#WhenIWas: these powerful stories prove how early sexual harassment starts
Women take to twitter to share stories on sexual harassment, violence, and discrimination.
Women have taken to Twitter to highlight the reality of gender inequality and show how sexism and harassment starts.
Sharing stories via the hashtag #WhenIWas, women of all ages have opened up about the experience of growing up female in an unequal world.
The hashtag was sparked by the Everyday Sexism Project, founded by British feminist Laura Bates to ‘catalogue instances of sexism on a day to day basis.’ In the four years since its creation, the Everyday Sexism Project has become a rallying force against the sexism that hides in plain sight.
From appalling violence to offhand insults, the stories revealed by #WhenIWas are a stark reminder of the need to continue this mission. Here’s a selection of the tweets:
#WhenIWas in high school a teacher told my friend to not be a doctor cuz that wouldn't make any man wanna marry her.— M1Ö (@ReyanAlinour) April 19, 2016
#WhenIWas 17, I was raped by my first boyfriend. My school found out and tried to expel me.— Ana Mardoll (@AnaMardoll) April 19, 2016
#WhenIWas 9 a male gym teacher said the girls had to play touch rugby instead of traditional so we "wouldn't squish our pretty noses"— Rhyannon (@RhySmithy) April 19, 2016
#wheniwas 13 my male math teacher told me I didn't need to learn geometry because I already had such good curves.— OhmyTash (@ohmytasha) April 19, 2016
#whenIwas in 14 a teaching priest told us in class that rape is impossible as "a letter can't be posted if the letterbox isn't open".— Sadhbh (@Sadhbhzilla) April 19, 2016
#WhenIWas younger, people would repeatedly ask my dad if he wished he could had a son instead of an only daughter— Noor (@noorkhawand1) April 19, 2016
#WhenIwas in school, boys got first priority when it came to letting students do subjects like construction, engineering and physics.— Clodagh ✨ (@trotbae) April 19, 2016
The problem with #whenIwas is that for so many of us it's been a constant throughout our entire lives. We got used to it at around 12.— ♀Hildur Lilliendahl♀ (@hillldur) April 19, 2016
What’s harrowing is how ‘normal’ some of the experiences seem, because so many women share similar stories. Too often, women's voices and experiences are dismissed or denied. #WhenIWas is powerful because it shines a light on the painful instances that go unreported. Building solidarity amongst all those who have experienced misogyny or sexual harassment at any point in their lives, these stories are a reminder of why the fight for gender equality in all areas must continue.