International Women’s Day : Laura Bates

“Again and again, people told me sexism is no longer a problem – that women are equal now, more or less, and if you can’t take a joke or take a compliment, then you need to stop being so ‘frigid’ and get a sense of humor. Even if I couldn’t solve the problem right away, I was determined that nobody should be able to tell us we couldn’t talk about it anymore.”

In 2012, Laura Bates set up The Everyday Sexism Project website, giving a voice to women and girls, a place where they could share their stories and experiences of being female in a male-dominated world. Frankly, anyone who can read those contributions without being appalled and embarassed about the inequalities between the genders, is burying their head in the sand. From all walks of life, all situations, day in day out, the stories poured in; stories of a constant drip, drip of comments, gestures, attacks and worse which all served to put women and girls in their place, ie on a strata below men. Our girls are growing up in a society where they are nominally equal, but obviously less than equal. In 2014 Laura Bates collected thousands of the stories that had been shared via the website and published them in a book called Everyday Sexism and which I reviewed on my Librarium 2014 page. I think it’s essential reading for everyone.


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