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 email@example.com 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?
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