Normally on a Friday I like to keep my thoughts breezy and happy, but since reading about The Everyday Sexism Project, I cannot get it out of my head, and I wanted to hear your views on the matter.
The project’s aim is a simple one; “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.”
Once you start reading the entries, it’s scary to realise just how many instances there are of sexism or misogyny occur every single day. I must admit, I’ve had my fair share, but they’ve become so commonplace I can barely even remember when they happen. I’ve been taught to ignore the taunts, not to respond and certainly never to challenge.
What’s more, because they only ever happen when you’re alone (or with female friends) it’s hard to get others to believe you. Sometimes my boyfriend finds it hard to believe that a man really did make such obscene sexual gestures at me, or 2 men in a van really did yell out those things while I was trying to cycle to work, as they are so disgusting. Although it’s sad to read just how many instances there are, it might make people take this matter a bit more bloody seriously.
The sad fact is that women are not treated equally and the evidence is so overwhelmingly everywhere, it’s hard to tackle. Take this recent issue the project recently campaigned against (and won, eventually, you can see the new stands here)
Asda shows ‘Men’s Interests’ to include the New Scientist, National Geographic, The Week, The Sky at Night and Cycling, and not to mention all the gaming magazines and Auto Trader.
Whereas at this Tesco store ‘Women’s Interests’ is made up entirely of fashion, celeb gossip and diet top tips.
How many times have I stood in front of such stands to buy The New Scientist but never noticed what was right in front of me? This project has taught me to keep a look out for such instances of blatant sexism in the future.
Perhaps another time I will share with you the horrible gestures, facial expressions and shouts that I incur every single time I bike to work in London, but for now, let me know what you think about all this. You can read plenty of entries on their site and their twitter.