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The Everyday Sexism Project exists to catalogue instances of sexism experienced by women on a day to day basis. They might be serious or minor, outrageously offensive or so niggling and normalised that you don’t even feel able to protest. Say as much or as little as you like, use your real name or a pseudonym – it’s up to you. By sharing your story you’re showing the world that sexism does exist, it is faced by women everyday and it is a valid problem to discuss.

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#60679 Anon 2014-09-18 02:52
Whilst in school, in years 8-10, I was sexually harassed on an almost daily basis by boys in my year. It could be name calling, which I could shrug off, but I'd still be scared of being around that guy. Worse, boys would grab my breasts and bum and the guys around them would laugh. It was a form of bullying. I hated it so much, it made me scared to go to school. It made me feel dirty and made me hate myself. I thought if I made myself ugly, they'd not want to touch me and it would stop. I let the guys know I didn't like it. I'd tell them to get off me and I'd kick them in the shin.I told my Mum and she said it was boys being boys and they'd grow out of it. I didn't report it because teachers (including female teachers) saw and did nothing, except give a disapproving look, so I didn't report it because I thought no one would care. I was embarrassed and thought they'd tell me to grow up and get over it. And I couldn't imagine telling my male headteacher that these boys were bullying and scaring me in such a sexual way. It was so embarrassing!

I suspected at the time it was sexual harassment, but I thought I was being over-dramatic. Now, I know what it was and I can't believe it was allowed to happen in a school.The worst time was when they cornered me in an empty corridor, took my bag so I couldn't leave, and started groping me. I was so scared. Sometimes I was scared they'd rape me. It happened to other girls, but not as bad. Other girls would get the occasional slap on the bum, and they'd either ignore it or laugh. I think it was worse for me because I reacted to it and fought them off. In a workplace, this would not have been accepted. Why was this ok in a school? It doesn't matter if they were teenagers with hormones, it wasn't acceptable. It made me scared to go to school and this is not ok. We need better sex education, not just covering how sex works and using contraception, but we need to teach kids about consent and sexual bullying. It occurs to me that these boys may not have even known it was wrong, they saw each other and people on tv doing it and though it was what guys did, perhaps. What happened in school still scars me and I'm sometimes scared to go out in public for fear of a guy looking at me. This could have been stopped with better sex education or better training for teachers on how to deal with sexual bullying.
#60678 Jade 2014-09-05 20:47
I've been in the same school now for 7 years and have experienced so many different occurances of sexism that it would be impossible for me to count them all. These experiences have ranged from simple insults (or 'banter') like 'shut up and go make me a sandwich, bitch' to being pinned down by the neck to a table one time in an empty classroom by a boy saying 'I'm going to rape you bitch'. Disturbingly, no one ever brought it to my attention- neither parents or teachers- that this sort of behaviour is unacceptable, and even though it made me feel like crap, I never reported it to anybody. However, about 6 months ago I discovered this website (so glad it exists!) which made me realise just how unacceptable the sexism is in my school. So today I finally spoke up and told my parents who immediately proceeded laugh it off and tell me sexism isn't real and I should stop being so feisty. This led to a coversation where my dad said 'women just aren't suited to excecutive roles in companies'. Wow.
#60677 Alexandra 2014-08-18 14:03
After becoming more aware of harassment and what it actually means, I realised that most days at school (since I was only 13 years old) I have experienced some form of both physical and verbal harassment without realising it; because I had a mindset that it was normal. When I was just 13 years old, boys who I knew and who I thought were my friends would come up to me and start touching me up, boys would shout out horrible things to me regarding my body, one boy actually told me that he wanted to rape me. I tried to report it to my school but they simply told me that I couldn't take a compliment, that these boys were just joking with me and that they had done nothing wrong. I believed them.

I am now 16 years old and still, these kind of things happen to me on a regular basis. It makes me feel disgusting when somebody does these things to me and I sometimes feel like it's my fault.
#60676 Anon 2014-07-11 17:57
In one lesson at school today,I heard more than 10 rape jokes,mostly by the boys.I am 13 years old.If that's what they're like aged 13,I am truly worried at what they will be like in they are older.Rape culture sickens me.Also,in the 4 years I have had sex education at school,not one lesson talked about consent...
#60675 bec 2014-07-03 02:28
Sexism has been a part of everyday life for me since adolescence. Here are just a few of my experiences:

At a party I had drunk too much and went with my female friend to a quiet place to rest. A guy walked into the room, lifted my dress and penetrated me with his fingers. I was very drunk and tried to move away but he followed. My friend was able to push him away thankfully and stop it going further. I did not report this and at the time did not think it was rape, my idea of rape was a predatory stranger forcing sex rather than a friend of a friend not obtaining full consent. I was 15, and shockingly I still feel as though I would be blamed for putting myself in that situation even though that violation was completely uncalled for.

On another occasion I was plied with alcohol until I was almost passed out and then taken into a room. I was a virgin and this was extremely upsetting, I cried throughout. I was only 13 and the guy 18, I had no idea of the danger I was in because I was with friends. No one stopped it even though I was crying loudly. I was put on the back of his mates bicycle and ridden home with blood dripping down my legs when I was sober enough.

Another occasion when walking to school an old man (around 70) tried to call me into the bushes and told me he knew my brother. He told me to come back again at 6pm but I instead told my mum. He watched me walk to and from school sporadically for a few weeks but I never saw him again after that.

When I was about 20 I was walking along a popular walking path and a man was sitting in his car masturbating, within clear view of all the joggers/walkers. I was disgusted and took his number plate but never reported it regretfully.

Around the same age my drink was spiked and I lost all recollection of the evening despite only having 2 drinks. After going to the hospital the next day I was told nothing could be done, they didn't even have a brochure or a nurse that could speak to me about what I could do. At this age I was much more aware of my rights to my own body and wanted to report this behaviour. I attempted twice to report it to the police but both times I was put through to numerous departments and hung up on.

None of this behaviour prepared me for my husband, whom I married and had a child with at 23 & 24 respectfully. Once I was perceived as his possession he proceeded to emotionally abuse me by putting me down on a daily basis, sabotaged my friendships where he could, isolated me from my family in a small town, all the while physically abusing me. It was a very confusing and difficult thing for me to understand because I had married this man, had children with him, and had loved him.

I have become a much stronger woman after these experiences in life, particularly my marriage. Despite these instances, I don't feel that all men are predatory or sexist, but the men that aren't need to stand up and advocate for a woman's right to be respected and not treated as an object of mens desires or possession. This behaviour is much more endemic than we like to admit and my story is sadly not unusual. In this shortened snippet of my life I may have painted a picture of a rebellious troubled teen but I was a normal well adjusted girl experimenting with alcohol, just like my male friends - none of whom were ever exposed to the threat of rape because of having one too many drinks. If ever they were I would never have blamed them for putting themselves in that situation. This kind of abuse can happen to anyone and is never the victims fault - women also need to understand this.
#60674 Colleen 2014-05-30 05:11
I was passed out drunk at a party last year and a boy there took advantage of me and ended up raping me. At school, everyone was making jokes about me and calling me a slut because "it was my fault i was so drunk. We need to teach men not to rape and stop blaming the victim.
#60673 Lucie 2014-05-21 18:27
I remember at school when I was perhaps 14 a boy in my year was being inappropriate to my best friend in class, she was embarrassed and getting fed up with him stroking her arms and "flirting" with her unwantingly, I offered to switch seats with her thinking he wouldn't try it with me but he did. He kept touching my arms and neck, anywhere near my chest in the classroom in view of everyone. I told him to stop it and to shut up with what he was saying. I thought it would stop after the class was over but then several instances after he would say things about my breasts. during lunch break I was alone and walked passed him and his friends. He kept saying inappropriate things to impress his friends and as I walked passed him he groped my bum and as I turned to swot him off he grabbed my breast. Him and his friends all laughed. I was very upset, being so young and never experienced being touched in that way. I found my friend and asked her to come with me to see my mum who worked at the school at the time, even though I was upset she wouldn't come with me. After lunch I was due to have swimming class and the boy was also in the same P.E class as me. I was terrified of the thought of being around him in my swimsuit incase he tried anything else. I went to my mum crying and told her what had happened, she took me to my head of house and told him how the boy had been harassing me for weeks and I was scared of being in swimming class with me, I didn't want him to see me in my swimsuit. My head of year took him out of the class and gave him detention. But I was never asked again later if the harassment had stopped.
#60672 Em 2014-05-20 21:35
I was a early developer, and was wearing my first bra by the time I was nine years old. Once I started the secondary school, it's hard to not be noticed when you're pretty much the only girl in year 7 with boobs. This was when the torments really started. Rumours spread pretty quickly that I was a slag, and a whore and every other name under the Sun. I could deal with the comments at first, because I could just ignore them, as they simply weren't true. It was in year 7, that I had my first experience of proper victimisation in the form of grossly inappropriate touching, and a threat of rape if I told anyone what these two boys in my year 7 maths class were doing to me, which was horrifying and terrifying, and just plain nasty.

After year 7 ended things seemed to die down a little bit until I was about 15 years old, and I went on my first blind date with a guy that a "friend" had hooked me up with. Throughout my teenage years I was never really that interested in guys, I always considered my education to be more important, but my friend was insistent. I went along and things seemed fine, then things started to get heavy and I really wasn't ready for it. I tried to over power him, but he was 19 at the time (which I didn't know), and he was significantly stronger than myself, and if it wasn't for a black labrador that came jumping through a hedge chasing after a ball, that guy would of raped me. It was absolutely terrifying, nothing can prepare you for how scary it is. I later found out that the only reason why this guy agreed to go on a blind date with me was because my "friend" had told him that 1) I had big boobs, and 2) about my so-called slag reputation, so he deemed me to be a "easy lay".

Again after this things died down again, and it wasn't until I was 17 that I had any kind of experience of sexism again. At this age I got my first job working at a waitress. About a year into this job, I was started to get harassed at work, mostly by the customers, slapping my bum, wolf-whistling, and making crude remarks. I was able to tell my boss at work, and he was able to get them barred.

Nowadays I don't get comments made at me, and if I do I speak out. It's not needed nor wanted, and it's not okay!!
#60671 Claire 2014-05-07 07:56
When I was at secondary school it was quite normal for the boys to grope the girls. One day, whilst walking up the stairs to my next class, one of the boys put his hand up my skirt and groped my vagina. When I told a passing teacher he said "Oh well, boys will be boys".
#60670 Emi 2014-03-09 10:34
My Dad uses the word female and girl as if it were an insult whenever we have an argument and then dismisses the idea that sexism exists. He also said that I don't understand sexism because I 'haven't seen that father ted sketch'.Him and my brother roll their eyes whenever i stick up for myself and say 'shit, she's going to turn into a feminist.'My mum never tries to defend me.

A guy at my school was taking a new subject that he had no experience in and i told him that it is actually quite difficult (it is often thought to be an easy one) and he said that it didn't matter because i was a girl so it would be harder for me anyway.
#60669 H 2014-03-09 09:52
My female gay friend's work colleague will ask her staggeringly personal and embarrassing questions about exactly how she "does it" and what she uses to replicate that oh so essential penis.

Whatever she does is private, but Mr work colleague really needs to know and feels entitled to ask. He'd never ask a gay man.
He just doesn't get that no normal human would want to give sexual details to anyone, least of all at work. He honestly isn't trolling or trying to be offensive, he is just so massively over entitled that he thinks men deserve an explanation when women don't fancy them.
#60668 Lena 2014-03-09 09:37
I've work in a gallery that is part of a college. I have work there for twenty years, and part of my job is to install art work; a physical, technical and practical task which I enjoy and am very good at. I got a tool-belt that I wear when I'm installing. Frequently when wearing this, the college's (all male) premises staff or other male colleagues make comments such as 'hehe - you look as a professional' or something similar. And although it's not meant nastily, it's tiresome and not funny.
I am a professional. I use hammers, screwdriver, spirit-level, ladders etc when I hang exhibitions - it's part of my job and what I do. It might seem petty by me or maybe even humourless - but the fact remains that it's clearly challenging for some men to see a 50 year old woman do a practical job and they feel the need to make a remark. If I was a 50 year old bloke wearing a tool-belt I doubt they would bat an eyelid. I feel like 'please just leave me alone and let me get on will hanging the show'.
#60667 Grr 2014-03-09 09:04
"You're too pretty to need medicine"
Thanks random drugstore older man but seriously when a very ill person needs to buy medication it's probably best not to turn it into a dating opportunity, they aren't feeling like a sexy chat and if they were it wouldn't be with someone old enough to be their dad.
And they don't really want to waste energy explaining their entire medical history to you and no they really haven't made it up even though they are "too young to be ill" and "don't look sick" in fact they are very very tired and talking makes them worse.

What do you mean you've never asked a man all these questions before? Why ever not? Don't you feel entitled to know everything about him since he stepped out of his house whilst being young and not ugly? If that's not asking for it I don't know what is

/end of sarcasm

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