I was looking for a seat on the train and a suited gentleman kindly let me know that I could sit on his lap, if I liked.

I hope that there are a lot of people out there, both men and women, who agree with me that we still have a long way to go before women will be viewed with as much respect as men in society. I was lucky enough that my experiences at a girl’s school were positive. As a result, it never crossed my mind that being a woman would hold me back from doing anything that I wanted to. Now halfway through my degree, my eyes have been opened to a world where it seems fewer and fewer people share my belief in gender equality, a belief I had thought to be self-evident.

But recent coverage of The Everyday Sexism Project has highlighted, in a truly powerful way, the day-to-day issues that affect women all over the world. From tweets, to longer stories on their website, The Everyday Sexism Project simply presents the experiences of women in a way that speaks for itself.  They might not all be huge, but it paints a very full, sometimes scary, picture of the kind of abuses that we usually brush aside.

My former boss will only give me a reference if I have lunch with him. He was the reason I left. Feel powerless.

My pregnant sister was banned from pitching to a new PR client because “her future commitment to the account and the firm will clearly be in doubt”.

Of course, changing society’s attitude to women, men, and feminism –  I hardly dare say the “f” word – is a huge, seemingly impossible challenge, not at all aided by the fact that so many adverts, magazines, TV programmes, and celebrities not only feed, but actively promote such a culture. But The Everyday Sexism Project is a great way of highlighting the reality of life experience for women today. If nothing else, follow @EverydaySexism on twitter and judge for yourself.

7 thoughts on “#EverydaySexism

  1. When I was a primary school teacher, it was common knowledge that little kids came to school with the prejudices that they’d picked up at home. So education in all the isms (sexism, racism etc) had to start early. Occasionally, children managed to then educate their parents, but that was pretty rare.

    • If only all teachers were the same – I definitely think that any ‘ism’ is a cultural thing, a lot of which comes from home, so primary school is a great place to start the educating!

    • Is that to say that children have these “isms” or that they don’t have them. My experience is that they don’t, because when I was in elementary school I had a few black friends and we never thought anything of it. It didn’t even really occur to us until we started learning about slavery, segregation, etc.

      The sex issue is different because boys think girls are “icky” at that age and vice versa, but I think it’d be absurd to call that sexism on either side. So it’s hard to know where exactly sexism starts.

      • That’s absolutely great, and in many cases I’m sure that’s true! I suppose in any instances such as Ken may be speaking about, when certain ‘isms’ of any kind *are* brought into the classroom, it is incredibly important that children know what is and isn’t appropriate. Not that I particularly condone the teaching of said ‘isms’ as ‘isms’, rather helping to foster mutual respect; that everyone is different, they may or may not look different to you, but that doesn’t mean you should treat them differently on that basis.

        With sexism I do agree, though by the time I went to secondary school (about 11-12) I think that girls start to become a lot more conscious of body image and what boys think, and I think it starts to go ‘downhill’ from there – but that’s only my experience. Thanks for commenting and sharing your views!

  2. Pingback: HUNGER: Jo Spence and the F-word | all i love

  3. Excellent. Am looking at the Everyday Sexism link now. I can’t believe that old man, can’t believe it…

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