Have you ever been catcalled incessantly as you walk down the street? Told to smile by some strange man who then used that line to ask you for your number? Ever been asked if you’re interested in going home with a man the minute he met you? I know I have. And I’m not alone. Because so many women in the world suffer through being sexually harassed on a daily, Leah Green created “The Everyday Sexism Project.” This social experiment was designed to flip the daily harassment women face on the men who can’t seem to stop pursuing us.
In the video, you can see Leah uses comedy to make a serious point by going around, chatting with men, asking them to come home with her, telling them their pants would look better on her floor and catcalling and honking at them from her car as she whizzes by. Each one of the scenarios, Green recreated scenarios she’s experienced where men have basically creeped on her and she tried it on men. On the site, Green educates people on her project and encourages them to tell their story.
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. If you prefer to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org I can upload your story for you instead. Follow us on Twitter (and submit entries by tweet) at @EverydaySexism.
I find this project to be brilliantly entertaining. It makes a huge statement. Sexism is one of the hardest topics to talk about. If we complain, we’re seen as uptight, prudes or even worse bra-burning feminists. And because we go through it everyday, our complaints about it may have desensitized the world from sympathizing with us. Honestly, many of us women have come to expect sexual harassment, so it’s been completely normalized.
While Green’s tactics may seem extreme to many, you must realize that women face some type of sexism, especially harassment on a daily basis. It could get so frequent that instead of reacting, we pretend it’s not even happening and continue on with our lives. I can’t tell you the amount of times I’ve heard a man calling me out, “Hey you with the big curly hair. I see you and all them curves…” and I just keep it moving.
I remember one time I was visiting family in Philadelphia and many of them live on the same street, so they often throw block parties. I was coming down the front steps and about to walk to the street where there was a cooler of beers and sodas. I bent over at the waist to fish out a beer from the cooler and one of my older cousins’ drunk friends stumbles up and exclaims, “Wooo weee! Girl, you better stand up straight before something happens!”
I stood up, glared at him and said, “Excuse me?” I heard every word he said, I just couldn’t believe that he even had the nerve. “Nothing would happen. Ever. Trust me.” I walked away.
“That’s what you think,” He yelled at my back.
These types of situations happen a lot and don’t always end as easily. I appreciate people like Leah Green who are willing to stand up and do something out of the box to put an end to such a huge epidemic. Green said that men who have seen this video said that hearing these words come out of a woman’s mouth has really made them realize the impact of their own words of harassment. These mens’ surprised reactions should remind us all that harassment isn’t a compliment and shouldn’t be brushed off as we often do. It’s sad that we have to turn the tables to get people to see how truly disturbing it is to deal with sexual advances everyday.
What do you think of “The Everyday Sexism Project?” Would you participate?
Check Out This Gallery Of The Most Powerful Women To Follow On Twitter!
1. 15 Powerful Women To Follow On Twitter
Social media has completely taken over our lives. I've always had a personal opposition against social media, often times claiming that it makes us even more unsocial. However, there is a lot of good in social media that one has to learn how to use for their advantage. The best way to take advantage of social media is to cultivate who you follow. Make sure that who you follow is applicable to your life as well as entertaining. Check out this list of 15 powerful women to follow on Twitter.
2. Erykah Badu
There's just something about Erykah that is beyond hypnotizing. Her tweets bring you into her world of being an artist and a doula. Yes, Erykah tweets about the babies she helps deliver. @fatbellybella
3. Gayle King
Besides being Oprah's best friend, Gayle King is known for being a CBS This Morning cohost and Editor-at-Large for O Magazine. Her take on the entertainment industry is often funny and exclusive! @GayleKing
This woman needs no explaining. Just follow her. @oprah
5. Michelle Obama
Obviously, following the first lady is the first thing you should do on Twitter. Under her new account @FLOTUS, not every tweet is hers, but when you see it signed in "mo, you can guarantee that the first lady is reaching out to you directly. @FLOTUS
6. Christiane Amanpour
As one of the most iconic TV journalists, Christiane Amanpour is a powerful Twitter user. She offers breaking news on global conflicts, and provides unique insights and perspectives to political happenings and world events. You don't even need to follow CNN if you're following Christiane. @camanpour
7. Soledad O'Brien
8. Chelsea Clinton
It helps that Chelsea Clinton is the famed offspring of Bill & Hillary Clinton. But she is also a tireless advocate for a healthy and safe world. As an NBC News Special Correspondent and active member of the Clinton Foundation, Chelsea has immeasurable insight of the world to share. @ChelseaClinton
9. Caterina Fake
Caterina Fake tweets about the latest digital news, technology and her own personal views, passions and interests. @Caterina
10. Zainab Salbi
Zainab Salbi is the founder of Women for Women International and served as the organization's CEO from 1993 to 2011. If you want news, stats and opinions on humanitarian crises, follow her. Oh and you can learn how you can contribute in making the world a better place. Who doesn't love that?! @ZainabSalbi
11. Robin Roberts
This "Good Morning America" news anchor is nothing short of amazing. With her inspirational story as a foundation, follow her entertaining tweets as she hobknobs with celebs and shares inspiring anecdotes from other cancer survivors. @RobinRoberts
12. Mary Grove
Mary Grove is the Director of Google for Entrepreneurs. With a passion for building her community, Mary is constantly tweeting about what's next in technology and business. @maryGrove
13. Maya Angelou
There's nothing but reverence in our hearts for Dr. Maya Angelou. Please follow this poet, educator, historian, best-selling author, actress, civil-rights activist, producer and director for tweets that are always worth retweeting. @DrMayaAngelou
14. Gabby Douglas
We've watched her kick major Olympic gymnast butt, but following Gabby Douglas is nothing like following an obnoxious teen who has more gold medals than you. It's just like following your little sister. Check out Gabby's adorable tweets! @gabrielledoug
15. Donna Brazile
You've definitely seen her byline before. Donna Brazile is a political strategist, contributor to CNN and ABC News, educator, author and more. Follow her tweets for absolutely everything a woman of color could ever care about. @donnabrazile
16. Shonda Rhimes
Other than creating one of the biggest shows to his Black Twitter since...well...anything Tyler Perry put out, Shonda Rhimes is one to follow on Twitter and in life! Her tweets are often inspirational and "Scandal"-related. @shondarhimes