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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,
and apparently he sings 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 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.
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.


【TEDx】【TED-Ed】女性平等について(Everyday sexism: Laura Bates at TEDxCoventGardenWomen)

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Maggie Chien 2017 年 6 月 28 日 に公開
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