To mark International Women’s Day and to coincide with our IWD video, which calls out everyday sexism, we asked readers to share the most sexist things people have ever said to them – and we were shocked by the responses.
It may be 2020 but sadly, everyday sexism is rife and we’re pretty sure everyone has their own experience of it. Indeed, recent figures reveal 87% of women have faced sexism at work, and nearly three-quarters of all 16 to 18 year olds say they hear terms such as ‘slag’ used towards girls at schools on a regular basis.
You might have been accused of being ‘too emotional’ in the office, and you probably earn less than your male counterparts, right? It seems you’re not alone.
Responses range from being undermined in the workplace to even being told how to pronounce their own name.
Here, we share some of your experiences of everyday sexism…
- Regarding the lack of female partners, my boss declared “women aren’t prepared to put in the hours”
- “Ssssh, the men are talking”
- “Maybe you should calm down. This is why I don’t hire women.”
- “Football’s not a woman’s sport.”
- “You’re too old to be doing another degree, what about starting a family?”
- “Being the manager and continually being questioned whether you are in fact the manager.”
- “The estate agent refused to speak to me and only my boyfriend because ‘women don’t know anything’.”
- “I was corrected on the pronunciation of my own name.”
- “I am constantly wolf-whistled by the male students I teach.”
- “Assumed you can’t lift objects when you do it everyday as your job.”
- “I can’t give you a pay rise but thank goodness your husband earns more than you.”
- “You’re not just a pretty face…!”
- “Women belong in the kitchen after they’ve had children, their career is dead.”
The theme for this year’s IWD is #EachforEqual instilling that, collectively, we can help create a more gender equal world which is essential for economics and communities to thrive and that an equal world is more healthy, wealthy and harmonious. If our responses tell us anything, it’s that we still have a long way to go.
The race is on for the gender equal boardroom, a gender equal government, gender equal media coverage, gender equal workplaces, gender equal sports coverage, more gender equality in health and wealth … so let’s make it happen.