The Everyday Sexism Project exists to catalogue instances of sexism experienced 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 laura@everydaysexism.com I can upload your story for you instead. Follow us on Twitter (and submit entries by tweet) at @EverydaySexism.

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Mary

I’ve just come across this via a Facebook link and I’m so pleased to see a place where women can write down their experiences of sexism and misogyny – I’ve experienced both over the years and it’s cathartic in a way to be able to anonymously talk about incidents (my husband either doesn’t want to hear or thinks I’m overreacting). From prolonged sexual assault aged 11 years by an older brother; boys on bikes grabbing my breasts as I was walking up the road with 2 bags of groceries, men who think it’s ok to grab you through the legs from behind, policemen thinking it’s ok to say a ‘strip search might be in order lads’ or being told by a senior police officer at a social event that ‘you have great boobs’, male colleagues being physically and sexually intimidating – being pulled into empty rooms, held against the wall demanding a kiss, a 6ft 4inch man (and almost as wide) standing in the doorway of my office so that I couldn’t get out, visiting a so-called male friend and being physically restrained and told ‘you know you want it’, being stalked by a bus driver, being verbally and physically threatened by a man who shouted I had taken his parking space on a busy road in the city – he was going to pull me out of the car and kick the car in if I didn’t move; I did move and reported him to the police who traced him through his registration number and, guess what, according to him, I was the one at fault! As I’ve got older I come across it less as I won’t put up with any s*** and I can now spot the type a mile off, also, being older has its advantages – generally you’re off the radar! My aim for my granddaughters is that they learn to be assertive from an early age (which they are) don’t put up with any ‘bloke’ talk that makes them feel uncomfortable even though it makes them appear ‘humourless’ and to tackle intimidating behaviour head-on.

Miss too smart for her own good

After my boyfriend and me had an argument, he told his parents about it. Has nothing to do with this, was a petty dispute. But they say that I’m too smart for my own good. I don’t think there is any such thing as a woman being too smart for her own good. If I’m lucky enough to have a daughter I vow to teach her that. I’m proud of it.

Irritated sad angry

About to bring a baby girl into the world, getting a preview of what kind of ‘kids shows’ are out there from other moms with young children. How is it that the number one show ‘Paw Patrol’ has only 1 female character, how hard is it to have an equal number of male and female characters in a modern children’s cartoon.

Also – friends I love, appreciate and respect recently made a joke about how their son (who is the only boy among many girls in their group of friends with young children) would be getting blowjobs from all of these girls once they were in high school. I was sad, hurt and frustrated at the implication (even in jest) that my daughter would INEVITABLY sexually service their son one day. I felt hollow because the joke took away any idea of empowerment and choice over sexual identity and actions from my daughter and gave all that power to their son. Ultimately I was just sad because for everyone else in the room it was just a harmless joke but I keenly felt that this wonderful baby who has not even entered the world yet is already being held back, limited and judged based on her gender.

Anonymous

We had work done to our house a few years ago during which my husband made his own, and changed joint, decisions without communicating with me. I believe decisions that effect both of us should be made together. We are about to have further work carried out. At the initial consultation with the builder (at which my husband was not present) he said he would ask my husband to make the decision about an aspect. I didn’t react verbally but he might have seen me reacting non verbally! I am now anxious that decisions will again be made by my husband without me. It’s bad enough as it is but I am also the one paying for all the work (as I earn quite a bit more) and I paid for the majority of the house too! When I spoke to my husband about my desire to be involved in making decisions he swore at me and is sleeping in the spare room tonight! The only small saving grace is that I don’t have to suffer his snoring tonight.

Leah

When I was 14, I was assigned a seat in a couple of lessons next to the same boy. He was a ‘class clown’ but generally seemed like a nice enough person; I didn’t mind sitting next to him. Afew lessons in, he apparently thought it appropriate to rest his hand on my upper thigh. I told him to move and he acted like he couldn’t hear me, so I moved his hand myself. I thought this would be a one off incident, like maybe he was unsure how to express interest. I was wrong. He continued to rest his hand on my thigh anytime we sat next to each other, and I actually stopped caring because we got on in every other way. I guess I thought it was just flirting. He also made a lot of ‘jokes’ or asked me inappropriate questions, which I wasn’t used to and brushed off because he was a ‘class clown’ and he was just trying to be funny. A lot of these questions revolved around my Christianity and virginity, and he would ask me the same questions over and over and I would find myself practicing responses late at night. Eventually, I stopped feeling ashamed and embarrassed by him and thought it was just his way of trying to flirt, despite my countless rejections. This was a couple of years ago and at the time I thought it was just silly and that I needed to learn how to behave when a guy likes you, but now I feel ashamed that I wasn’t firmer with him. I now like to consider myself to be far stronger willed when it comes to standing up for myself. I just wanted to share this because I was never told what was ‘normal or ‘acceptable’ behaviour in such trivial situations and I’ve learnt that if you don’t feel comfortable then you shouldn’t just tolerate it the way i did.

Anonymous

Aged 17, living in London, I was exposed to in a lift in Holland Park tube station. It was only me and this guy. He took his penis out and played with it saying “it’s nice isn’t it”. I felt very scared. I did not think it was significant enough to report to the police and I would not have been able to identify him on a line up.

Aged 14 ish, at a ball in Glasgow, I was kissing a boy outside, who then pushed me against a car and rammed his fist inside me. I felt violated. I did not report as at the time I thought this was as much my fault.

I have also been rubbed up against on crowed buses and asked to “get my tits out for the lads”.

More recently my father in law advised that I should not have any more children as it had affected my looks. I was told that I lacked a sense of humour and when I went bright red in rage, was laughed at. This same man passed judgement on my two children (who he called ‘it’ or ‘creature’) – saying one was pretty and a success, the other was not so good. All the while me husband and mother in law sit saying nothing. I am then told off by my mother in law’s brother to try to get along with my father in law.

Anon

I was 13
I was walking up the street in my grandparents home town. I was just an average day. I was wearing my new button up top (very mature for a 13-year-old but I was into the smart look) and some nice jeans not that what I was wearing matters. I was standing at the lights waiting fro them to turn green so that I could cross. Then all of a sudden, an old man who had a cigarette hanging out of his mouth leaned out of the passenger’s side of the window and yelled a blur of inappropriate words at me such as “ain’t you a pretty girl”. Although this may not seem serious to many, at the age of thirteen, I felt ashamed even though there was no reason for me to feel this way. This was my first experience but unfortunately not my last. (I am the only girl in my ICT class and are treated extremely differently by my peers and teachers).

Hannah

I was shopping alone on a busy Saturday afternoon in Marks and Spencer’s food hall. I was looking at some products on the shelf, reaching up to pick a packet up, and I felt what can only be described as my bottom being groped firmly with two hands. Shocked I looked immediatly around me I’m disgust. To the distant left was a middle aged woman preoccupied herself, and to my near right was a suspicious looking elderly man with a stick. The stick seemed to be one that a partially sighted or blind person would use. I followed the man around the shop and he appeared to be able to see his surroundings and read packaging.
I wish I had reported what happened to me, I felt completely violated and freaked out. You don’t expect to be groped at any time but especially not in the middle of a shop in the daytime. I didn’t want to make a scene or waste anyone’s time but I now wish that I had stuck up for myself.
I have since seen said man in my local area without the stick.

Liz

I met with a new dermatologist today. As he led me in his office, he placed his hand on my back and began to slide it south. I elbowed it away. After a brief consultation of sternly redirecting his conversation to skincare, he tried to help me put on my coat (smack)and button it! Smack, smack, smack. As I checked out with the receptionist, the good doctor invited me to his cabin for some rest and relaxation. Good for my skin, of course. Is this real life?

Katrina

I complained to the police about a male who was stalking me and the response I got was he has a right to drive around in a place at the same time as you. He had just been released from jail and was on bail for robbing a bank. I gave all the peoples names that he sexually assaulted to the police and not one of them or another person said they believe me. The sexual assault centre discharged me numerous times on the basis that I was apparently doing well. I have reason to believed that I am being stalked at least on occasion and it has been more than ten years since the first incident.