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   

#61286 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...
#61285 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.
#61284 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.
#61283 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.
#61282 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!!
#61281 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".
#61280 Fran 2014-03-21 10:18
Two summers ago I was working as student temporary help in product management in a German company producing coating materials, colours and chemicals (I actually study human geography but am familiar with all kinds of data analysis). I was employed in the department dealing with thermal insulation and it was just me and my (male) boss who were working on the product management side, the rest was more technically oriented (also almost exclusively male). I have never had any bad experiences there, everybody was very nice, interested in my university studies and why i had chosen to study abroad in another language (i.e. Britain, English). Most of the (technical) staff were older and didn't have university degrees and were even more impressed by my choice to study abroad, often encouraging me to talk about my studies or experiences.

One day my boss took me along to the graphics department since where we had a meeting with a senior graphic designer to better communicate the range of thermal insulation products via the website. We scheduled a progress meeting a week from then. The day of the progress meeting my boss was asked to step in for a sick colleague during a conference call but said since he was generally very happy with my work he was confident I could handle the progress meeting alone.

When the senior graphic designer arrived he greeted me with the informal German 'you' (everyone else without exception still used the formal 'you' when addressing me) which at first did not bother me too much. He then proceeded to sit down in front of my computer on my chair (no mistaking it, it had my jacket on it) and asked for my boss. I told him about the circumstances (which he should have known anyway since there was email-communication from my boss) and said I had my notes and instructions ready. He gave me an understanding smile, ignored my suggestion to start the actual meeting and asked about my studies abroad. I am very used to this question and gave him a short answer, explaining the basics. He kept his pitying smile, interrupted me randomly and said "so, you study human geography in Britain, what do you want to do with this?". I was getting more angry having been interrupted, informally addressed, belittled for my degree choice and all that from a man sitting in my (!) chair, yet kept calm and explained that I wanted to go into academia. He all but laughed out loud and said: "You know you don't need a degree to marry someone and stay home all day. Your dad is paying I assume?". Actually no, my mum is helping me out financially and she is a mechanical engineer but I didn't bother explaining that to him.
I have never experienced anyone treating me with so little respect before and even though I was angry I didn't have an answer ready. I kept calm but treated him with the barest amount of respect for a senior employee, coldly reminding him that I was not there for a chat but had an agenda. He either did not get the hint or did not care that he had insulted me.

Later I told my boss that the meeting had been difficult and that I didn't think that our ideas had come across to the senior designer but didn't tell him about the remarks. He must have sensed something was off though since the next time we met up with the graphic designer (in front of my boss he kept his thoughts to himself), my boss asked him: "Don't you just find it wonderful how she is studying and living abroad, excelling at her studies and having no problem at all working in an unfamiliar environment? We are so lucky to have such a young talent working with us this summer!".
#61279 Penny 2014-03-21 10:11
My boss of two months told me 'not to worry my pretty little head about it' when I went to see him about a clash in his diary. He had the grace to blush when I gave him the death stare. I'm 57.
#61278 Carrie 2014-03-21 09:59
Someone was promoted at a company I worked for a few years ago. This person then went on maternity leave 3 months after starting her new position. My colleagues (sadly, mostly women who had kids themselves) were all scandalised that "she must have known she was pregnant when she applied for the job!" because obviously being pregnant means you should lose all your career ambitions.
#61277 Ess 2014-03-21 09:39
Yesterday evening I was biking home and stopped at a traffic light. The guy in the car next to me rolled down his window to tell me I was hot. I ignored him and looked straight ahead. He called out to me "hello? I'm talking to you!", as if I was the one being rude. When the lights changed and we both started moving he called out the window again that it was a compliment and I should be grateful.

If only this were a one off but sadly it's a regular occurrence.
#61276 Helen 2014-03-21 09:30
Usually, I rarely wear make-up. When I do, it's for special occasions. One day I decided to put some on. I went out and sat down in University campus building and lo behold, a guy comes up and talks to me. I know he wouldn't have done had I not been wearing make-up. Same happened at a party, guys only spoke to me because I had a dress on. Which is why I don't party and don't wear dresses.
#61275 Katherine 2014-03-21 09:07
Enjoying a nice cruise through Halong Bay in Vietnam and this guy on another boat flops out his penis and waves it at me and the girl next to me. Ruined the view.
#61274 Crys 2014-03-21 09:07
I remember when I was in 3rd grade and a boy next to me in line asked if I wanted to sleep with him. At that age I didn't understand or know what sex was so I thought he wanted to just sleep. I said we could sleep next to each other during nap time. He said no, I want to sleep with you in a bed. I laughed and said, what? why? We were interrupted when it was his turn to play a game in our recess time.

Later on in high school when I decided to cut my hair short for the hell of it I was always approached by guys asking if I was a guy. I didn't like wearing make up or wearing revealing clothes because I didn't want the sexual attention of the guys in my school. Even in gym class when we had to swim I always put on shorts and a tshirt. But one day I wore a nice tommy girl shirt that fit me well as opposed to a looser shirt. As I made my way to the girl's locker room after swimming one of the guys called out to me and said if I needed any help changing to let him know. I laughed out of nervousness since I was shy, but later felt so stupid for not having rejected his offer. As well as disgusted.
On my way to class the next day dressed in a collared shirt and bell bottoms I heard a kid in spanish say, "ew, what is that a girl or a boy?!" I looked at him in rage from the corner of my eye and then heard the same guy from gym class respond, "a girl, man, you should see her body in the pool in gym class." He made a whistling sound. So the only way I could be validated as a girl was through my body...thanks. I started wearing a bit of make up and wearing more girly clothes, I was tired of all the comments and the questions about what gender I was.

During one swimming class I was trying to avoid getting my eyes wet since I was wearing eyeliner and didn't want it to run. I was in a small group playing a game where one person had to throw plastic rings and the rest catch or dive for them. The boy who was doing so saw how I was trying to avoid diving and threw a ring so that it would be far enough away from me that I couldn't catch it before it sank into the water. He told me to get it and I said I couldn't. A girl asked why not and he replied saying, because she doesn't want to get her makeup all messed up, scoffing at me.

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!