we get along really well and he’s a genuinely nice person), and while there I kissed another guy. Afterwards my stalker interrogated my flatmate if that was normal behaviour for me (specifically going out to meet guys to sleep with), started mopping around and at the end insulted me before hugging me (again against my consent) telling me he didn’t mean it. I told him that he definitely meant it and if he still feels bad about it when sober to come over and apologise. Which I’ve been waiting for since. As a student in a city with high rental prices I can’t afford another place. And since he knows where to draw the line (we are both law students) or only acts inappropriately when inebriated (try proving intent) there is nothing I can do since (according to the law and the police) he didn’t overstep any law. I’m just happy my flatmate and friends understand and help me to avoid situations where we are alone. It just annoys me that there is nothing I can do and I’m scared of telling him no outright cause he might sneak in at night/when I’m home alone (I can’t stay locked in my room the whole day).

Lauren

In my years leading up to higher education, I attended an arts school. This school had models and dancers, and very few straight men, so I got very little attention from the opposite sex. My first year in university contrasted that entirely; I was sexy, men wanted to be with me, women wanted to be friends with me. I had never experienced this kind of attention. I felt loved and beautiful. I had a sexual experience with a friend, and it was casual, and I realized I could have pleasurable experiences without dating people, which I didn’t know before hand. This same “friend,” however, repeatedly had sex with me while I was extremely drunk, when I had previously stated I didn’t want to have any more sex with him sober. This happened twice before I caught on, but he would make a big show of “rescuing me” from a perceived predator and then, (once physically carrying me,) to our dorm block, where he would tell me I was too drunk to go to my room, offer me a place in his bed, and eventually have sex with me. I didn’t realize this was abnormal. I did know that when he kicked me out after having sex with me, I felt sick, dirty and used, both times too drunk to make it to my own bed. After researching sexual assault, I confronted one of our mutual friends about my belief that he sexually assaulted me. She told him. He began verbally abusing me to all of our friends, limiting my contact with our mutual friends, crying to anyone that would listen that I was, “ruining his life.” This was not my intention, I had barely understood what sexual assault was, and just wanted to broach the subject with someone I thought would understand. Immediately, all my friends stopped contacting me, would say I was over-reacting. I felt so guilty for ruining his life, but I didn’t understand what I did to deserve the things thrown at my door late at night, the verbal abuse when I would see him/ threatening body language when he would hang out with the few friends I still talked to while I was there, largely uninvited. I still felt terrible about making him feel bad, and thought I was lying to myself, until about two years ago, when I realized he had done this to other girls. He had sexually assaulted me, and instead of feeling regret, sadness or any emotion other than anger, he chose to make me feel guilty, and alienate me, as he had done to the others. I still feel as though I’m at fault, even though I realize a “friend” would never have sex with you while you are black out drunk, and attack you when you felt you had been victimized. I dropped out that year.