Tell us again how women are equal?
Note: This post is meant to reflect the experiences of many cisgender women, though we realise it can also apply to trans and nonbinary people as well.
1. Carrying your keys in your hand as a “weapon” when walking alone at night.
2. And turning your headphones off to make sure you’re not being followed.
3. Nailing the “I’m-walking-quickly-but-not-so-quick-that-you’ll-sense-my-fear” pace when someone is behind you.
4. Calling friends when alone in a taxi/Uber in order to feel safe.
5. Or texting them your driver’s details “just in case”.
6. Messaging them when you get home to let them know you’re OK.
7. Sitting near other women on public transport to minimise the risk of being harassed/attacked.
8. Avoiding being out altogether if it’s too early in the morning or too late at night because it doesn’t seem safe.
9. Pretending to be on the phone in any number of situations to avoid harassment.
10. Wearing a wedding ring to reduce the chances of men hitting on/harassing you, because they respect another man’s “property” more than a woman’s right to say no.
11. Giving men fake names and phone numbers rather than risking their anger at being rejected.
12. Staying silent when being verbally harassed out of fear if you fight back it’ll turn violent.
13. Keeping your drink covered with your hand and getting your friend to watch it if you need to go to the bathroom at a bar so that it doesn’t get spiked.
14. Making sure a friend always knows where you are if you’re going on a first date with a stranger.
15. Working hard despite the knowledge you’re being paid, on average, less than men in the same position.
16. Qualifying statements with words like “just” and “sorry” to avoid being perceived as pushy or aggressive.
17. Faking being happy and perky even when you don’t feel like it to avoid being seen as a bitch.
18. But not being TOO perky, so that people don’t think you’re stupid.
19. Pretending to be patient when you’re interrupted/talked over repeatedly by men.
20. Repeating yourself over and over again to get your point across.
21. Removing hair from your armpits, legs, and bikini line because on women it’s “gross” but on men it’s totally acceptable.
22. Spending a lot of money each month on period products, which are still considered a “luxury” by many governments.
23. Hiding said products up sleeves or in pockets when going to the bathroom in public places, because there’s still a lot of stigma around periods.
24. Making sure the right amount of skin is covered up or risking being seen as slutty/indecent.
25. Wearing makeup because you’re conditioned to believe your bare face isn’t good enough – or heck, just because you like it – and being told you’re fake.
26. Or not wearing makeup because you don’t want to/cbf and being told you look tired or sick.
27. Questioning whether the tweet or Facebook status you’re about to post will result in being viciously trolled/harassed, and having to make the decision about whether it’s worth it.
28. Constantly empathising with male TV/movie leads, and then having to deal with men protesting on the few occasions women are given starring roles.
29. Answering and/or deflecting deeply personal questions about your relationship status/fertility/home life from family, potential bosses, current bosses, and random strangers.
30. Taking the Pill if you’re straight and want to avoid getting pregnant, because there’s still no male equivalent.
31. Living with the knowledge that the government (dominated by men) has the power to legislate against your bodily autonomy.
32. And dealing with people telling you your concerns aren’t valid and you should stop complaining because “women are equal”.