It was new year’s eve 2019-20. It was the first time my parents didn’t host the neighbourhood party so I was in a house I was not very comfortable in. Me and my friends, who are both older than me at 17 and 18 while I’m 14 were dancing in the living room with our parents having the time of our lives. There were some of our parents friends there and one of them was a middle aged man. He (and his husband) both came to the party as distant friends of a friend, so we didn’t know him well. He started talking to us admiring our music taste. At first I thought this wasn’t weird but as the night went on and he continued to talk to us he made odd comments about STDs and made me very uncomfortable. He got very close to my friends and me while dancing and we were so uncomfortable we wanted to leave. At first we told my dad and he said ‘He’s drunk don’t worry about it’ and so we went to the shed (where the ‘kids’ were hanging out) and continued to discuss it. We decided it was unfair for us to have to leave after having fun because he was being inappropriate. We then told my friends mum and she was outraged and forced him to leave. I think it’s outrageous that both me and my father thought his behaviour was acceptable because he was drunk and that I thought it was my responsibility to leave a toxic situation. This kind of behaviour is outrageous and being intoxicated is no excuse.
Don’t get me wrong, my dad is a wonderful man. I’m thirteen, and my father has a ‘man cave.’ I don’t feel welcome in there, not because of the name, but because he keeps erotic images of women on the wall. I remember, one is of a girl in a tight Peter Pan outfit with a bow, another of a woman with a cat tattooed along her back, and the third of a woman splayed out on the hood of a blue-print like car. I would pretend not to see these images when I was in there with them, or even stand in the doorway if I could to avoid them altogether. It was normal for my father, a married man with a daughter, to have these things, he was a man after all! That’s what I told myself, until I realized I was normalizing the sexualization and dehumanization of women. Her body was the same as mine at its core, and if my father couldn’t respect her, then how could he respect me? I decided to talk to him about it. It came up rather suddenly, I just asked, ‘Why do you have pictures of women like that?’ And he laughed it off, ‘They’re album covers,’ he said. I couldn’t help but notice only one of them seemed the right size and shape for that, and that there weren’t any others that didn’t depict partially naked women, so I asked, ‘would you want a guy I was talking to to have pictures of women like that in his room?’ He said no, and chuckled again, joking that it was a double standard. I left, and shed a few tears on the way to my room. I thought he would take me seriously, or be embarrassed, but for some reason I was the one who was ashamed. But I quickly realized that i shouldn’t be. I refused to normalize this, to pass over it and say ‘boys will be boys,’ because men should be men. I didn’t think he was going to change anything the way he treated it, but I knew that speaking up and saying something meant that I was part of a solution that could benefit my daughters one day. It felt good to be part of a change. I walked in that ‘man cave’ the next day and the images were gone. Who knows where he put them, but my father, a cisgendered, 56 year old white man was able to admit that he did something wrong to a thirteen year old girl. Neither one of us said anything about their disappearance, so I’ll say it here. I just wanted to share that it is possible for ANYONE to make something change by bringing it to the light, and explaining that it shouldn’t be normal. No young girl should feel unwelcome anywhere in their home, or worry about the sexualization of women by their own family. Because maybe looking at women in this way isn’t harmful. But does that change if it’s your mother? How about your sister? What if it’s your very own daughter? Perhaps this problem isn’t nearly as urgent as others discussed on this website, but I just want to say that it is possible, for any woman out there, to change something sexist if you just have the courage to say something, whether you’re 13 or 30.
Im a 15 year old girl. As of now, ive only had 2 boyfriends. The first of which many of my friends seemed to strongly disapprove of, making harsh comments until I called it off. Now, Ive just gotten out of my second unhappy relationship. Except this one was longer. And more intimate. To a certain extent, I blame myself. Perhaps I forced myself into it because I wanted him to be happy. On the first “date”, he began kissing me. A lot. It was my first kiss so I suppose I was happy to experiment, and im young and stupid as it is with social interactions. Then, on the same night he began to slip his hands in between my thighs. To begin with, I didn’t mind too much to be honest. On the second date, he continued these things, but also began lightly groping my chest area, which creeped me out a bit but I just shrugged it off because its ‘normal’ and I had such a low self esteem and self confindence for my body, that I looked at it as ‘if he funds happiness in it then i guess im also happy’. But it was the third date where he took it too far. He would grab by arse, despite me politely moving his hand away multiple times. He kept positioning me between his legs and opening my legs for him to lie in between, which probably made me the most uncomfortable of all these things. He would randomly stop and look down at my private areas with a sort of blank, yet thoughtful look which made me feel dehumanised, as if he only saw me as a possession of his for his own pleasures. I would also swear on my life that his hands brushed over my crotch, he purposefully would rest his head (facing downwards) on there too. He slipped his hand under my bra at one point too. Then, when he was leaving, he pushed me up against my bed and lifted my shirt up, proceeding to lean in as if to kiss by chest, although to be honest I feel like ive kind of blurred it out, so I couldn’t say for certain. I felt so disgusted and sick that I went straught to messaging the friend I feel I can trust most. To this day, I’ve never told anyone the whole story, although I have gradually told more people the vague story. The worst part, in my opinion, is that my friend claimed to have been assulted by the same guy years before, but we mostly assumed she had exaggerated, as she’s often a drama queen. Ignoring her is my biggest regret. Its sickening to realise that guys assume they can get away with it. And its worse to know they can. Personally, I cant do anything about it. I dont want to. He’s depressed anyway, and with GCSEs coming up I font want to cause any more stress for him, even if im struggling everyday with the reminders. I want him out of my life, but its so gard when he has the same friendship group. He needs to be stopped in the future. Boys need to be brought up realising this isnt ok.
When i was young i think 6 me and my boy best friend hung out at my house,so we went to my room and both layed on the top bunk of my bed so while i was laying on my stomach my best friend got on top of me and started groping and humping and then stopped after a minute and asked if that was okay , but me being so young just didn’t answer and shrugged my shoulders but i did feel very uncombtorable i did not know what he was doing, he probaly did not not know what he was doing either since we were both 6. i am still friends with him to this day and i try not to bring it up since it was years ago
I am in recovery from addiction. I attend regular recovery meetings. I routinely wear large, baggy clothing to draw as little attention to myself and my body as possible when at these meetings. I am probabaly the youngest person in the room, at 20 yrs old. Today I went to a meeting. I was enjoying myself, laughing, smiling, hugging friends. At the end of the meeting a newcomer, someone new in recovery, who I’ve seen at other meetings, came up to me. He knew my name and has hit on me before, which I was very uncomfortable with. Today this dude called me “mama.” This isn’t uncommon in these meetings. Men will refer to me as their “baby”, “honey”, “girl”. I don’t even identify as a woman, I’m gender queer. It’s just infuriating because I have been coming to these meetings for over two years, and it has not gotten any better. I’m considering talking to other about it, speaking up. I might share and be angry. I’m so sick of feeling unsafe in public spaces. I’m so sick of feeling like I owe a man a smile, hug, or laugh when I don’t want to. It’s exhausting and a waste of my time. I am sick of prioritizing others’ comfort over my own safety. On top of it all, I need these meetings. I can’t just not go. But I do have a choice here:to speak up or stay silent. I’m starting to get sick of choosing the latter.
I’m thirteen now, but I was twelve when this happened a couple months ago. My best friend and I were walking around town on our way to a CVS so I could get her a little something in celebration of her thirteenth birthday. We were smiling and laughing about some joke or other when this group of boys, who looked about sixteen, turned the corner to walk our way on the sidewalk. My friend instantly began pulling me faster past us, but I had never been exposed to that sort of situation before, so I didn’t understand. Besides, we looked at least four years younger than them, so why would they bother us? Well, my reasoning turned out to be baseless. They wolf-whistled at my friend, and asked us if we wanted to have “a little fun” with them. I had seen that sort of stuff online before, so obviously it raised alarms in my head, but my friend became terrified and tugged my arm harder in an attempt to escape the situation. I believe we were lucky that day, seeing as the boys didn’t chase as we ran from them, although they were still calling out at us. It did leave some questions for me, though. One; why would anyone say such, um, dirty things to two girls who were obviously not even into highschool yet? I don’t think those boys were pedophiles as our physical maturity had began showing somewhat at that point, but we didnt look adult either. Two; what had happened to my friend to make her so terrified in that situation? She’s around the same age as me, but she definitely had some sort of experience, judging by her reaction. Three; where had these highschool-age boys learned that this sort of stuff was okay? Overall, I think a valuable lesson can be pulled from this. Sure, we need to lower sexism in the adult community, but if our fight for equality was taught as something important to children early on, then it might mean brighter days for the next generation.
I’m 14 now, but this is a story I never shared with anyone, not wanting to cause tension or more sadness in my family. At about 12 years old and also when I was 13, last year. I remember almost being asleep in the night laying in bed, my father would come into my room and check if I was asleep. When he thought i was sleeping he would sit next to my bed and at first just gently touch my arm. His hands then went down to my crotch, during this I pretended to be asleep in fear of what would happen if I ” woke up”. He would touch my vagina and sometimes even fingered me. I never knew what to do so I igonred it. In fear i tried to deny it trying to convince myself i had just dreamt it. And it s not like my father is abad dad, he cares about me and my education and the rest of my family. And now I wish i had maybepushed him away or something for my friends have also been groped and I wish they had told me before because i cant believe how alone they must have felt until they cameforward but my thing wss a long time ago and i dont want to start something.
When I was about twelve my family and I went to Jamaica for a wedding. Since it was the first time we had gone out of the country we stayed at an all-inclusive resort. This resort was awesome, it had an ice cream machine, a Buffet, an open bar( with age restrictions. Duh.), a beach, pools and water slides all within a two-minute walk from our room. This was an amazing experience, it was the first time I had been to the ocean and seen trees that had fruits other than apples on them. I live in a relatively small town and don’t go to the city very often so there are few opportunities for me to be catcalled or harassed. But at this resort there were lots of people around all the time and almost everyone had bathing suits on or some other form of light clothing and many were a bit tipsy in the afternoon. As a twelve-year-old from a small town, waterslides were super exciting. My younger brother, sister and I were all over the slids in minutes. I had gone on one of the slides a couple of times and was having the time of my life. At the top and bottme of the slide, there was a lifeguard-type person. This guy’s job was to make sure nobody whent up that was to small or drunk. After going on this ride for a few times I was familiar with the procsses. When I was going up to the slide the guy at the bottom of the stairs woofed and growled at me. I was so confused. My stomach dropped and I felt like puking. I had never even heard of catcalling. I didn’t know that being a woman meant that men would do this to me. I didn’t go back on that slide for the rest of the trip and I never told anyone that it happened. For a while, I forgot about it but as I got older I heard about my friend getting catcalled when she when to the city and when I went to see a hockey game with my family two young women in front of us, on our walk back to the hotel, were being harassed by two men who wanted them to go into their club. My life from age twelve to about sixteen was spent thinking these things were normal and even that being catcalled meant you were attractive. Now five years after my brife encounter with harasment thinking of the things women deal with every day makes my stomach roll just like when I was twelve.
i am 15 years old in grade 10. I started to hear sexist comments in school by grade 5. On a daily basis I hear comments about women being unqualified to work, women belonging in the kitchen, women over using the term rape and sexual harassment and comments about feminists being cancerous, over weight and pretty much every other degrading word in the book. To top it off, every time i have spoke up to say something i get ‘its just a joke’ ‘take a joke’ ‘calm down its not like they really mean it’ … but my question stands, why is it that degrading women is so funny? It’s not a joke, it never was. I started getting cat called at 12 years old, when walking home from school on pajama day. In grade 7 i did a project on gender equality and was told by 4 boys in my class that it wasn’t real and it didn’t matter and to just sit down, shut up and look pretty. When i was 12 i was told by my friends grandfather that people need to stop making such a big deal about a few little jokes boys make time to time because boys will be boys. When I was 14 I went to a fair, and tripped on a rock. I fell to the ground and was immediately surrounded by boys I didnt know, all older than me. They turned to each other and said ‘what do we do with her? should we take her somewhere? what do you want to do to her? can i go first?’. so my bad for ‘not taking a joke’. im so sorry i don’t think my objectification is funny.
I started being bullied because of my body hair when I was 8, mainly by the boys in my class. I remember a summer camp where a boy would hit me “just playing” for being tomboyish and hairy at 11. Thanks to that, I spent many years not daring to wear shorts, tank tops and always tied my hair tight. I first started to feel comfortable-ish in a bikini when I was 20. Now that I’m 26 I am starting to feel ok-ish to go out with a mini skirt and my legs not perfectly shaved. There are different ways of harassment, this was one that I experienced for years and years.