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Laura Bates of Everyday Sexism (Photo by Brian Ach/Getty Images for The Women's Media Center)

‘The will to fight’

Woman shares lessons from 5 years of ‘Everyday Sexism Project’

By WITW Staff on April 19, 2017


In 2012, Lauren Bates set up the “Everyday Sexism Project,” a website where users can share their daily run-ins, big or small, with gender inequality, which quickly became an online phenomenon. In a column for The Guardian, Bates reflects on the past five years and the many experiences it brought her — both negative and positive. Bates describes the numerous snide remarks, insults and even rape threats she had to face, which ranged from being called “humorless” to a “dripping poison that had to be removed from the world.” She writes that this was hard to bear, along with the sadness of the experience she was gathering from women — but there were joyful moments too, including the solidarity from other women, being part of a “burgeoning wave of feminism” and being able to affect real change through work with schools, business, police forces and other groups.

But the most vital lesson she learned, is how closely linked different forms of inequality are. “It is vital to resist those who mock and criticize us for tackling ‘minor’ manifestations of prejudice, because these are the things that normalize and ingrain the treatment of women as second-class citizens, opening the door for everything else, from workplace discrimination to sexual violence,” she writes. “To be a feminist, I have learned, is to be accused of oversensitivity, hysteria and crying wolf. But in the face of the abuse the project uncovered, the sheer strength, ingenuity and humor of women shone like a beacon.” This is why the past five years have left her “more hopeful than despairing,” she observes. “In five years, I have learned that the problem is immense, but the will to fight it is greater still.”

Read the full story at The Guardian.


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