The Everyday Sexism Project

The Everyday Sexism Project exists to catalogue 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. Say as much or as little as you like, use your real name or a pseudonym – it’s up to you. By sharing your story you’re showing the world that sexism does exist, it is faced by women everyday and it is a valid problem to discuss.

everyday sexism project
via the everyday sexism project.

What story would you add? Think over your day (today or yesterday) don’t go beyond that into the past and dig up big issues and events. Sexism creeps in to so many little things every day.

I don’t mean things like a man holding a door open for a woman. That is still a courtesy, unless he lets it swing shut on the next woman who isn’t as young or pretty. Don’t take common courtesy and good manners as sexism. Manners are a form of respect in our culture.

Today I read a Twitter post about a woman who gets asked “Where’s your boyfriend?” when she carries boxes herself. That is sexism for both men and women. However, I don’t think it’s sexism to offer to help her. I’m a woman and I might help someone carry something. On the other hand, I’m glad when my brother helps me carry groceries up the steps and into the house. I don’t ask for the help. I know I’m hoping he will.

I don’t see that as sexist, especially when I see how much easier he carries everything than I would have done. Plus, he feels manly helping me. I’m happy to make him feel good. If he stays I offer to make coffee and he likes to sit back and be fussed over a bit. I like doing it, for him. I wouldn’t feel the same if it were someone else.

On the other hand… he thinks I’m over reacting when I feel threatened by a man who touches me too much, gets too close, etc. His attitude is everyday sexism but it comes from not knowing how I feel as a woman: vulnerable to a bigger, stronger person who can react in ways I can’t predict or control.

The issue of everyday sexism is interesting because there is so much more to it than it seems on the surface.

The Best Blogs are on Their Way to Being Something Else

“Definitions are boundaries, and boundaries are anathema to Webloggers. Moreover, the best Weblogs are always shifting and evolving, always on their way to being something else.”   – Julia Keller of the Chicago Tribune

via blogs by women.

I really like this quote. My friend, Deanna, says I change things too much and too often. Mostly she says I make the mistake of not leaving a connection between what I’m doing and what I have done.

I do like to end things and not leave something hanging around, a loose end, once I’ve made a decision and moved on. In publishing, especially online, that is likely a mistake. But, I probably won’t change. What I can do is backtrack afterwards and put in a link. Not as good, maybe not that smart, but… you can’t be everyone’s version of perfection.

Change is good. Scary at times. Challenging too. I like to think of change as evolving and not just change for the sake of change or because I’ve gotten into a routine and don’t like it. (I don’t like routines, yet I am very good at making plans).

Titles Matter Don’t Assume

Titles matter when you post to Twitter or other social media or the actual blog post itself. Don’t assume people will know what you are talking about. A title is especially important when you are sharing a link you want readers to click. Inside your blog post a link should be used for the words which describe the post. Not “click here”.

Don’t send a link to social media like a “click here”.

titles matter

 

If this appeared in your social media feed (Twitter in this case) would you click that link?

We follow a lot of people in Twitter, at least I do. We don’t know them all well and we can’t possibly keep up with all of them. So we catch snippets and some of them catch our attention or interest. Some of them don’t. This interview may have caught your attention if you had known what it was about. But, from this title you don’t have that information.

It’s too bad because a lot of women would have enjoyed the interview. Or, if not, they at least would have appreciated the concept of being a sexpot with stretch marks. Perked your interest? See how that works much better than assuming people will know who she is and what book she wrote. Now you might even look her up on Twitter. But, not so likely before knowing the details.

Who Will Read your Diary in the Future?

I write a diary. You could also call it a journal but I prefer diary because that feels connected to history and all the women who have kept a diary through history. Since the early days of writing on paper women have documented their thoughts, their lives and their ideas.

We write with someone in mind, a reader.

It may be a generic reader or you may think of an actual person as you write. I do. The person I write to has changed over the years. I think I wrote to myself when I was a kid. It’s hard to remember and know for sure what I was thinking as I wrote so long ago when my mind was so much less complicated. Then I wrote for the people. I used to think my diary would be read long after I’m gone but it would be used for my biography, whoever took up the task of writing it.

At some point I began to edit myself as I wrote. Having that reader in mind, I started to think about how much I didn’t want the world to know versus how much I wanted to write about everything in my head. Writing a diary is a release, a freedom of thought and a way to organize your emotions too. But, when you think of someone else actually reading all of that… your outlook changes.

Now I try to write just for myself again. Thinking too much about the reader took away too much of what I needed from the whole thing of keeping a diary. So, they all join each other in a big storage box as I run out of space to write. But, I don’t know if anyone will ever read them. At least not until I am long gone and will never know (or hear) what people say about the real me in the pages of those hand written books.

The history of women is in our diaries, our letters and our crafts. I’m so glad to see the history of women being pulled from obscurity.

So few women managed to become a part of recorded history, other than being mentioned as the daughter, wife or sister of some important man. So much of women’s history is lost. What was it really like to be a woman, daughter, wife, Mother or sister in the 1600’s? Those were the days when North America was being discovered by Europeans. I’d really like to know about women in early, ancient and prehistory. In such early days we don’t have history of any people but those who were politically important, enough to have been written about. Of course, in those early days of writing, it was rare for women to be taught to write.

I think about that sometimes. I don’t take writing and being about write for granted. We record our own history, in our own words. That is something of value – our way of having a mark on the world, even if we aren’t sure we really want someone else to read it!

 

Bring Your Favourite Historical Character to Life on Twitter

You can find real celebrities on Twitter (with the checkmark after their name).

But, you can also find dead celebrities, famous people and others created by someone with an interest in history or just having a lot of snark. I also follow a few who post from the point of view of people living in a specific period of time, like Victorian women.

If you have an interest in a particular celebrity or famous person try searching for the name on Twitter, see what comes up.

If you created a historical fictional account yourself, who or what time period would you mimic? 

Historical Tweets – outdated database but still useful.

Women Expatriates


Expat Women – Helping women living overseas.

Would you move to another country, another part of the world with a different culture, maybe a different language from your own even? Some women do. Some women in fiction travel even farther. How would it be to live in the fairy realm, another planet, or some civilization built around our own but hidden from the ordinary human eye? I think women in this situation would have the same kind situations and difficulties as women expatriates.

Women are Afraid Men Will Kill Them

“Men are afraid that women will laugh at them. Women are afraid that men will kill them.” – Margaret Atwood.

Do you agree, or disagree? Does your opinion reflect your gender? Do men ever feel threatened with bodily harm, assault, torture, sexual violence or death on an average day?

My Dad and my brother both make light of anything like this. Women are over reacting, being silly… but the fact is that a woman does not feel safe out in the world and it’s not because of other women.

When you write about fear, what do you draw on? I draw on my feelings at the times I have been assaulted, molested and/ or attacked. It does make me wonder what men have to draw on when they write about fear. Do they have any real experience or is it all based on stuff they have seen on TV? Isn’t it handy then, that there are so many movies and TV shows where women are attacked so men will have something both entertaining and educational to have some understanding of what it feels like to be afraid for your life.