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  1. #1
    Warflower Nijntje's Avatar
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    Default Everyday Sexism Project.

    I stumbled across this a while ago and had been musing about posting it, my reluctance to do so was because i felt i would be opening the very real experiences of myself and other women to ridicule. More so than when we recount them and are told to "not make such a big deal about it."

    I'm sorry, but harassment and intimidation and feeling like you are 'less than' IS a big deal. It's so entrenched that i don't think people realise they are doing it.

    The feeling that when i walk past a strange man or group of men i have to keep my eyes down and think to myself "please don't say anything, please don't say anything" isn't right.

    So, fuck it. I'm going to link the shit out of this and i'm going to share some stuff that is apparently me 'making a big deal out of nothing.'

    I know this is probably going to get trolled, and i know i'm going to be told I'm 'over-reacting' or 'being hysterical', things to make me feel like i am less than, and always will be.

    I guess this is why i still believe we need feminism.



    Some things i find unacceptable that happen too often to even try and catalogue:


    • From little things like a strange man at a bus stop telling me to "smile, you're too pretty to frown"
    • Cars following me and beeping at me while walking home,
    • An incident where a guy actually got in my car at a stop light to give me his number, because i was 'pretty'.
    • To being told by my 11 grade math teacher that i would be 'barefoot and pregnant by 21' if i chose a life in the arts (this was after i had dropped out of the hardest streams of math as although i was good at them, i ultimately found them boring),
    • Being told by a 10th grade guidance councillor that i wasn't smart enough for my science based future goal (because i was female) and i should do something that 'better suited a female temperament'.
    • a Guy coming into my work (LAST YEAR) and as i was getting a beer from the fridge for him, he grabs me and kisses me on the back of my neck because 'i look like i might be into it'
    • Feeling like it's MY fault
    • Having a worker on my parents fruit block position himself between me and the door to get into my own house and expose his penis and testicles to me. I was TWELVE feeling ashamed because maybe i shouldn't have worn shorts
    • Cat calls
    • Working at McDonalds at 16 and being told on drive through to "GET YOUR TITS OUT LUV!!"
    • Being groped in public places.


    I could go on, and on, and on.



    http://everydaysexism.com

    http://www.typologycentral.com/forum...ad.php?t=28627 <--- thread covering this before.


    Edit: Laura's project is called "The everydaysexism project', which encompasses harassment and sexism from both men and women to women. I also do not discount that it can go towards men, however, proportionately the number is much smaller that way.
    Last edited by Nijntje; 07-29-2013 at 10:15 PM.

    Terrible things happen to good people every day.
    Consequentially, I am not one of the good people.
    I am one of the terrible things.
    .



    Conclusion: Dinosaurs


  2. #2
    darkened dreams labyrinthine's Avatar
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    Thanks for sharing this, @Nijntje

    I had a chance to skim some of the contributions there. I've told some of my stories in various threads here. The three scenarios that impacted my life the most occurred during early childhood with an abusive father, then during my early adolescence when a number of molester types came out of the woodwork, and then during my career issues of flirtation/contempt. I will contribute here. It is a serious issue and difficult for some people to see if it hasn't impacted their lives in a tangible way. I may be able to add some here...

    * Standing in line for registration for 8th grade a guy pinched my behind really hard, and I turned around and glared at him.

    * Going to my friend's slumber party at age 11, always seeing her father stay in his Lazyboy chair while all of us girls slept in the living room, and then found out years later he molested my friend on a regular basis.

    * Riding the bus home in junior high, I always made sure to pile all my books on the seat next to me and stare out the window because a senior guy loved to sit next to the junior high girls and flirt intrusively. I was always afraid he would sit by me and I was afraid of him with his tabacco rotten teeth.

    * While taking a break from a summer job I went to with my mom when I was 14, I found a piano inside a school and started to play by myself. An adult man came in and was super interested and leaning over me. I remember feeling a bit invaded. My mother came in, saw it, and made sure I never came back with her to that job because it looked really off to her as well.

    * Before going to college my mother was briefly engaged to a man who was in the newspaper as a "real-life Santa Claus" because he would give things to the poor. He later revealed his true nature when my mother ended the relationship and he kept following her around. He would follow her around town in his vehicle and even park in her driveway at night, so she would call the police. I was away at college and felt a continual anxiety for her safety fearing that he could harm her at any time.

    * Receiving flowers in college from an unknown person and then receiving a phone call from a man that told me I walked by his house everyday and flirted with him everywhere he went. He later sent me a card with a half-naked man on the cover and inside it read "I'll bet you like that!" He also sent me a poem that read, "All the young girls like to tease with their goods and prance, to make the boys dance. Some men in frustration mame, but I do not fret because I have done the same." (I showed this to my boyfriend at the time who said, "oh he just sounds socially inexperienced")

    * My college voice teacher like to flirt with the students and some crushed on him and put their arms around him. During a choir rehearsal where I had to be upfront, he put his arm around me in front of everyone and I pulled away. He treated me with contempt, told me I wasn't talented like his other students, and I ended up feeling like crying during rehearsals.

    * I took voice lessons from a retired opera singer who was very flirtatious and said he wanted to help me pick out a little sexy, red dress, but that his wife probably wouldn't appreciate that. At my last lesson with him at his house he was ranting about something, but I only remember that he said something about "monogamy, celibacy, and other sexual perversions". He had no concept of how much emotional damage he did to me. I can't even explain it all here.

    * Going to a professional conference after much isolation, I was happy to chat with some man who was interested in composing for my instrument. I explained some of the technical issues and so forth. At a concert he came and sat by me which made me just slightly uncomfortable for some reason. I made sure my wedding ring was visible, but when I told him about a composer who wrote well for my instrument to use as an example he said something about how seductive or erotic that composers music was and that "you probably like that!" I left, called my husband, and was shaking all over from the shock that he took what I thought was an intellectual contribution to just be interest in him sexually.

    [Edit]
    * I once went out to a movie with my partner and had bought a pretty summer top at the local department store. It was lacy and had spaghetti straps, and even though in retrospect it looked a little like lingerie, it was sold as a blouse. I wore it to the movies with my partner and there were a couple of large men who took to staring at me in a way that did not feel like admiration, but instead like fixation and aggression. It actually frightened me, so I walked behind my partner and have never worn it again.

    * More recently I was teaching an adult male student who was a war vet and had some emotional regulation issues. He tried to complain constantly about his girlfriend at his piano lessons, so I had to constantly steer the conversation back to music. He started getting fixated on me, would try to get my home phone number every week, and when I demonstrated a passage on the piano, he would sit next to the bench with his legs spread apart as far as he could. My husband was working out of state for three months and this man lived in the same direction as I did. I made sure to identify what his car looked like and felt that underlying hum of fear that he might follow me home. The woman who worked in the office was extremely hurtful and dismissive to me about it.

    * I have stopped accepting male students with issues because there have been others who behaved that way. There was one who was constantly trying to come up with strange theories about music and reality. One had to do with everything having the components of the spiritual, the mental, and the physical. He then started complimenting me about how I felt spiritual and intelligent, and then he said that even though I wear baggy clothes, he was sure I had a beautiful body. It felt so intrusive to have student talking about my body like that. I started teaching him in the room that had glass doors, and was thankful when he quit lessons.
    [/Edit]


    There are more intense anecdotes than these but they come from really good people that I have been connected to as family or friends. Some are harder to put into words because they are more subtle and involve a longer-term process. I feel that I am really tough and wise to the deeper aspect of human nature because of these experiences. When I was in pre-school I was obsessed with Wonder Woman and wanted to be her. I still feel that way with my lasso of truth, my deflective bracelets, and just overall badass Amazon 'tude.
    Step into my metaphysical room of mirrors.
    Fear of reality creates myopic morality
    So I guess it means there is trouble until the robins come
    (from Blue Velvet)

  3. #3
    Warflower Nijntje's Avatar
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    Thank you. It just bothers me that it's so prevalent and seen as innocuous to be lowered to something that is essentially a viewing pleasure. and if you DON'T respond to cat-calls, you're a 'FUCKING BITCH, WHORE CUNT'. Nice, huh?

    Terrible things happen to good people every day.
    Consequentially, I am not one of the good people.
    I am one of the terrible things.
    .



    Conclusion: Dinosaurs


  4. #4
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    I'm not sure how you define sexism. It sounds like you consider it to be sexist if a male acknowledges that a female is attractive. I've had "strange" girls tell me was I cute before. Should I have considered that to be sexist? I'm just trying to get a handle on your definition here.

    I wouldn't label the groping as sexist, I would label it as assault. Are the men who groped you sexist, by definition, simply because they groped you? Or are they something else?
    "We grow up thinking that beliefs are something to be proud of, but they're really nothing but opinions one refuses to reconsider. Beliefs are easy. The stronger your beliefs are, the less open you are to growth and wisdom, because "strength of belief" is only the intensity with which you resist questioning yourself. As soon as you are proud of a belief, as soon as you think it adds something to who you are, then you've made it a part of your ego."

  5. #5
    Entertaining Cracker five sounds's Avatar
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    I'm sorry that you've had these experiences. I'm also struck by your apologetic tone. I can tend to be that way too, so I feel your vulnerability and appreciate you posting anyway.

    I've experienced some crap like that as well in my life, and I'm sure that most women have. It's incredible how some men assume power over women without being sensitive to the cues that might help them see that's not the case. It's even more offensive (to me) when someone assumes that being pretty or otherwise attractive is the ultimate compliment I can receive. Most often, those remarks make me reflect on WHY that behavior persists. There are historical roots, of course, and I believe that explains some of it. Especially from traditional types, they probably have a harder time imagining women (or anyone else for that matter) outside of their preconceived image. Of course we're weaker and want to be delicate and pretty and want a man to give it to us good. This disgusts me, but I can kind of understand why they might not even realize that they're being chauvinistic.

    I consider myself a feminist, and I think it's really important to bring real experiences to light just so men and women alike can see them and recognize them when they occur. That way, hopefully some men can learn and some women can become empowered to stand tall and know who the responsible party is for this kind of behavior. It's much easier to look at someone else and see them as not guilty or responsible for the sexist comments made to them than it is to do that with yourself. Thanks again for sharing.
    You hem me in -- behind and before;
    you have laid your hand upon me.
    Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
    too lofty for me to attain.

  6. #6
    Warflower Nijntje's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    I'm not sure how you define sexism. It sounds like you consider it to be sexist if a male acknowledges that a female is attractive. I've had "strange" girls tell me was I cute before. Should I have considered that to be sexist? I'm just trying to get a handle on your definition here.
    If it made you feel uncomfortable then i don't see why it wouldn't count. I do not discount that harassment happens to men, it's just disproportionately in favour of women.

    Terrible things happen to good people every day.
    Consequentially, I am not one of the good people.
    I am one of the terrible things.
    .



    Conclusion: Dinosaurs


  7. #7
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nijntje View Post
    If it made you feel uncomfortable then i don't see why it wouldn't count. I do not discount that harassment happens to men, it's just disproportionately in favour of women.
    So your definition of "sexist" is "doing something that makes someone of the other gender uncomfortable"?
    "We grow up thinking that beliefs are something to be proud of, but they're really nothing but opinions one refuses to reconsider. Beliefs are easy. The stronger your beliefs are, the less open you are to growth and wisdom, because "strength of belief" is only the intensity with which you resist questioning yourself. As soon as you are proud of a belief, as soon as you think it adds something to who you are, then you've made it a part of your ego."

  8. #8
    darkened dreams labyrinthine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    So your definition of "sexist" is "doing something that makes someone of the other gender uncomfortable"?
    I know this isn't directed at me, but it is about the entitlement to make the other gender feel uncomfortable. It is a sense of ownership and "justifiable" intrusion.
    Step into my metaphysical room of mirrors.
    Fear of reality creates myopic morality
    So I guess it means there is trouble until the robins come
    (from Blue Velvet)

  9. #9
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    I don't want to derail this thread because the overall theme is important. The groping was terrible (assault, IMO) and the sexism you experienced in school was unacceptable, but telling someone they're "too pretty to frown"? That seems over-the-top to me, unless there's some context that I'm missing. If that is also unacceptable sexist behavior, then we might as well start segregating the genders like Muslims do.
    "We grow up thinking that beliefs are something to be proud of, but they're really nothing but opinions one refuses to reconsider. Beliefs are easy. The stronger your beliefs are, the less open you are to growth and wisdom, because "strength of belief" is only the intensity with which you resist questioning yourself. As soon as you are proud of a belief, as soon as you think it adds something to who you are, then you've made it a part of your ego."

  10. #10
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fia View Post
    I know this isn't directed at me, but it is about the entitlement to make the other gender feel uncomfortable. It is a sense of ownership and "justifiable" intrusion.
    What about the statement "you're too pretty to frown" leads you to believe the speaker felt a sense of ownership? I'm imagining a passing comment as they're waiting at the bus stop. Are you imagining more than that?
    "We grow up thinking that beliefs are something to be proud of, but they're really nothing but opinions one refuses to reconsider. Beliefs are easy. The stronger your beliefs are, the less open you are to growth and wisdom, because "strength of belief" is only the intensity with which you resist questioning yourself. As soon as you are proud of a belief, as soon as you think it adds something to who you are, then you've made it a part of your ego."

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