new zealand

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.

If you prefer to e-mail me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. I can upload your story for you instead. Follow us on Twitter (and submit entries by tweet) at @EverydaySexism.

add your story

Security code
new code

live feed   

#76638 Lee 2015-08-26 08:02
Got catcalled last night while walking the dog.

A couple of men in a car with the windows rolled down slowed down next to me and they howled at me. It was getting dark and there was nobody else around. They kept driving next to me until I turned the corner onto a sidewalk into a small park. I'm very familiar with the surrounding area and know a couple of 'escape routes' from there. I waited behind a hedge until they drove on after yelling after me some more, and then I quickly walked home again. I think the dog was a bit disappointed we didn't walk any further but I was so shaken, all I could think about wat getting home safely.

This happened in a child friendly and very quiet neighbourhood, literally a hundred yards from my house. I didn't turn around and walk home when they drove up to me because then they would know where I live, and I don't want that.

Very tempted to let the dog into the garden tonight, but I'm not going to allow this experience to dictate my behaviour by not going on late night dog walks anymore. Walks which I usually find very quiet and relaxing. So even though I'm still a bit shaken up, I'm going for my walk again tonight.
#76637 Lee 2015-08-26 07:39
Yesterday my son cycled home from school with a girl who is in his class. They are both 14 years old. Usually my son cycles home with a couple of friends, but yesterday they had another class while he didn't, so he decided to cycle home with her.

When he came home he told me he was surprised and disgusted by how many times boys and men catcalled her on that 20 minute bike ride.
He told me:
'Until today I never realized how much girls get harassed when they are in public spaces. I can't believe how many times she got catcalled.
Because of what happened my friend and I did have a great talk about how disrespectful it is to catcall women and how you, mum, always tell me to respect other people and their boundaries and how everyone has a right to go outside without being harassed and how this is never a given when you are a woman. And you teaching me about what it does to women psychologically when men don't respect a woman's boundaries. She said she thought you are a very cool mum, raising your sons like that.
I always thought you were a bit overreacting, but after today I'm just so disappointed by a lot of men's behaviour towards women. I'm just so shocked. You can't do that to a person, being so leering and threatening, making them feel like shit.'

I'm pretty proud of him right now for recognizing that what happened yesterday is not okay at all and taking the harassment of his friend seriously and not thinking: 'Oh well, shit happens; this girl is really overreacting about those catcalls.'
#76636 Insert Name 2015-08-26 01:39
I remember two years ago when I was playing soccer for my local team, I was watching one of the coaches for a different team and how I noticed how when he was talking to the boys he would pat them on the back or shoulder when he finished talking to them but if he was ever talking to one of the girls on his team, he'd give them a pat on the bum as he sent them off.
I was absolutely disgusted at this sight of a 30-35 year old man putting his hands on provocative places on 12-15 year old girls.
I couldn't tell anyone because no-one would believe me.
#76635 Tarry 2015-08-25 23:45
I once stood up to an acquaintance for sexist behaviour on Facebook. He has posted a photo of a woman with unshaved legs, completed with a derogatory caption. When I pointed out how sexist it was, I wasn't the only one to do so either, he responded by saying something to the effect of no "woman of his" would ever be so disgusting as to have body hair or she can consider herself dumped. I responded by saying that unless he also shaved his own "disgusting" body hair, then he is a hypocrite and finished by reminding him that no woman, no matter her relationship to him, is HIS. She and her legs, shaved or no, belong to herself and her alone and it is HER choice whether to shave or not and if he would dump a woman for not shaving, then that woman would be MUCH better off as a result. Several of his male friends said that they had lost much respect for him after his post and comments.

It came to my attention recently that he has unfriended me, mostly likely for calling him out on his misogyny. Quelle suprise.
#76634 Lou 2015-08-25 21:52
Cycling home alone at 9.30pm on a quiet London backstreet a van honks behind me, then passes. It stops at traffic lights and I pull up next to it to turn right. The driver is leaning out of his window and says loudly and aggressively to me 'you shouldn't cycle in the middle of the road'. I start to reply that it's a single lane one way street and as a cyclist that's where you have to ride, and am about to move onto the fact that we're all road users, and besides which he wouldn't have got anywhere quicker since we're both stopped at the same lights when he cuts me off with 'I don't want an argument darling. I'm married so I won't even give you my cock' he carries on with some more sexual remarks I don't really register as I'm trying to formulate something to reply with.

Instead of something witty and cutting, or composed and thoughtful that will totally shift his view and make him realise the error of his ways, my mouth releases a torrent of loudly shouted DUCK YOUs. (Note: I didn't say duck)

My anger surprised me. It was a raw emotional response to having had sex thrust into a conversation so unnecessarily, me being demeaned from my role as an individual/cyclist/anythi ng else to being a sexual creature, and to him reducing what could have been a constructive conversation into a sleazy one, apropos of nothing.

I know this is only a minor example. But Why do we still have to put up with this shit?
#76633 Jade 2015-08-25 21:00
Last year my school STOPPED gym class at the end of the year so that we could sit and watch the Fifa World Cup instead. Of course this was great, and I enjoyed watching it. But this year? Nope, classes go on just the same, who cares if there's a Women's Fifa World Cup. And why call it "Women's World Cup" but call the men's "World Cup"? Does no one give a shit about women playing sports? It seems so.
#76632 Anon 2015-08-25 18:49
Female CEO of nationwide UK beauty company told my Junior colleague that she isn't allowed to keep tampons or sanitary towels in her desk drawers at work. I really can't fathom this one- you'd expect a greater level of compassion and respect from a woman who earns 5 million a year from her workforce of 97% women.
#76631 Linda 2015-08-25 18:45
I was walking past a building site on our road last week. I had my baby with me in the pushchair. As I walked past I was wolf-whistled at. This was the third or fourth time this had happened in a week. I walked on but then I turned around and walked back to the building site, pushing the pushchair in front of me. I asked the two men to get whoever on the site was wolf-whistling - at me or anyone else - to stop. I said it was sexist and ridiculous. They said it wasn't them. I asked them again to tell whoever it was to stop. I then walked off feeling how sad it was that I should be made to feel uncomfortable walking with a pushchair in my own road.
#76630 Tarry 2015-08-25 18:21
Once while casually discussing what we would do if I ever got pregnant unintentionally, my ex boyfriend matter of factly told me we would ask for the tests in the hospital to determine if the child would be born with any physical or mental defects or problems and, if any of the tests tested positive, then I would of course have an abortion. He TOLD me this. He didn't ask for my input. When I sarcastically asked if I had any say in having this hypothetical abortion he shrugged and told me if I objected that he would leave me without hesitation and wished me good luck raising the "potato" on my own. Then he lamented how women are scumbags for men having to pay child support for the children that they helped create. I told him to fuck off.
Yes, to anyone who is curious, this is the same ex from my previous posts. He is such a twisted individual.
#76629 Irritated maiden 2015-08-25 18:06
I can't go ride my bike without having someone follow me. IN THE MIDDLE OF THE DAY.
I was riding my bike one day and some guy was following me, I stop, he stops, I start, he starts, I stop he stops, very violently. I had to call the police, and rode home shaking. I am now afraid of riding my bike, it's my only form of exercise and I really love to do it. Assholes.
#76628 Irritated maiden 2015-08-25 17:59
Well, I work at a crappy office job. And the men here will just not leave me alone. They're mostly about 10-20 years older than my own father. They stand a few feet away from my cubicle and stare. They always stare at my legs and ass. When I am coming toward them, they look me up and down. I have to be nice, I cannot curse them out or give them a mean look because I am at work and I wouldn't wanna jeopardize my position nor would I want to cause any further issues for myself. I can't go out to the store without men gawking at me, and their wives mean mugging me. It's not my fault bitch! This needs to stop.
#76627 Jane 2015-08-25 17:28
In university after changing my major a couple of times I finally found the perfect degree - political science. Whenever people asked me what I studied and heard the answer they always said "oh... really??" in a really surprised and sceptical way and then I always went on to explain that I find it fascinating and that it is actually really interesting. I never heard anyone react like that when any of my male pol-sci friends revealed their major.

Half of the students in my classes were girls, and about half (or more) of the professors were smart and badass women, and yet I always felt like I had to bring extra proof to the guys that I actually liked this subject. They guys always had doubts whether the girls in the classes actually understood politics or were genuinely interested.. sigh.
#76626 Jane 2015-08-25 17:27
I had a lot of different hobbies and interests when I was a kid and teenager. I got turntables and started collecting records - and everyone told me that it is a 'boys hobby'. When I was on a local youth tv station I was the only girl behind the camera, all the other girls wanted to be tv presenters or actresses. 'Are you sure you are ok to carry that big heavy camera?'. When I got into photography everyone wondered how come I don't want to be a model, why would I want to deal with all that complicated technology stuff. I was the only girl in the computer class at school (not a mandatory class). I always hear that I have 'manly' hobbies - but what am I supposed to do if literally every interesting field is 'for men'?!

When I was a kid I was into sewing and drawing clothes. Sounds girly, right? In the designer contests the only guys out of thousands of applicants came to finals too. I always wondered why all the famous designers are men.

get interested in traveling - it's for boys. Surfing - it's for boys.

You literally can't choose a 'feminine' hobby - except fashion, interior design, baking and makeup of course (because we are only supposed to have interests that revolve around being beautiful and having a cozy home) - but even in those fields most 'big names' are men. As soon as a girl shows interest in anything outside stereotypical female interests it's weird and makes her look like she wants to be one of the boys on purpose.

This is not about sexual harassment, but I find it really sexist that even at a young age the "hobbies for boys" and "hobbies for girls" are separated to later become "jobs for men" and "jobs for women".
#76625 Kitty 2015-08-25 14:43
Men saying things like “I love it when she's angry” & “you're very attractive when you're being assertive”. BARF. Patronising or what?! So women aren't allowed to have feelings or be assertive then, & they're just there as decorations? Give me a break! Why do men think it's acceptable to say things like that, especially when they're in a work environment, & speaking to or about female colleagues like that? I bet they wouldn't dream of doing it to their male counterparts! I've never experienced this myself, thankfully, but I've witnessed it & it makes me really cross!
#76624 Jane 2015-08-25 13:55
I was at a music festival. I was walking by myself to my tent, I was wearing cute highwaisted jeans shorts. A guy who was standing along the road with a friend or two looked at me and said "Mmh, can I touch your thighs?" and licked his lips. I was creeped out and kept on walking much faster than before. I later told about this to a couple of people - I ended this story with a "Well I guess those shorts are too short for my legs, hahaha!"
I always considered myself feminist and anti-victim-blaming, and yet only a couple of years later I realized that I was blaming inappropriate sexual harassment from a stranger on my outfit! Women hear accusations of being dressed provocatively so often, that we actually think it was our fault! I realized this while reading the Everyday Sexism book.
#76623 Mish 2015-08-25 11:56
My housemate came into the kitchen, screaming about how disgusting my period was.

Subscribe to our mailing list


Everyday Sexism.. Book The Everyday Sexism book is out now and is available from Amazon, Foyles, Blackwell's and Waterstones!