Everyday Sexism Project was created by Laura Bates, British actress who now took the role of feminist activist and journalist. Her goal is to raise awareness on sexism in modern world and make it change.

 

Based on personal experience

Laura Bates in a British graduate of Oxford who started her career as an actress, but due to several events she now more concerned about completely different things. There once was a week in Laura’s life, when she faced sexism three times in a row – it were “usual”, “normal” cases (we’re all familiar with creepy guys on public transport and so on). As Laura admits, if they haven’t happen one-by-one she wouldn’t even think about it twice, but suddenly she found herself asking one simple question – “why is this happening?”. “

I had all these experiences of being groped on the bus, having a man follow me home, having a guy in a car slow down and say, ‘You walk down here every Wednesday and Thursday at about 12, don’t you?’” First she thought that maybe it’s just her, maybe she shouldn’t have dressed like that, or went home alone that late, or behave like she behaved, but later on she realized that there were hundreds of such incidents in her life, and so, she started talking about that. She was asking other women about the issue, and suddenly — not one or two of them admitted that something like this happened sometime ago, but every women shared a recent incident related to sexism.

Everyday Sexism Project. Laura Bates

Driven by real stories

“Stop making a fuzz, women are equal now. Talking about sexism or complaining about sexism must be overreacting, or maybe you don’t have a sense of humor, or maybe you have to learn to make a compliment”, people have told her. Instead, inspired by women’s stories, Laura created a really simple website called Everyday Sexism Project and proved with statistics that sexism still exists. On that page, every woman or man can (anonymously or not – it’s up to you) share sexism-related incident from her or his life. Laura thought that she’ll receive about 50 stories, but counted 80 000. Now the website has 25 country-specific versions with more on the way, and official Twitter account has 259k followers from all over the world. “The Everyday Sexism project aims to take a step towards gender equality, by proving wrong those who tell women that they can’t complain because we are equal. It is a place to record stories of sexism faced on a daily basis, by ordinary women, in ordinary places.” Everyday Sexism project collected all kind of stories, from minor ones to really serious issues.
Everyday Sexism Project. Laura Bates

Everyday Sexism Project. Laura Bates

Everyday Sexism Project. Laura Bates

Offline actions

Now the website, created to raise awareness and let people know about the issue, is becoming a tiny part of that Laura does. Thanks to her, 2,000 officers of British Transport Police have been trained to spot sexual abuse on buses and trains and made people realize that they actually can report harassment and assault as a crime. She also visits schools and universities where she talks to girls about the UK definition of sexual assault. Girls usually respond that “it can’t be sexual assault because it’s normal, it’s that happens to me when I go on the night out with my friends, people won’t take me seriously, I can’t report that”. And there are, of course, inspiring stories of people who started reacting on these incidents differently.

Laura works non-profit on the project, and makes her living as a journalist. When she once gave a speech about politics, all kind of sexism comments were made, from discussing her body and underwear to threats of raping and killing her. “I have had emails from people saying: ‘You should be very afraid, little girl, I will get you.’ People talk about specific serial killers they admire and who they would like to emulate … and about the different weapons that they fantasize about using on you and in what order. It is quite twisted stuff. When you’ve read somebody’s detailed account of how you’ll be raped and tortured, when you go to bed you think about that.” All because she just took voice and questioned gender equality in today’s world which appears to be very, even terribly far from perfect.

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