full transcript

From the Ted Talk by Laura Bates: Everyday sexism

Unscramble the Blue Letters

About 18 months ago, I had a really bad week. I was on my way home from work one night, and it was one of those hot evenings where the traffic was at a standstill, and as I walked down the road, and the cars crawled next to me, some guys started shouting out of their car windows about my legs, about the things that they'd like to do to me. And I ignored them, and I carried on home, and I got on with it, like you do. Then a few nights later, I was on the way home, on the bus, quite late at night, and I was on the phone to my mom. I thought, at first, that the guy next to me just accidentally brushed my leg with his hand. And I carried on tkilang to my mom. Then I realized that, actually, he was grabbing and gonpirg my leg and moving his hand up towards my crotch. I stood up to move away, but because I was on the pnhoe, I vocalized it, in a way I don't think I would have done otherwise. I said, "On the bus, this guy's groping me." Everybody on that bus lkeood out the window, or down at their feet, or at their phone. Certainly nobody stepped in, but more than that, there was a real sense of, "Why make a fuss about this, woman? This is your issue, deal with it; don't make us have to think about it." That immediately made me feel ashamed. It made me feel like I'd done something wrong, or I shouldn't have been out that late, or I shouldn't have been weiarng what I was wearing, and all of those thoughts that that reaction triggers. And again, I carried on. I went home, I didn't mtoeinn it. I got on with it, like you do. Then a couple days later, I was walking down the street in broad daylight. There was a big truck being uanldoed, scaffolding was coming off the back of it, and there were two guys wroking together. As I walked past, one of them turned to the other and said, "Look at the tits on that." Not "her," "that." They started discuisnsg me as if I wasn't there, even though I was one meter away, and I could really clearly hear them. The thing that really hit me about these three incidents was if they hadn't happened in the same week, I never would have thought twice about any one of them. I started asking myself why that was: Why was this so normal? Why was I so used to them? I started thiinkng back about hundreds of incidents that had hneapepd over the weeks and months and years that I'd never said anything about to anyone, because it was normal. I started talking to other women and asking - the women I knew, oedlr women, younger women, women I met - saying, "Have you ever experienced anything like this?" And I honestly thought that one or two women would have a story. That one or two people would say, "Yes, a few years ago this happened," or, "I once had a job where this happened." But it wasn't like that. It was every woman I sokpe to. And it wasn't a few yeras ago, this one incident. It was hrneddus of things. "It was on my way here, this happened, yesterday this happened, most days this happens." But just like me, until I asked them, they'd never told those stories to anyone. Because they were used to it, because it was normal. I started trying to speak up about this, because I was realizing there was this huge problem, and I started trying to talk about it, and again and again, I got the same response. People said, "Stop making a fuss. Women are equal now, more or less." If women are equal now, then to talk about sexism, to complain about sexism, must be overreacting. Or maybe you don't have a sense of humor, or maybe you need to learn to take a compliment, or maybe you're a bit frigid or uptight and you need to learn to take a joke. I thought, maybe they were right, maybe wemon are equal now, more or less; perhaps I was overreacting. I thought I'd look into it, I'd interrogate that claim and I did. These are some of the things that I found: Women are equal now, more or less. Except in our Houses of Parliament, where the policies that affect all of us are debtead and defined, less than one in four MPs is a woman. Women make up one fifth of the membership of the House of Lords. The UK comes joint 57th in the world for gender equality in plamenarit. Then I looked into the law, and I found that just four out of 35 Lord Justices of Appeal, and just 18 out of 108 High Court juedgs are women. I decided to look at the arts. I found that it was reported in 2010, that out of 2,300 wrkos, one of our most peuoigtsris art institutions, the ntaonial Gallery, had painngits by just ten women. I found that at the Royal orepa House, it's been over 13 years since a female ceaorgrohehpr was commissioned to create a peice for the main sgtae. And that out of 573 listed statues up and down the UK commemorating people of interest, just 15 per cent of them are of women. I found that fewer than one in ten of our engineers is female, less than half the proportion of fanrce or Spain; that our Royal Society, one of our most prestigious scientific institutions, has never had a female president, and just five per cent of the current fellowship are women. And that whilst women make up 50 per cent of chemistry undergraduates, there're only six per cent of psrroefsos. I found that women write only one fifth of front page newspaper articles, but 84 per cent of those articles are dominated by male sutebjcs or eepxtrs. That women directed just five per cent of the 250 major films of 2011, and that only one in five UK architects is female, yet 63 per cent of them report experiencing sexual harassment in the workplace during the course of their career. And then I looked into the crime statistics. Women are equal now, more or less. Except that in the UK over two women a week are killed by a current or former partner. There's a phone call to the pclioe every mintue about domestic violence. Every six or seven menuits, a woman is repad, adding up to over 85,000 rapes and 400,000 suxeal assaults every year. In the UK, a wmoan has a one in four chance of becoming a victim of detosmic violence, and has a one in five chance of being a victim of a sexual oefsfne. Worldwide, one in three women on the planet will be raped or beaten in her lifetime. I decided that that amernugt that women were equal now and we shouldn't be maknig a fuss, really didn't stand up to scrutiny. In fact, it seemed to me that it really was time to make a fuss. So I set up a simple website because I rleaized we couldn't solve a pberolm if people refused even to acknowledge that it existed, and that what I really wanted people to have was that eniprceexe that I'd had of seeing these things kind of rolled out in front of them like a map, and realizing how much there was and how bad it still was. I set up a very sipmle website called "The eyardvey Sexism Project," and I asked women and men to add their experiences of geednr icaabmlne on a daily basis; anything from the tiny niggling normalized things, all the way up the sclae. I didn't have any funding or any way of publicizing it, so I tohuhgt that maybe 20 or 30 women would add their stories, and I hoped it would build a sense of solidarity, and help to raise awareness. But instead, things took off a little more than I expected. [75,000 Women To Take A Stand Against Sexism] 50,000 women from all over the world adedd their stories in 18 months. They were women and men from countries everywhere, people of all ages, races, ethnicities, sexual orientations, gender identities, religious and non-religious, disabled and non-disabled, eepylmod and unemployed. We heard from a seven-year-old desbilad girl in a wheelchair and a 74-year-old women in a mobility scooter who encountered almost identical excieprnees of screamed abuse about "female drivers." A female Reverend in the Church of egnnald was asked if there was a man available to perform the wedding or fneural service - "Nothing personal." A man was congratulated for bitbatnisyg his own children. A woman working in the city was aeksd if she would sit on her bosses lap if she wanted her Christmas bunos. A woman who worked in a video store found that every time she went up the ladder to the storeroom, her boss would smack her on the bum, and when she came down he looked down her top and say: "You know why I hired you." A waitress was told to make a choice between having an abortion or rsgneniig when she fell pregnant. A 15-year-old girl wrote that she knew that she was clever and funny, and she could do anything she wanted to do, but really it didn't matter if she became a doctor or a lawyer, because she knew from the world around her and from the media, that the only thing that really mtreetad was whether she was sexy, whether her breasts grew and her waist narrowed, and whether boys found her attractive. A 13-year-old girl wrote to say that she'd been showed a video of sex, at school on a boy's mlobie phone, a video of porn, and that now she's scared to have sex, she cries every night, because she didn't realize that what sex was was the woman hurting and cinryg. A woman in Pakistan talked about hiding abuse for the sake of family honor. A woman in Brazil tried to ignore three men who catcalled her only to find that they tried to drag her into their car. In Mexico a woman was told by her university professor: "Calladita te ves más bonita", "You look prettier when you shut up." This is what happened when I gave a speech about potlciis - [I think Laura should just get her tits out so we can judge for ourselves.] [I'm not ssexit or anything but she may be keeping a nice pair...] This was what I got on a daily basis. But not just once a day, up to 200 times a day, just for speaking out. Ironically these people sending messages because they wanted to shut the project down were showing how vital and needed it was. [fuck you siuptd slut] The fact that it was so scary for some people, for somebody just to want to talk about equality, just to want to raise women's voices and give their stories a platform, that they had to tell me exactly how they wanted to disembowel me, and with exactly which weapons and in what order, and not just that I should be raped, but exactly how I should be raped, and in which our orifices, and where and when. Then something else started to happen. After we'd riveceed about ten thousand stories, we srettad getting some which had a very different tone. We started getting success stories. We started hearing from women like one who said that she was a keen runner, who often ecnrpeeeixd harassment, but she thought it was just the way things were. Then after reading the stories on the website, she realized other women were standing up to this, and other people were acknowledging that this shouldn't be normal, and it wasn't okay. The next time she went running, a guy happened to call her over from his car and ask for directions. So she went over and helped him, and then he reached out of the car window and grabbed her breasts really hard, really hurt her. She said she felt all of the experiences, the feelings wash over her that she normally felt in that situation - trreor, embarrassment, shame, the urge to run - but she also felt something she hadn't felt before, and it was that feeling of those women behind her snatindg up, and it gave her the stegtrnh, just for a moment, to stop and take down the guy's car number plate, and now he's been charged with auaslst. We were able to take 2,000 of the stories we collected that specifically described women's experiences of harassment and assault on public transport to the bsitrih trpnoasrt Police when they decided to look at the way that they police sexual offences. We were able to break them down, to hear from women's own voices why they haven't felt able to report, and then work with the British Transport Police to send out the message to people everywhere that they were taking this seriously and they could report it. So far we know that that project - Project Guardian - has riaesd reports of harassment and assault on the tube by up to 20 per cent. We were able to start talking to girls at universities about the UK definition of sexual assault, which is very simple. Under UK law, if someone touches you anywhere on your body, and the touching is sexual, and you don't consent, and they don't have reason to believe that you consent, it's a form of sexual assault. Girls came up to me saying, "That can't be sexual assault because it's normal." "That can't be sexual assault because that happens when I go out with my friends." "It can't be sexual assault because I won't be able to call it that, pploee won't take me seriously, I couldn't go to the police." We were able to start to change that attitude and able to start to get reports of people who'd rroetped things that previously, they'd had no idea they had the right to object to. We also started hainreg people's individual stories of standing up, and that was really fascinating and crucial, because these weren't stories of waving banners or going on mrcehas - as valuable as those are - they were stories of women and men around the world fidinng that own very unique and individual ways to stand up that worked for them and made a difference in their lvies. We heard from a woman who was being sexually harassed in the ociffe, who printed off a copy of her workplace sexual harassment pilocy and put it on every single person's desk, and the harassment stopped. We heard from a woman who said that she was sick of cold callers rniigng. She was a sgnlie mom and sick of them ringing and asking to speak to the man of the house. Now she puts them on to her six-year old son, (Laughter) and apparently he sgnis them, "I'm sexy and I know it." (lgatehur) We heard from a guy who was walking past a building site, when two builders screamed at two women across the road, "Get your tits out!" So he lfetid up his T-shirt instead. We haerd from a woman who said that every time someone screams "Nice tits!" at her in the street, she looks down at them, and smearcs as if she'd never seen them before. (Laughter) (Applause) We heard from a man who said that he'd never really thought about harassment before, but after reading the siorets it gave him new insghit into what it actually felt like for women, and the next time he saw another guy in the serett hirasnsag two women, he ran after him, tapped him on the shoulder and said, "Sorry, can I just ask you, why did you do that?" And the other guy had no answer, because he'd never been asked that question before, because it was just normal, for him too. He'd grown up in a wlrod where that was just normal and something that men did. That's the really important thing here, because sadly and frustratingly, we can no longer point to one specific policy change or piece of legislation that we need to solve this problem. Particularly in the UK, we have excellent legislation now, a really good example is workplace sexual harassment law, which is fantastic. The single beiggst category of entries that we receive is from women being hssaaerd in the workplace, being assaulted in the workplace, being discriminated against in the workplace. What we need is a cultural and a social shift in our attitudes towards women, and towards vielcone against women. Because it's people in the workplace that laugh along and call it "banter" and just joke around when someone grabs her breasts that make her feel unable to report. In a way that's the ecinixtg thing, because it means that we can all be part of the solution. If the Everyday Sexism Project has shown anything, it's that this is a continuum. All of these things are connected. The same ideas and attitudes about women that underlie those more "minor" incidents of sexism and hsaraesnmt, that we're often told to brush off and not make a fuss about, are the same ideas and attitudes about women that underlie the more serious incidents of assault and rape. What that means is that by helping to contribute to a cultural shift in the way women are perceived - whether it's in the media, in the professional sphere, in the social or eiocomnc sprhee - we help to shift the way that they're pceierevd and treated in the other spheres as well. So that does mean that every one of us can be part of the cahnge. It's not nesclrasiey about targeting perpetrators, and it's certainly not about tnellig victims that they should be behaving in a certain way or reacting in a certain way. It's about the people in the office that made it difficult for that woman to feel able to speak out; it's about the people on that bus that day that looked out of the window. Be part of the change. Be the cool aunt or uncle who buys a chemistry set for their niece, or a play cooker for their nephew. Be the teenager that tells his friends that actually it's not okay or funny to refer to women as sltus or whores. Be the person that lets somebody who's been groped realize that it will be taken seriously, and they have the right to report it. Be the taboild eoitdr who commissions an article that isn't illustrated with a picture of a pair of women's tits. Be the person at the bus stop that steps in when they see a woman being harassed. Or be the person on the bus that stands up and says it isn't okay. Because our voices are the loudest when we raise them together. (Applause)

Open Cloze

About 18 months ago, I had a really bad week. I was on my way home from work one night, and it was one of those hot evenings where the traffic was at a standstill, and as I walked down the road, and the cars crawled next to me, some guys started shouting out of their car windows about my legs, about the things that they'd like to do to me. And I ignored them, and I carried on home, and I got on with it, like you do. Then a few nights later, I was on the way home, on the bus, quite late at night, and I was on the phone to my mom. I thought, at first, that the guy next to me just accidentally brushed my leg with his hand. And I carried on _______ to my mom. Then I realized that, actually, he was grabbing and _______ my leg and moving his hand up towards my crotch. I stood up to move away, but because I was on the _____, I vocalized it, in a way I don't think I would have done otherwise. I said, "On the bus, this guy's groping me." Everybody on that bus ______ out the window, or down at their feet, or at their phone. Certainly nobody stepped in, but more than that, there was a real sense of, "Why make a fuss about this, woman? This is your issue, deal with it; don't make us have to think about it." That immediately made me feel ashamed. It made me feel like I'd done something wrong, or I shouldn't have been out that late, or I shouldn't have been _______ what I was wearing, and all of those thoughts that that reaction triggers. And again, I carried on. I went home, I didn't _______ it. I got on with it, like you do. Then a couple days later, I was walking down the street in broad daylight. There was a big truck being ________, scaffolding was coming off the back of it, and there were two guys _______ together. As I walked past, one of them turned to the other and said, "Look at the tits on that." Not "her," "that." They started __________ me as if I wasn't there, even though I was one meter away, and I could really clearly hear them. The thing that really hit me about these three incidents was if they hadn't happened in the same week, I never would have thought twice about any one of them. I started asking myself why that was: Why was this so normal? Why was I so used to them? I started ________ back about hundreds of incidents that had ________ over the weeks and months and years that I'd never said anything about to anyone, because it was normal. I started talking to other women and asking - the women I knew, _____ women, younger women, women I met - saying, "Have you ever experienced anything like this?" And I honestly thought that one or two women would have a story. That one or two people would say, "Yes, a few years ago this happened," or, "I once had a job where this happened." But it wasn't like that. It was every woman I _____ to. And it wasn't a few _____ ago, this one incident. It was ________ of things. "It was on my way here, this happened, yesterday this happened, most days this happens." But just like me, until I asked them, they'd never told those stories to anyone. Because they were used to it, because it was normal. I started trying to speak up about this, because I was realizing there was this huge problem, and I started trying to talk about it, and again and again, I got the same response. People said, "Stop making a fuss. Women are equal now, more or less." If women are equal now, then to talk about sexism, to complain about sexism, must be overreacting. Or maybe you don't have a sense of humor, or maybe you need to learn to take a compliment, or maybe you're a bit frigid or uptight and you need to learn to take a joke. I thought, maybe they were right, maybe _____ are equal now, more or less; perhaps I was overreacting. I thought I'd look into it, I'd interrogate that claim and I did. These are some of the things that I found: Women are equal now, more or less. Except in our Houses of Parliament, where the policies that affect all of us are _______ and defined, less than one in four MPs is a woman. Women make up one fifth of the membership of the House of Lords. The UK comes joint 57th in the world for gender equality in __________. Then I looked into the law, and I found that just four out of 35 Lord Justices of Appeal, and just 18 out of 108 High Court ______ are women. I decided to look at the arts. I found that it was reported in 2010, that out of 2,300 _____, one of our most ___________ art institutions, the ________ Gallery, had _________ by just ten women. I found that at the Royal _____ House, it's been over 13 years since a female _____________ was commissioned to create a _____ for the main _____. And that out of 573 listed statues up and down the UK commemorating people of interest, just 15 per cent of them are of women. I found that fewer than one in ten of our engineers is female, less than half the proportion of ______ or Spain; that our Royal Society, one of our most prestigious scientific institutions, has never had a female president, and just five per cent of the current fellowship are women. And that whilst women make up 50 per cent of chemistry undergraduates, there're only six per cent of __________. I found that women write only one fifth of front page newspaper articles, but 84 per cent of those articles are dominated by male ________ or _______. That women directed just five per cent of the 250 major films of 2011, and that only one in five UK architects is female, yet 63 per cent of them report experiencing sexual harassment in the workplace during the course of their career. And then I looked into the crime statistics. Women are equal now, more or less. Except that in the UK over two women a week are killed by a current or former partner. There's a phone call to the ______ every ______ about domestic violence. Every six or seven _______, a woman is _____, adding up to over 85,000 rapes and 400,000 ______ assaults every year. In the UK, a _____ has a one in four chance of becoming a victim of ________ violence, and has a one in five chance of being a victim of a sexual _______. Worldwide, one in three women on the planet will be raped or beaten in her lifetime. I decided that that ________ that women were equal now and we shouldn't be ______ a fuss, really didn't stand up to scrutiny. In fact, it seemed to me that it really was time to make a fuss. So I set up a simple website because I ________ we couldn't solve a _______ if people refused even to acknowledge that it existed, and that what I really wanted people to have was that __________ that I'd had of seeing these things kind of rolled out in front of them like a map, and realizing how much there was and how bad it still was. I set up a very ______ website called "The ________ Sexism Project," and I asked women and men to add their experiences of ______ _________ on a daily basis; anything from the tiny niggling normalized things, all the way up the _____. I didn't have any funding or any way of publicizing it, so I _______ that maybe 20 or 30 women would add their stories, and I hoped it would build a sense of solidarity, and help to raise awareness. But instead, things took off a little more than I expected. [75,000 Women To Take A Stand Against Sexism] 50,000 women from all over the world _____ their stories in 18 months. They were women and men from countries everywhere, people of all ages, races, ethnicities, sexual orientations, gender identities, religious and non-religious, disabled and non-disabled, ________ and unemployed. We heard from a seven-year-old ________ girl in a wheelchair and a 74-year-old women in a mobility scooter who encountered almost identical ___________ of screamed abuse about "female drivers." A female Reverend in the Church of _______ was asked if there was a man available to perform the wedding or _______ service - "Nothing personal." A man was congratulated for ___________ his own children. A woman working in the city was _____ if she would sit on her bosses lap if she wanted her Christmas _____. A woman who worked in a video store found that every time she went up the ladder to the storeroom, her boss would smack her on the bum, and when she came down he looked down her top and say: "You know why I hired you." A waitress was told to make a choice between having an abortion or _________ when she fell pregnant. A 15-year-old girl wrote that she knew that she was clever and funny, and she could do anything she wanted to do, but really it didn't matter if she became a doctor or a lawyer, because she knew from the world around her and from the media, that the only thing that really ________ was whether she was sexy, whether her breasts grew and her waist narrowed, and whether boys found her attractive. A 13-year-old girl wrote to say that she'd been showed a video of sex, at school on a boy's ______ phone, a video of porn, and that now she's scared to have sex, she cries every night, because she didn't realize that what sex was was the woman hurting and ______. A woman in Pakistan talked about hiding abuse for the sake of family honor. A woman in Brazil tried to ignore three men who catcalled her only to find that they tried to drag her into their car. In Mexico a woman was told by her university professor: "Calladita te ves más bonita", "You look prettier when you shut up." This is what happened when I gave a speech about ________ - [I think Laura should just get her tits out so we can judge for ourselves.] [I'm not ______ or anything but she may be keeping a nice pair...] This was what I got on a daily basis. But not just once a day, up to 200 times a day, just for speaking out. Ironically these people sending messages because they wanted to shut the project down were showing how vital and needed it was. [fuck you ______ slut] The fact that it was so scary for some people, for somebody just to want to talk about equality, just to want to raise women's voices and give their stories a platform, that they had to tell me exactly how they wanted to disembowel me, and with exactly which weapons and in what order, and not just that I should be raped, but exactly how I should be raped, and in which our orifices, and where and when. Then something else started to happen. After we'd ________ about ten thousand stories, we _______ getting some which had a very different tone. We started getting success stories. We started hearing from women like one who said that she was a keen runner, who often ___________ harassment, but she thought it was just the way things were. Then after reading the stories on the website, she realized other women were standing up to this, and other people were acknowledging that this shouldn't be normal, and it wasn't okay. The next time she went running, a guy happened to call her over from his car and ask for directions. So she went over and helped him, and then he reached out of the car window and grabbed her breasts really hard, really hurt her. She said she felt all of the experiences, the feelings wash over her that she normally felt in that situation - ______, embarrassment, shame, the urge to run - but she also felt something she hadn't felt before, and it was that feeling of those women behind her ________ up, and it gave her the ________, just for a moment, to stop and take down the guy's car number plate, and now he's been charged with _______. We were able to take 2,000 of the stories we collected that specifically described women's experiences of harassment and assault on public transport to the _______ _________ Police when they decided to look at the way that they police sexual offences. We were able to break them down, to hear from women's own voices why they haven't felt able to report, and then work with the British Transport Police to send out the message to people everywhere that they were taking this seriously and they could report it. So far we know that that project - Project Guardian - has ______ reports of harassment and assault on the tube by up to 20 per cent. We were able to start talking to girls at universities about the UK definition of sexual assault, which is very simple. Under UK law, if someone touches you anywhere on your body, and the touching is sexual, and you don't consent, and they don't have reason to believe that you consent, it's a form of sexual assault. Girls came up to me saying, "That can't be sexual assault because it's normal." "That can't be sexual assault because that happens when I go out with my friends." "It can't be sexual assault because I won't be able to call it that, ______ won't take me seriously, I couldn't go to the police." We were able to start to change that attitude and able to start to get reports of people who'd ________ things that previously, they'd had no idea they had the right to object to. We also started _______ people's individual stories of standing up, and that was really fascinating and crucial, because these weren't stories of waving banners or going on _______ - as valuable as those are - they were stories of women and men around the world _______ that own very unique and individual ways to stand up that worked for them and made a difference in their _____. We heard from a woman who was being sexually harassed in the ______, who printed off a copy of her workplace sexual harassment ______ and put it on every single person's desk, and the harassment stopped. We heard from a woman who said that she was sick of cold callers _______. She was a ______ mom and sick of them ringing and asking to speak to the man of the house. Now she puts them on to her six-year old son, (Laughter) and apparently he _____ them, "I'm sexy and I know it." (________) We heard from a guy who was walking past a building site, when two builders screamed at two women across the road, "Get your tits out!" So he ______ up his T-shirt instead. We _____ from a woman who said that every time someone screams "Nice tits!" at her in the street, she looks down at them, and _______ as if she'd never seen them before. (Laughter) (Applause) We heard from a man who said that he'd never really thought about harassment before, but after reading the _______ it gave him new _______ into what it actually felt like for women, and the next time he saw another guy in the ______ _________ two women, he ran after him, tapped him on the shoulder and said, "Sorry, can I just ask you, why did you do that?" And the other guy had no answer, because he'd never been asked that question before, because it was just normal, for him too. He'd grown up in a _____ where that was just normal and something that men did. That's the really important thing here, because sadly and frustratingly, we can no longer point to one specific policy change or piece of legislation that we need to solve this problem. Particularly in the UK, we have excellent legislation now, a really good example is workplace sexual harassment law, which is fantastic. The single _______ category of entries that we receive is from women being ________ in the workplace, being assaulted in the workplace, being discriminated against in the workplace. What we need is a cultural and a social shift in our attitudes towards women, and towards ________ against women. Because it's people in the workplace that laugh along and call it "banter" and just joke around when someone grabs her breasts that make her feel unable to report. In a way that's the ________ thing, because it means that we can all be part of the solution. If the Everyday Sexism Project has shown anything, it's that this is a continuum. All of these things are connected. The same ideas and attitudes about women that underlie those more "minor" incidents of sexism and __________, that we're often told to brush off and not make a fuss about, are the same ideas and attitudes about women that underlie the more serious incidents of assault and rape. What that means is that by helping to contribute to a cultural shift in the way women are perceived - whether it's in the media, in the professional sphere, in the social or ________ ______ - we help to shift the way that they're _________ and treated in the other spheres as well. So that does mean that every one of us can be part of the ______. It's not ___________ about targeting perpetrators, and it's certainly not about _______ victims that they should be behaving in a certain way or reacting in a certain way. It's about the people in the office that made it difficult for that woman to feel able to speak out; it's about the people on that bus that day that looked out of the window. Be part of the change. Be the cool aunt or uncle who buys a chemistry set for their niece, or a play cooker for their nephew. Be the teenager that tells his friends that actually it's not okay or funny to refer to women as _____ or whores. Be the person that lets somebody who's been groped realize that it will be taken seriously, and they have the right to report it. Be the _______ ______ who commissions an article that isn't illustrated with a picture of a pair of women's tits. Be the person at the bus stop that steps in when they see a woman being harassed. Or be the person on the bus that stands up and says it isn't okay. Because our voices are the loudest when we raise them together. (Applause)

Solution

  1. thinking
  2. disabled
  3. biggest
  4. everyday
  5. assault
  6. street
  7. experienced
  8. experience
  9. making
  10. prestigious
  11. bonus
  12. sings
  13. talking
  14. exciting
  15. stupid
  16. reported
  17. looked
  18. employed
  19. sexist
  20. violence
  21. standing
  22. problem
  23. france
  24. lives
  25. mobile
  26. harassment
  27. working
  28. added
  29. resigning
  30. mention
  31. asked
  32. sexual
  33. minutes
  34. british
  35. professors
  36. hundreds
  37. thought
  38. hearing
  39. sluts
  40. policy
  41. piece
  42. minute
  43. choreographer
  44. laughter
  45. police
  46. funeral
  47. raped
  48. women
  49. stories
  50. started
  51. perceived
  52. older
  53. economic
  54. politics
  55. screams
  56. single
  57. works
  58. tabloid
  59. paintings
  60. groping
  61. phone
  62. telling
  63. parliament
  64. national
  65. harassed
  66. received
  67. stage
  68. realized
  69. offense
  70. subjects
  71. woman
  72. transport
  73. discussing
  74. heard
  75. happened
  76. spoke
  77. gender
  78. sphere
  79. years
  80. crying
  81. insight
  82. domestic
  83. necessarily
  84. harassing
  85. debated
  86. finding
  87. judges
  88. terror
  89. marches
  90. imbalance
  91. argument
  92. lifted
  93. change
  94. wearing
  95. unloaded
  96. experiences
  97. mattered
  98. england
  99. editor
  100. babysitting
  101. scale
  102. strength
  103. ringing
  104. opera
  105. experts
  106. office
  107. world
  108. simple
  109. raised
  110. people

Original Text

About 18 months ago, I had a really bad week. I was on my way home from work one night, and it was one of those hot evenings where the traffic was at a standstill, and as I walked down the road, and the cars crawled next to me, some guys started shouting out of their car windows about my legs, about the things that they'd like to do to me. And I ignored them, and I carried on home, and I got on with it, like you do. Then a few nights later, I was on the way home, on the bus, quite late at night, and I was on the phone to my mom. I thought, at first, that the guy next to me just accidentally brushed my leg with his hand. And I carried on talking to my mom. Then I realized that, actually, he was grabbing and groping my leg and moving his hand up towards my crotch. I stood up to move away, but because I was on the phone, I vocalized it, in a way I don't think I would have done otherwise. I said, "On the bus, this guy's groping me." Everybody on that bus looked out the window, or down at their feet, or at their phone. Certainly nobody stepped in, but more than that, there was a real sense of, "Why make a fuss about this, woman? This is your issue, deal with it; don't make us have to think about it." That immediately made me feel ashamed. It made me feel like I'd done something wrong, or I shouldn't have been out that late, or I shouldn't have been wearing what I was wearing, and all of those thoughts that that reaction triggers. And again, I carried on. I went home, I didn't mention it. I got on with it, like you do. Then a couple days later, I was walking down the street in broad daylight. There was a big truck being unloaded, scaffolding was coming off the back of it, and there were two guys working together. As I walked past, one of them turned to the other and said, "Look at the tits on that." Not "her," "that." They started discussing me as if I wasn't there, even though I was one meter away, and I could really clearly hear them. The thing that really hit me about these three incidents was if they hadn't happened in the same week, I never would have thought twice about any one of them. I started asking myself why that was: Why was this so normal? Why was I so used to them? I started thinking back about hundreds of incidents that had happened over the weeks and months and years that I'd never said anything about to anyone, because it was normal. I started talking to other women and asking - the women I knew, older women, younger women, women I met - saying, "Have you ever experienced anything like this?" And I honestly thought that one or two women would have a story. That one or two people would say, "Yes, a few years ago this happened," or, "I once had a job where this happened." But it wasn't like that. It was every woman I spoke to. And it wasn't a few years ago, this one incident. It was hundreds of things. "It was on my way here, this happened, yesterday this happened, most days this happens." But just like me, until I asked them, they'd never told those stories to anyone. Because they were used to it, because it was normal. I started trying to speak up about this, because I was realizing there was this huge problem, and I started trying to talk about it, and again and again, I got the same response. People said, "Stop making a fuss. Women are equal now, more or less." If women are equal now, then to talk about sexism, to complain about sexism, must be overreacting. Or maybe you don't have a sense of humor, or maybe you need to learn to take a compliment, or maybe you're a bit frigid or uptight and you need to learn to take a joke. I thought, maybe they were right, maybe women are equal now, more or less; perhaps I was overreacting. I thought I'd look into it, I'd interrogate that claim and I did. These are some of the things that I found: Women are equal now, more or less. Except in our Houses of Parliament, where the policies that affect all of us are debated and defined, less than one in four MPs is a woman. Women make up one fifth of the membership of the House of Lords. The UK comes joint 57th in the world for gender equality in Parliament. Then I looked into the law, and I found that just four out of 35 Lord Justices of Appeal, and just 18 out of 108 High Court judges are women. I decided to look at the arts. I found that it was reported in 2010, that out of 2,300 works, one of our most prestigious art institutions, the National Gallery, had paintings by just ten women. I found that at the Royal Opera House, it's been over 13 years since a female choreographer was commissioned to create a piece for the main stage. And that out of 573 listed statues up and down the UK commemorating people of interest, just 15 per cent of them are of women. I found that fewer than one in ten of our engineers is female, less than half the proportion of France or Spain; that our Royal Society, one of our most prestigious scientific institutions, has never had a female president, and just five per cent of the current fellowship are women. And that whilst women make up 50 per cent of chemistry undergraduates, there're only six per cent of professors. I found that women write only one fifth of front page newspaper articles, but 84 per cent of those articles are dominated by male subjects or experts. That women directed just five per cent of the 250 major films of 2011, and that only one in five UK architects is female, yet 63 per cent of them report experiencing sexual harassment in the workplace during the course of their career. And then I looked into the crime statistics. Women are equal now, more or less. Except that in the UK over two women a week are killed by a current or former partner. There's a phone call to the police every minute about domestic violence. Every six or seven minutes, a woman is raped, adding up to over 85,000 rapes and 400,000 sexual assaults every year. In the UK, a woman has a one in four chance of becoming a victim of domestic violence, and has a one in five chance of being a victim of a sexual offense. Worldwide, one in three women on the planet will be raped or beaten in her lifetime. I decided that that argument that women were equal now and we shouldn't be making a fuss, really didn't stand up to scrutiny. In fact, it seemed to me that it really was time to make a fuss. So I set up a simple website because I realized we couldn't solve a problem if people refused even to acknowledge that it existed, and that what I really wanted people to have was that experience that I'd had of seeing these things kind of rolled out in front of them like a map, and realizing how much there was and how bad it still was. I set up a very simple website called "The Everyday Sexism Project," and I asked women and men to add their experiences of gender imbalance on a daily basis; anything from the tiny niggling normalized things, all the way up the scale. I didn't have any funding or any way of publicizing it, so I thought that maybe 20 or 30 women would add their stories, and I hoped it would build a sense of solidarity, and help to raise awareness. But instead, things took off a little more than I expected. [75,000 Women To Take A Stand Against Sexism] 50,000 women from all over the world added their stories in 18 months. They were women and men from countries everywhere, people of all ages, races, ethnicities, sexual orientations, gender identities, religious and non-religious, disabled and non-disabled, employed and unemployed. We heard from a seven-year-old disabled girl in a wheelchair and a 74-year-old women in a mobility scooter who encountered almost identical experiences of screamed abuse about "female drivers." A female Reverend in the Church of England was asked if there was a man available to perform the wedding or funeral service - "Nothing personal." A man was congratulated for babysitting his own children. A woman working in the city was asked if she would sit on her bosses lap if she wanted her Christmas bonus. A woman who worked in a video store found that every time she went up the ladder to the storeroom, her boss would smack her on the bum, and when she came down he looked down her top and say: "You know why I hired you." A waitress was told to make a choice between having an abortion or resigning when she fell pregnant. A 15-year-old girl wrote that she knew that she was clever and funny, and she could do anything she wanted to do, but really it didn't matter if she became a doctor or a lawyer, because she knew from the world around her and from the media, that the only thing that really mattered was whether she was sexy, whether her breasts grew and her waist narrowed, and whether boys found her attractive. A 13-year-old girl wrote to say that she'd been showed a video of sex, at school on a boy's mobile phone, a video of porn, and that now she's scared to have sex, she cries every night, because she didn't realize that what sex was was the woman hurting and crying. A woman in Pakistan talked about hiding abuse for the sake of family honor. A woman in Brazil tried to ignore three men who catcalled her only to find that they tried to drag her into their car. In Mexico a woman was told by her university professor: "Calladita te ves más bonita", "You look prettier when you shut up." This is what happened when I gave a speech about politics - [I think Laura should just get her tits out so we can judge for ourselves.] [I'm not sexist or anything but she may be keeping a nice pair...] This was what I got on a daily basis. But not just once a day, up to 200 times a day, just for speaking out. Ironically these people sending messages because they wanted to shut the project down were showing how vital and needed it was. [fuck you stupid slut] The fact that it was so scary for some people, for somebody just to want to talk about equality, just to want to raise women's voices and give their stories a platform, that they had to tell me exactly how they wanted to disembowel me, and with exactly which weapons and in what order, and not just that I should be raped, but exactly how I should be raped, and in which our orifices, and where and when. Then something else started to happen. After we'd received about ten thousand stories, we started getting some which had a very different tone. We started getting success stories. We started hearing from women like one who said that she was a keen runner, who often experienced harassment, but she thought it was just the way things were. Then after reading the stories on the website, she realized other women were standing up to this, and other people were acknowledging that this shouldn't be normal, and it wasn't okay. The next time she went running, a guy happened to call her over from his car and ask for directions. So she went over and helped him, and then he reached out of the car window and grabbed her breasts really hard, really hurt her. She said she felt all of the experiences, the feelings wash over her that she normally felt in that situation - terror, embarrassment, shame, the urge to run - but she also felt something she hadn't felt before, and it was that feeling of those women behind her standing up, and it gave her the strength, just for a moment, to stop and take down the guy's car number plate, and now he's been charged with assault. We were able to take 2,000 of the stories we collected that specifically described women's experiences of harassment and assault on public transport to the British Transport Police when they decided to look at the way that they police sexual offences. We were able to break them down, to hear from women's own voices why they haven't felt able to report, and then work with the British Transport Police to send out the message to people everywhere that they were taking this seriously and they could report it. So far we know that that project - Project Guardian - has raised reports of harassment and assault on the tube by up to 20 per cent. We were able to start talking to girls at universities about the UK definition of sexual assault, which is very simple. Under UK law, if someone touches you anywhere on your body, and the touching is sexual, and you don't consent, and they don't have reason to believe that you consent, it's a form of sexual assault. Girls came up to me saying, "That can't be sexual assault because it's normal." "That can't be sexual assault because that happens when I go out with my friends." "It can't be sexual assault because I won't be able to call it that, people won't take me seriously, I couldn't go to the police." We were able to start to change that attitude and able to start to get reports of people who'd reported things that previously, they'd had no idea they had the right to object to. We also started hearing people's individual stories of standing up, and that was really fascinating and crucial, because these weren't stories of waving banners or going on marches - as valuable as those are - they were stories of women and men around the world finding that own very unique and individual ways to stand up that worked for them and made a difference in their lives. We heard from a woman who was being sexually harassed in the office, who printed off a copy of her workplace sexual harassment policy and put it on every single person's desk, and the harassment stopped. We heard from a woman who said that she was sick of cold callers ringing. She was a single mom and sick of them ringing and asking to speak to the man of the house. Now she puts them on to her six-year old son, (Laughter) and apparently he sings them, "I'm sexy and I know it." (Laughter) We heard from a guy who was walking past a building site, when two builders screamed at two women across the road, "Get your tits out!" So he lifted up his T-shirt instead. We heard from a woman who said that every time someone screams "Nice tits!" at her in the street, she looks down at them, and screams as if she'd never seen them before. (Laughter) (Applause) We heard from a man who said that he'd never really thought about harassment before, but after reading the stories it gave him new insight into what it actually felt like for women, and the next time he saw another guy in the street harassing two women, he ran after him, tapped him on the shoulder and said, "Sorry, can I just ask you, why did you do that?" And the other guy had no answer, because he'd never been asked that question before, because it was just normal, for him too. He'd grown up in a world where that was just normal and something that men did. That's the really important thing here, because sadly and frustratingly, we can no longer point to one specific policy change or piece of legislation that we need to solve this problem. Particularly in the UK, we have excellent legislation now, a really good example is workplace sexual harassment law, which is fantastic. The single biggest category of entries that we receive is from women being harassed in the workplace, being assaulted in the workplace, being discriminated against in the workplace. What we need is a cultural and a social shift in our attitudes towards women, and towards violence against women. Because it's people in the workplace that laugh along and call it "banter" and just joke around when someone grabs her breasts that make her feel unable to report. In a way that's the exciting thing, because it means that we can all be part of the solution. If the Everyday Sexism Project has shown anything, it's that this is a continuum. All of these things are connected. The same ideas and attitudes about women that underlie those more "minor" incidents of sexism and harassment, that we're often told to brush off and not make a fuss about, are the same ideas and attitudes about women that underlie the more serious incidents of assault and rape. What that means is that by helping to contribute to a cultural shift in the way women are perceived - whether it's in the media, in the professional sphere, in the social or economic sphere - we help to shift the way that they're perceived and treated in the other spheres as well. So that does mean that every one of us can be part of the change. It's not necessarily about targeting perpetrators, and it's certainly not about telling victims that they should be behaving in a certain way or reacting in a certain way. It's about the people in the office that made it difficult for that woman to feel able to speak out; it's about the people on that bus that day that looked out of the window. Be part of the change. Be the cool aunt or uncle who buys a chemistry set for their niece, or a play cooker for their nephew. Be the teenager that tells his friends that actually it's not okay or funny to refer to women as sluts or whores. Be the person that lets somebody who's been groped realize that it will be taken seriously, and they have the right to report it. Be the tabloid editor who commissions an article that isn't illustrated with a picture of a pair of women's tits. Be the person at the bus stop that steps in when they see a woman being harassed. Or be the person on the bus that stands up and says it isn't okay. Because our voices are the loudest when we raise them together. (Applause)

Frequently Occurring Word Combinations

ngrams of length 2

collocation frequency
sexual assault 4
sexual harassment 3
simple website 2
everyday sexism 2
girl wrote 2
started hearing 2
british transport 2
transport police 2
workplace sexual 2

ngrams of length 3

collocation frequency
british transport police 2
workplace sexual harassment 2

Important Words

  1. abortion
  2. abuse
  3. accidentally
  4. acknowledge
  5. acknowledging
  6. add
  7. added
  8. adding
  9. affect
  10. ages
  11. answer
  12. apparently
  13. appeal
  14. applause
  15. architects
  16. argument
  17. art
  18. article
  19. articles
  20. arts
  21. ashamed
  22. asked
  23. assault
  24. assaulted
  25. assaults
  26. attitude
  27. attitudes
  28. attractive
  29. aunt
  30. awareness
  31. babysitting
  32. bad
  33. banners
  34. basis
  35. beaten
  36. behaving
  37. big
  38. biggest
  39. bit
  40. body
  41. bonus
  42. boss
  43. bosses
  44. boys
  45. brazil
  46. break
  47. breasts
  48. british
  49. broad
  50. brush
  51. brushed
  52. build
  53. builders
  54. building
  55. bum
  56. bus
  57. buys
  58. call
  59. called
  60. callers
  61. car
  62. career
  63. carried
  64. cars
  65. catcalled
  66. category
  67. cent
  68. chance
  69. change
  70. charged
  71. chemistry
  72. children
  73. choice
  74. choreographer
  75. christmas
  76. church
  77. city
  78. claim
  79. clever
  80. cold
  81. collected
  82. coming
  83. commemorating
  84. commissioned
  85. commissions
  86. complain
  87. compliment
  88. congratulated
  89. connected
  90. consent
  91. continuum
  92. contribute
  93. cooker
  94. cool
  95. copy
  96. countries
  97. couple
  98. court
  99. crawled
  100. create
  101. cries
  102. crime
  103. crotch
  104. crucial
  105. crying
  106. cultural
  107. current
  108. daily
  109. day
  110. daylight
  111. days
  112. deal
  113. debated
  114. decided
  115. defined
  116. definition
  117. desk
  118. difference
  119. difficult
  120. directed
  121. directions
  122. disabled
  123. discriminated
  124. discussing
  125. disembowel
  126. doctor
  127. domestic
  128. dominated
  129. drag
  130. drivers
  131. economic
  132. editor
  133. embarrassment
  134. employed
  135. encountered
  136. engineers
  137. england
  138. entries
  139. equal
  140. equality
  141. ethnicities
  142. evenings
  143. everyday
  144. excellent
  145. exciting
  146. existed
  147. expected
  148. experience
  149. experienced
  150. experiences
  151. experiencing
  152. experts
  153. fact
  154. family
  155. fantastic
  156. fascinating
  157. feel
  158. feeling
  159. feelings
  160. feet
  161. fell
  162. fellowship
  163. felt
  164. female
  165. films
  166. find
  167. finding
  168. form
  169. france
  170. friends
  171. frigid
  172. front
  173. frustratingly
  174. fuck
  175. funding
  176. funeral
  177. funny
  178. fuss
  179. gallery
  180. gave
  181. gender
  182. girl
  183. girls
  184. give
  185. good
  186. grabbed
  187. grabbing
  188. grabs
  189. grew
  190. groped
  191. groping
  192. grown
  193. guardian
  194. guy
  195. guys
  196. hand
  197. happen
  198. happened
  199. harassed
  200. harassing
  201. harassment
  202. hard
  203. hear
  204. heard
  205. hearing
  206. helped
  207. helping
  208. hiding
  209. high
  210. hired
  211. hit
  212. home
  213. honestly
  214. honor
  215. hoped
  216. hot
  217. house
  218. houses
  219. huge
  220. humor
  221. hundreds
  222. hurt
  223. hurting
  224. idea
  225. ideas
  226. identical
  227. identities
  228. ignore
  229. illustrated
  230. imbalance
  231. immediately
  232. important
  233. incident
  234. incidents
  235. individual
  236. insight
  237. institutions
  238. interest
  239. interrogate
  240. ironically
  241. issue
  242. job
  243. joint
  244. joke
  245. judge
  246. judges
  247. justices
  248. keen
  249. keeping
  250. killed
  251. kind
  252. knew
  253. ladder
  254. lap
  255. late
  256. laugh
  257. laughter
  258. laura
  259. law
  260. lawyer
  261. learn
  262. leg
  263. legislation
  264. legs
  265. lets
  266. lifetime
  267. lifted
  268. listed
  269. lives
  270. longer
  271. looked
  272. lord
  273. lords
  274. loudest
  275. main
  276. major
  277. making
  278. male
  279. man
  280. map
  281. marches
  282. matter
  283. mattered
  284. means
  285. media
  286. membership
  287. men
  288. mention
  289. message
  290. messages
  291. met
  292. meter
  293. mexico
  294. minute
  295. minutes
  296. mobile
  297. mobility
  298. mom
  299. moment
  300. months
  301. move
  302. moving
  303. mps
  304. más
  305. narrowed
  306. national
  307. necessarily
  308. needed
  309. nephew
  310. newspaper
  311. nice
  312. niece
  313. niggling
  314. night
  315. nights
  316. normal
  317. normalized
  318. number
  319. object
  320. offences
  321. offense
  322. office
  323. older
  324. opera
  325. order
  326. orientations
  327. orifices
  328. overreacting
  329. page
  330. paintings
  331. pair
  332. pakistan
  333. parliament
  334. part
  335. partner
  336. people
  337. perceived
  338. perform
  339. perpetrators
  340. person
  341. personal
  342. phone
  343. picture
  344. piece
  345. planet
  346. plate
  347. platform
  348. play
  349. point
  350. police
  351. policies
  352. policy
  353. politics
  354. porn
  355. pregnant
  356. president
  357. prestigious
  358. prettier
  359. previously
  360. printed
  361. problem
  362. professional
  363. professors
  364. project
  365. proportion
  366. public
  367. publicizing
  368. put
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  370. question
  371. races
  372. raise
  373. raised
  374. ran
  375. rape
  376. raped
  377. rapes
  378. reached
  379. reacting
  380. reaction
  381. reading
  382. real
  383. realize
  384. realized
  385. realizing
  386. reason
  387. receive
  388. received
  389. refer
  390. refused
  391. religious
  392. report
  393. reported
  394. reports
  395. resigning
  396. response
  397. reverend
  398. ringing
  399. road
  400. rolled
  401. royal
  402. run
  403. runner
  404. running
  405. sadly
  406. sake
  407. scaffolding
  408. scale
  409. scared
  410. scary
  411. school
  412. scientific
  413. scooter
  414. screamed
  415. screams
  416. scrutiny
  417. send
  418. sending
  419. sense
  420. service
  421. set
  422. sex
  423. sexism
  424. sexist
  425. sexual
  426. sexually
  427. sexy
  428. shame
  429. shift
  430. shoulder
  431. shouting
  432. showed
  433. showing
  434. shown
  435. shut
  436. sick
  437. simple
  438. single
  439. sings
  440. sit
  441. site
  442. situation
  443. slut
  444. sluts
  445. smack
  446. social
  447. society
  448. solidarity
  449. solution
  450. solve
  451. son
  452. speak
  453. speaking
  454. specific
  455. specifically
  456. speech
  457. sphere
  458. spheres
  459. spoke
  460. stage
  461. stand
  462. standing
  463. stands
  464. standstill
  465. start
  466. started
  467. statistics
  468. statues
  469. stepped
  470. steps
  471. stood
  472. stop
  473. stopped
  474. store
  475. storeroom
  476. stories
  477. story
  478. street
  479. strength
  480. stupid
  481. subjects
  482. success
  483. tabloid
  484. talk
  485. talked
  486. talking
  487. tapped
  488. targeting
  489. te
  490. teenager
  491. telling
  492. tells
  493. ten
  494. terror
  495. thinking
  496. thought
  497. thoughts
  498. thousand
  499. time
  500. times
  501. tiny
  502. tits
  503. told
  504. tone
  505. top
  506. touches
  507. touching
  508. traffic
  509. transport
  510. treated
  511. triggers
  512. truck
  513. tube
  514. turned
  515. uk
  516. unable
  517. uncle
  518. undergraduates
  519. underlie
  520. unemployed
  521. unique
  522. universities
  523. university
  524. unloaded
  525. uptight
  526. urge
  527. valuable
  528. ves
  529. victim
  530. victims
  531. video
  532. violence
  533. vital
  534. vocalized
  535. voices
  536. waist
  537. waitress
  538. walked
  539. walking
  540. wanted
  541. wash
  542. waving
  543. ways
  544. weapons
  545. wearing
  546. website
  547. wedding
  548. week
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  550. wheelchair
  551. whores
  552. window
  553. windows
  554. woman
  555. women
  556. work
  557. worked
  558. working
  559. workplace
  560. works
  561. world
  562. worldwide
  563. write
  564. wrong
  565. wrote
  566. year
  567. years
  568. yesterday
  569. younger