To the women who’ve ‘never really experienced sexism’ and the ‘not all men’ men
Women: Have you ever experienced sexism? Have you ever been catcalled? Has a man ever wolf whistled at you, or ‘accidentally’ grabbed your bum? Have you ever crossed the street or second guessed walking home alone? Have you ever had a conversation where the mechanic/salesman/engineer talks to your male partner rather than you, despite you being the one paying? At a restaurant, do you get to sample the wine before your boyfriend?
Have you ever been in a meeting where you’ve been asked to make the cuppas, despite the fact you’re not the assistant? Has anybody ever tweeted ‘I hope you get raped’ at you? Has a man ever assumed you can’t drive well, or build ikea furniture, or carry that heavy box? Have you ever said the phrase ‘boys will be boys’?
Have you ever partook in a sexual act you didn’t want to? Have you ever had sex when you didn’t really fancy it but it was easier to go than say no? Have you ever had sex because you felt like it was expected? Is your group chat filled with screenshots of tinder dates and uber drivers ‘just in case’? Have you ever gone to the Dr’s with period pain and been made to feel stupid?
When you’re in a bar or a club, have you been touched or groped or harassed? Have you made up a fake boyfriend in order to stop the harassment? Do you take your drinks to the toilet with you so they don’t get spiked? Before going out, do you reassess your outfit so you look more modest, despite the fact you look absolutely banging? In meetings do you hear your male co-workers take credit for the thing you suggested literally three minutes ago? What age did you start noticing you were attractive to men? Were you younger than 14? How old were the men shouting at you?
Have you ever said any of this out loud? Has anybody ever asked?
Men: Are you guilty of any of the above? Are you friends guilty? Are you co-workers guilty? Do they brag about it? Do you call them out? Do you tell them to stop? Do you know what a woman looks like when she’s uncomfortable?
Have you ever asked the women in your life if they’ve ever been sexually harassed or assaulted? Do you call women bitches when they won’t sleep with you? Do you mistake friendship for sexual attraction? Have you ever sat down and thought about this? Have you ever read ‘We should all be feminists?’
Be honest now, have you ever given any of this a second thought? Are you even aware this is the every day reality for half the population?
Are you going to do anything about it?