If you’re a female and you’ve never experienced sexism, welcome to planet Earth. There’s a Twitter we’d like to direct you to, to get you up to speed: @EverydaySexism.
And there’s a hashtag you can use to share your own stories should you decide to join others in #shoutingback.
The Everyday Sexism Project is a website where women (and men) can document “instances of sexism experienced by women 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.”
Why does the world need this? Good question.
It seems to be increasingly difficult to talk about sexism, equality and women’s rights in a modern society that perceives itself to have achieved gender equality.[The website exists to] show that sexism exists in abundance in the UK workplace and that it is very far from being a problem we no longer need to discuss. To provoke responses so numerous and wide-ranging that the problem becomes impossible to ignore. To report the way you have been treated, even if it has not been taken seriously elsewhere. To stand up and say ‘this isn’t right’, even if it isn’t big or outrageous or shocking. Even if you’ve got used to thinking that it is ‘just the way things are’.
We simply aren’t living in an equal society, but we are blasted for ‘whining’ or ‘not knowing how lucky we are’ if we try to point it out. . . . [This site sets out to] prove how widespread the problem really is. And nobody will be able to say we can’t talk about it anymore.
“I became a hate target and the subject of a campaign to bring me and the site down. At one point, when I first set up the project, I was receiving around 200 death threats a day online. I went to the police but they couldn’t do anything as the groups who were targeting me were American based and outside of the British police’s jurisdiction,” she explains calmly.
“I wanted to pack it all in as it does get to you. But then I realized how much the threats proved the need for the website. Now the site’s profile is higher, it has provided a bit of a buffer to the abuse – and it has massively calmed down.”
And now the site is set to share its 20,000th entry this week. Amazing.
Want to show your support for the effort, but don’t fancy yourself an “activist?” It’s up for a Shorty Award – place your vote here. We won’t tell – promise (but you should).
(Female mechanic image from Shutterstock)