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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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#75393 Trivial 2015-06-13 07:44
Being treated like a stupid judgemental prude because I don't drink alcohol.
Presumeably if I told the truth and said it gives me chronic diahorreah I'd be accused of being unladylike.
Men demanding to know if it's a religious thing before launching into an angry atheist tirade about how religion is the cause of all war.
It's not a religious thing and it's aggressive males that cause war, not religion.
Seen many nuns with guns?
I do come from a religious background (which was differently sexist) but in general the men were a lot less aggressive which is, I suspect why lots of girls stay in church, theres less actual sexual harassment and the men don't assume that you are going to sleep with them or bully you because you are allergic to alcohol. Since I left I've found the men outside to be far more sexist, which was a bit of a shock as I'd been fed up with dogma, and expected better. Angry Atheist males are the absolute pits.they are every bit as dumb as preachy Christians but think they are enlightened and dont even know anything about what I now believe. Because they are too busy ranting to listen and won't leave it alone.
Don't need them to help me escape dogma. Or spike my drinks.
#75392 Huffy 2015-06-13 07:18
I get my boobs stared at a lot even though I am an incredibly conservative dresser, I've discovered that if you get a stared it helps if you click your fingers in front of each chest, without making eye contact that way if it was just a lapse in concentration it breaks the stare without escalating. usually that gives people a get out, and only dodgy blokes will say anything. Just a tip.
Of course people should have learnt not to stare. But the media redirects everyone's gaze towards women's chests, even my gaze. I now notice women's boobs because I've seen the camera focus on them so much. Before I watched you tube i barely noticed women at all. Seeing how increased access to media has changed me I'm now no longer surprised that many lads don't even realise they are staring when the media promotes boobs so much. But seriously schools should teach boys not to stare, they were pretty good at teaching girls not to stare at boys.
#75391 Huffy 2015-06-13 07:07
(redacted by moderator) 15 hours ago
"Cats are interesting and make a loyal friend! If you expect to be obeyed, get another dog, maybe like your girlfriend! "

Thanks for that micro aggression. Completely random bit of sexism from an online commenter to another man who wasn't even being rude to him under an article about cats.

It's exerywhere and everyday. There is no escape, whatever you are reading or doing, these men pop up.
#75390 J-C in Ramsgate 2015-06-13 03:41
I'm 71, just turned 16 in 1960, when the expectations of my school for its very brightest grammar-stream girls were for us to be nurses or teachers so as to make ourselves available for home-making and child-raising! Some of the things I encountered:-

- It's reprehensible to be ignorant, but at the same time no-one (especially boys) likes a clever clogs (me). Don't boast about things you are good at (always supposing you can
recognise that you are good at anything). (On the contrary, do pat yourself on the back when you feel you've had a success, however "small". It's vital to your sense of self-confidence and well-being.)

- Keep your mouth shut until you know what you are talking about. (Don't show your
ignorance by asking the questions that might help you know what you are talking about!) No! Show you're interested and willing to learn.

- It's very laudable to be in the school hockey team, but not very ladylike. It's healthy to be athletic, and that does not necessarily exclude being ladylike off the pitch - if that's what you want to be.

- The first time I kissed a boy (at 16) I was accused of being too overwhelming, and given the false reputation of being easy. It was three years before I had another boyfriend.

- My A-level Maths teacher often used to preface explanations of mathematical concepts with the the phrase "I don't expect the girls to understand this, but . . . ."

- Once when I was on a train, the man sitting next to me started feeling my breast
under my arm, so I thought I would teach him a lesson. I moved my arm forward to
hold my book differently, and he moved his fingers further forward. Eventually I shot my
arm back, bending his fingers backwards, very hard. He couldn't move away, there were no spare seats. I said, "Let that be a lesson to you". He just pretended to ignore me. I do
hope his knuckles swelled up. I felt pleased with myself for having taken action.

- When I told my mother I was going to live with my boyfriend of 5 years, she said "no-one will want to marry you after this". (I married him 2 years later.)

- I was not allowed to sign a hire-purchase agreement without a guarantor even after I was 21 (then the age of majority, not 18 as it is now), and my salary was not taken into
account when we first wanted to take out a mortgage, though in both cases my husband (then a student) was acceptable.

- I went to do some business in the bank, and the young male cashier asked "Oh, are
you X's wife?" to which I replied that X was, in fact, my husband. I saw his lip curl in a sneer. I am not defined by my relationship to anyone else.

- After I expressed in public an opinion that disagreed with my husband's, he accused me of being disloyal, and I could not understand for a very long time why that felt wrong
to me. I am allowed to have opinions that differ from those of other people.

- When I said I wanted to go back to work, after the children had started at school, he
asked "Who's going to look after me?" (despite the fact that he had professional female
colleagues with husbands). The marriage did not last long after that, and I started to
read feminist literature, which helped clarify many issues for me. I have as much right as anyone else to an independent life regardless of my marital status.

- When I went to college full-time in my forties, one of my lecturers commented in the
middle of a class that something I did was not very ladylike. I retorted that that was
something I had never pretended to be. He was dumbfounded.

- I have always done my own DIY until recently, but a few weeks ago I needed a plumber to sort out the taps in my bathroom. He as good as told me I was talking rubbish when I explained the problem. Then I clarified for him that, if I had still had the strength in my hands, I would be doing the job myself, so would he kindly get on with the job he was being paid for. I learned to be DIY competent; being old and female does not make me an idiot.

- I've had quite a lot of hospital appointments recently, and have also used the 111 service, but every time I refer to "my GP", medical staff of all kinds and of both genders, from HCAs to nurses to consultants, and even GPs staffing the enquiry line, assume my doctor to be male and use the pronoun "he", sometimes even after I have emphasised that she is female. Many doctors nowadays are female; it is high time that fact had infiltrated the consciousness of the men and women steeped in the male elitist culture of the medical profession.

- Waiting staff in restaurants still find it difficult to accept a woman ordering and paying for the meal when I want to treat my male partner. I feel really grateful that he is truly egalitarian, but why should that be the exception?

- I was looking for a child's birthday card and wrapping paper recently, and could only
find pink or blue themes. There is nothing intrinsically wrong with either colour, but
ALL the blue ones were specifically for boys, and ALL the girls' ones were pink. That is
abominable. I've rarely worn pink, and did not colour-code my children, even forty years
ago. Why is it so much worse now? Why have we gone backwards in this respect?

In many ways, women today have more opportunities, greater expectations, more support, but I can't help feeling that sexism is more prevalent than ever.

May you young women keep noticing, keep complaining, keep challenging sexism (or any other "ism") wherever you see or experience it.
#75389 Sayaka 2015-06-13 00:25
I do not like public transportation. Although it is considered rude or offensive that you stare stranger in public space in my country, everyone thinks ok that man staring woman. When I say its uncomfortable to be looked upon by men I don't know, people say they did that because you're attractive. And when I look someone who's attractive to me, I'm told that it is offensive. What a double standard!
#75388 Leigh 2015-06-13 00:03
I was grabbing some lunch at a table outside a cafe in Elland, West Yorkshire, UK. I'm a 42 year old woman and I was wearing work clothes. I became aware that a car had pulled up at some traffic lights opposite me and its occupants were looking in my direction. I got up to go back into the cafe to fetch some water and, as I returned to my table, was aware that the three men and two women inside the car were laughing uproariously and looking over at me. I heard one of the men say 'she should have stayed sitting down'. I understood them to be laughing because they felt I looked slimmer sitting down with my lower body hidden behind the table.
#75387 Sam 2015-06-12 23:32
We have recently taken on a new lodger in my house, he's been here for about a month and I literally have not spoken more than 10 words to him before today.

Today, returning from work I go to the kitchen to make dinner and he and a friend of his (who I've never met before) are present. Long story short, lodger proceeds to engage me in convo about how I can always have anything of his in the kitchen etc.

As friend and lodger turn to leave kitchen, lodger turns back to me, walks over and tries to kiss me. I push him away and stare in disbelief...we have literally never really spoken before today. Lodger looks at me and says 'what?'. I leg it out of house to aunt's round the corner.

After many hours of deliberation I return home with two uncles in tow who kindly let lodger know he will be expected to leave in the morning.

I have never felt unsafe in my own home before today.
#75386 Zoë 2015-06-12 21:08
My estate agent came round last week, to 'inspect' some cracks in the wall above my sofa, caused by construction work next door. He responded 'Good gracious, what have you been doing in here, have you been using the sofa as a bed'... I was speechless. A week later it still makes me angry.
#75385 Anon 2015-06-12 19:03
I used to volunteer for a mental health helpline and was shocked by how many of the calls were actually from creepy men who just wanted to breathe heavily down the phone and tell us what they were doing with their dicks. I wonder if they ever stopped to think that they might have been stopping someone in genuine need from getting through.
#75384 Anastasia 2015-06-12 16:21
Getting called a slag by a guy I barely knew when I was 12 and had never had a boyfriend. Walking along at school and random guy walks past and says "you have small tits". Made me so depressed. I was 13. Walking at night time and a car of young guys stops and asks for directions, then one shouts get your fanny out. I was 15 and with my boyfriend. The immaturity of boys in my year even now, thinking it's funny to tell girls to get back in the kitchen. Also school and teachers telling the girls at summer time they don't want to see any "boobs bums or bellies", (we have non uniform). Don't teach girls to hide their bodies teach boys and men to have the mental capacity to not be distracted by normal parts of the body sexualised by society.
#75383 Charliefem93 2015-06-12 15:29
A uni friend of mine went to the beach on a Geology trip and she claims that her tutor said 'ok, boys you can dig a hole in the sand. Girls - stand there and giggle.'

#75382 Jo Tomalin 2015-06-12 12:45
Minor but insidious. I use Mozilla Firefox everyday for work. At the moment it is promoting something called FoxYeah. The animation which promotes this shows two men (one on a bicycle and one striding along with big feet planted well on the ground. There are also two women. Both have Barbie-distorted feet and are teetering on their twos. One is carrying a cat (or fur) on her shoulder, and the other is pregnant and pushing a pram with a child in it.
The message here about women's roles (and what they should do to their feet) is scary.
#75381 GI 2015-06-12 11:19
Guy at work sent an email to a couple of colleagues with high importance, informing us that a a fellow colleague had previously "smashed" a girl we met at a client event the night before.
#75380 Lizzie 2015-06-12 09:38
Yesterday I was enjoying a sunny evening jog. I was wearing headphones so was not aware at first that a bloke was shouting abuse at me from a car that had pulled up alongside me - there were several blokes in the car. I only caught the end of it as he yelled "jog home you fucking fat bitch" and threw a half eaten sandwich out of the window at me . I felt utterly shocked. It left me shaken and upset.Today I just feel really angry. My abuser was particularly aggressive but I've googled this morning and discovered that women joggers getting heckled with sexist remarks is quite a phenomenon
I have a 13 year old daughter who enjoys jogging and I hope this doesn't happen to her. As the writer of that article (Anna Hart) says "It takes a special kind of arsehole to heckle a woman when she’s having a run in her jogging bottoms. But as every female runner knows, the world is not short of arseholes." Reminds me why we need feminism.
#75379 Georgina 2015-06-12 07:29
Listening to the radio debate about sexism in research: last year I attended my annual review as a PhD student (age 60!) and the Director of Post Graduate Studies asked me "Are you biddable?"
Humph - I answered no, really fast , at the same time thinking 'How dare he'
In the dictionary, 'biddable' is about dog training and an old fashioned expression about wives obeying their husbands.
Yes: sexism is alive and well in Universities, even amongst younger men.
#75378 Anon 2015-06-12 06:34
My story is at school. We have uniforms, the ones where you wear a tie and blazer and a plaid skirt. One day after assembly the school counselor asks all the girls to stay behind. She then goes on to explain that our skirts are being rolled up to high and we must pull them down. She says its a bad impression to the school and makes us look less classy. Since when does the length of my skirt define my classiness? She also mentions that there are boys in the school, teenage boys. The school doesn't find it appropriate that we where them so short because boys are distracted. She says that its also "a boys learning environment" and we should respect that.

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