Workplace

Ramya

During a presentation today, my Male Colleague was introduced as Mr. X, while I was addresses as just Ramya.

Anna

I work in male dominated professions and you learn very quickly don’t challenge a male ego and don’t be the bitch in the office or your life will be so much harder. One of the most recent interactions that I found particularly messed up was with two of my male work colleagues. They stopped by my desk, asked how my weekend was (it was fine) and then I asked how their weekend went. They spent it with their kids and they were tired. I said I was happy I didn’t have kids. Sighhhh. Here we go. One asked how old I was (37). He said I looked good for my age and I could still have kids (great he knows about my reproductive capabilities by looking at me). For the record my husband can’t have kids and I have failing health and it would literally kill me to have a child. I don’t mention this for obvious reasons. I simple said I wasn’t having kids. He returned with the only way I wouldn’t have children is if my husband got ‘fixed’. At this point he is so insistent that I should have kids I just agree. Yes my husband got the operation and can’t have kids. You’d think he’d leave me alone after I just agreed with him. Nope. He then said, well – you should divorce your husband to find someone to have have kids with. I just stared at him. Did he just tell me to divorce my husband so I could have children? Children I don’t want and can’t have? Because he thought I should. Yes. Yes he just did. You would think he’d be embarrassed by prying into my personal life so much but nope. If anything he really wanted to ‘win’ this idea of me having kids… anyway possible. I just smiled and said OK. I stared at him with my fake smile until he left.

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?

Carolina

Men in suits. I lived in Sydney for two years when I was 25 and mostly worked as a waitress. The last few weeks in Australia I worked in a cafe to save up some money for my flight home. That cafe was located inside a bank building, which is quite a common business model in Sydney. The orders are 90% takeouts and we had a number system in place. There was a small group of men in suits who were waiting and it just so happened that the order number “6” was ready to be picked up, so I called “six” “number six” a few times because no one reacted and then finally a man reacted and said “oh I thought you offered me something else” … of course no one said anything and of course no apology.

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 🙂

Olly (Man)

3 or 4 years ago while a full time employee of a Post Production company in London, one of the owners of the company came and stood beside me as I was looking out of the window at the people walking by and said to me “God, don’t you just wanna go down there and rape one of them” At the time I uncomfortably laughed along but didn’t take him or his comments seriously. I didn’t feel a reaction was worth the conflict. He was my boss and paid my wages. I also couldn’t see what difference it would make if I did. Today I am able to find employment with much more ease so my power to do more has increased. The consequences are worth the action today and I like to think I would be brave enough to let him know how disgusting comments like are.

Lauren

A man kept pushing his groin against me when I was on the bus. While hiking and climbing up a ladder, a man above me pulled out his phone and tried to take a photo down my shirt. While walking down the road, because I glared at a man that was trying stare at my bum, he spat at me. While getting out of an elevator with only men in, one man started barking at me and the other men supported him. When I told a man at work that I was in a relationship to get him to back off, he told me that because it was long distance I should still sleep with him. When I spoke to my HR manager about the sexual harassment that was occurring regularly, they informed me that an email would go out to everyone about it and it would be discussed with all the staff. No email was ever said, or if it was, no department discussed it with the workers. When I went to the gym as a minor, men would adjust themselves to better positions to watch me exercise.

Anon

Just a little thing during my work day. I work in a cafe and have had a few male customers telling me to smile and a few creepy comments in the past. Usually I just brush it off but this time I said that I didn’t feel like smiling when an older man told me to “cheer up love”.He made a comment about how I must be having “women’s problems” and laughed. I have revieved so many little comments like this from older male customers at work and I’m sick of it. Why did this stranger think it was OK to reference my period?? Why should it be the punchline of his joke. I’m so angry and fed up.

A

I am in my early 30s, and I am a woman of colour. I work in a good daytime job at a Canadian hospital , and I also volunteer as an executive of a well known national humanitarian organization non-profit. I’m passionate about my volunteer work because of how I can contribute to society, but I very rarely bring up the topic of my volunteer work in social situations. I was applying for a new position in the hospital , and to show my leadership skills , I mentioned at the end of my interview about my volunteer title. Upon hearing about the volunteer appointment , I was jokingly asked whether I have any time for my husband at home anymore . All three interviewers, in high profile positions , were laughing at the joke . I was silent for a second , but knowing that the interviewers had power over my career , I joked back that I was lucky that my husband was so supportive. My husband is actually very supportive of my work , but I felt silly having to justify myself. Ironically , the three interviewers were all older women. I never talked about my volunteer work with them again.

Maria

I was dating a guy I met online, he is from North America and I’m orginally from South America. He had ways of approaching that at times were sexists and inappropriate, but always covered by some sort of “dark humor”, so I didn’t pay much attention to it, also since they were almost always within certain sexual or flirtatious context I convince myself to don’t take them so seriously. But now we stopped seeing each other about 6 months ago, occasionally chatting over internet, and last night in the middle of a normal conversation over internet, he said to me “you’d look hot with a dress showing off that full latina bum”. I felt so small, so insignificant, just reduced to a stereotype that does not belong to me. Such a small phrase made me rethink and review the months we were together. I’ve fight against the macho culture, all my life. But I never felt objectify by someone I was actually dating. And now I feel guilty and as it is my fault for allowing him to treat me that way from the very begging.