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Everyday sexism

by Sophie Herdman ,
Everyday sexism

Have you ever walked down the street and been wolf whistled by a pervy guy? Has a waiter ever given the bill to your boyfriend even though you asked for it?

Everyday sexism: Tell it like it is

These examples of everyday sexism are pretty common, and The Everyday Sexism Project wants people to know just how common they are.

The project is gathering stories of sexism from women - and men - around the world on their website and on twitter.

A lot of the stories are things that happen every day to us women - from being patronised when the conversation turns to politics, to having to drink competitively with male colleagues to show we're not thinking about getting pregnant; if you dig a little deeper, it's easy to find examples where sexism continues to invade our lives.

Often we're just so used to them that these sexist scenarios pass us by. From the serious stories to the minor misdemeanours, each story of sexism is an important one, and helps to build a picture of where women are today and how far we have yet to go.

That's why we're right behind the Everyday Sexism Project. Acknowledging these instances of sexism is the first step to being able to eradicate them.

The Everyday Sexism Project was set up by a woman called Laura Bates, who now writes a weekly Everyday Sexism blog for The Independent. She started to notice how differently she was treated at work, on the streets and in social situations because, you guessed it, she is a woman. She realised that, even though it wasn't her fault, it made her feel guilty and embarrassed.

So she discussed it with her male friends. She was told that she was overreacting, should learn to take a compliment, and it didn't happen as much as she said it did.

Then she spoke to her female friends, and was shocked as they told her story after story of everyday sexism.

We were surprised by some of the facts on The Everyday Sexism Project's website. Only 22% of MPs are female, 70% of speaking parts in Hollywood films are taken by men - although female characters are five times more likely to strip down into sexy clothing. That reminded us of the The Bechdel Test for women in film - if you haven't seen this you should.
The Everyday Sexism Project has a few aims: to prove that sexism still exists and is a problem, to show how common sexism is and to tell women that sexism isn't something they should feel guilty about.

We can think of plenty of everyday acts of sexism in our lives and in the media (remember when GQ recently had five cover stars and the only woman, Lana Del Rey, was also the only one shot naked?).

That's why we're big fans of The Everyday Sexism Project and will be sending in our stories - we think you should too!

How you can get involved

You can post your story on The Everyday Sexism Project website, anonymously if you wish, or tweet your story to @EveryDaySexism

Our favourite stories from twitter

Man at door: alright love, is the boss in? Me: yes you're looking at her. Man at door: *hysterical laughter* Me: *evil eye*

Landlord turns up - wants to show us how to use the boiler. "I'd better show your husband how to do it," he says to my wife.

On a train once when passenger had heart attack. Found a doc, female, onboard. Train driver: "Are you a nurse?"

Even when I ask for the check at dinner, they still put the bill in front of my boyfriend.

Boys on the train discussing loudly whether Cheryl Cole must be infertile because she hasn't had a baby yet 'at her age'.

Was in town with girlfriend and female friend. I kissed gf and as doing so a man asked friend 'are you for hire too?'

When I stood in local election all papers said I was a vet nurse. I'd told them I was a vet.

Budgeting at the bank, I am asked how much a week I spend on clothes "and that includes shoes for you women!"

Sophie Herdman
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