'Chime for Change' & Everyday Sexism

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Something a little different to usual. A warning: this film contains experiences of sexual harassment and assault, and may be triggering to some people.

A few weeks back I had one of my most uncomfortable experiences to date with being harassed on the tube; it really brought home to me how upsetting, degrading and awkward that kind of experience can be for someone (let alone something worse). Four men surrounded me whilst I was alone on an empty tube at about 11:30pm. Initially they simply asked questions, but refused to leave me alone despite the fact I was obviously uncomfortable, one taking my bag off the seat next to me and putting it on the floor in order to sit there. As I turned to see if there was anyone else in the carriage, I saw a man and woman, the woman holding out her phone to film the encounter. I actually laughed, I found the filming of it so absurd and bizarre. As a woman, who most likely has experienced this kind of discomfort due to unwanted attention, I thought she might have understood how I felt at that moment. Instead, she was filming it, presumably for a 'joke', to laugh at later or upload somewhere. I'd had a couple of drinks - I thought to myself that perhaps I was overreacting to the situation, perhaps I would have been less intimidated if I had been completely sober. They asked where I was going, who with, would I come with them, why I was going home so early. I made it clear I didn't want to talk to them, yet they persisted, despite my red face, nervous laughter and short answers. I felt I couldn't ask them to go away because they weren't being overtly sexual or threatening towards me, and I didn't want to anger them by being 'rude'. I couldn't get off the train because it was the last one to my home - the only other option was to walk or attempt to find a bus in an area I didn't know. They joked about me wanting to get off the tube, to get away from them. Fifteen minutes later, my stop arrived. I got off, retrieving my bag from the floor by one of their feet, and left. I was followed by shouts of 'you fucking bitch!' and 'whore' as the doors closed and they moved on, and the woman put down her camera.

I vented my frustration on Twitter and someone said I should tweet the Everyday Sexism Project, so I did, and I got a response from the followers of the account. Knowing that I wasn't alone in feeling scared by this behaviour, that it wasn't just me making a big deal of nothing, was actually pretty important to me. This film, produced by Chime for Change (founded by Gucci) and directed by Dan Reed, shows some of the things that women have faced and are just a snapshot of what it's like all around the world to experience sexism. Thousands of women cannot be ignored.

Share your story by tweeting @everydaysexism.


  1. Absolutely amazing. I've literally just sat back in awe of this! With our generation, I think it's kind of unspoken that people (mostly male, but trust me- I know tonnes of girls who do too!) think that sexism isn't really a problem anymore. And in some ways, I understand; of course men and women are way more equal than before, but does this mean the fight is still over? I can't even count on two hands the number of times something degrading like this happened (and I'm sixteen, for God's sake!). An awesome project, and an equally awesome post!


    1. Thank you for reading! I absolutely agree. So many people in our generation DON'T seem to think there's a problem, and there absolutely is. Hopefully if enough of us keep saying it, people will take notice for a change! (And we will no longer have to deal with rubbish like this!) xx