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Everyday Sexism

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Women are standing up and #shoutingback. In a culture that's driven by social media, for the first time women are using this online space (@EverydaySexism www.everydaysexism.com) to come together, share their stories and encourage a new generation to recognise the problems that women face. This book is a call to arms in a new wave of feminism and it proves sexism is endemic - socially, politically and economically. But women won't stand for it. The Everyday Sexism Project is grounded in reality; packed with substance, validity and integrity it shows that women will no longer tolerate a society that ignores the dangers and endless effects of sexism.

In 2012 after being sexually harassed on London public transport Laura Bates, a young journalist, started a project called Everyday Sexism to collect stories for a piece she was writing on the issue. Astounded by the response she received and the wide range of stories that came pouring in from all over the world, she quickly realised that the situation was far worse than she'd initially thought. Enough was enough. From being leered at and wolf-whistled on the street, to aggravation in the work place and serious sexual assault, it was clear that sexism had been normalised. Bates decided it was time for change.

This bold, jaunty and ultimately intelligent book is the first to give a collective online voice to the protest against sexism. This game changing book is a juggernaut of stories, often shocking, sometimes amusing and always poignant - it is a must read for every inquisitive, no-nonsense modern woman.

384 pages, Hardcover

First published April 10, 2014

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About the author

Laura Bates

18 books1,105 followers
Laura Bates is the founder of the Everyday Sexism Project, an ever-increasing collection of over 100,000 testimonies of gender inequality, with branches in 25 countries worldwide. She works closely with politicians, businesses, schools, police forces and organisations from the Council of Europe to the United Nations to tackle gender inequality. She was awarded a British Empire Medal for services to gender equality in the Queen's Birthday Honours list 2015 and has been named a woman of the year by Cosmopolitan, Red Magazine and The Sunday Times Magazine.

Laura is the author of Everyday Sexism, the Sunday Times bestseller Girl Up, and Misogynation. Her first novel, The Burning, was published in 2019. She co-wrote Letters to the Future with Owen Sheers. Laura writes regularly for the Guardian, New York Times and others and won a British Press Award in 2015. She has been a judge for the Women's Prize, the YA Book Prize and the BBC Young Writers Award and part of the committee selecting the 2020 Children's Laureate. In 2019 she was elected a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.

Laura is a contributor at Women Under Siege, a New York-based project tackling rape in conflict worldwide and she is patron of SARSAS, Somerset and Avon Rape and Sexual Abuse Support. She is the recipient of two honorary degrees and was awarded the Internet and Society Award by the Oxford Internet Institute alongside Sir Tim Berners Lee.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 977 reviews
Profile Image for Emily May.
1,945 reviews291k followers
May 12, 2014
When I was younger, there was a club in a nearby town that did a 13-17 year olds night. It was mostly filled with the lower end of that age group, stood around overdressed with cokes in hand, pretending the coke was laced with something stronger. It was basically a glorified youth club with strobe lighting and overpriced soft drinks, but we felt so fucking rebellious and grown up.

I remember the first time I went very well. I was nervous and excited to be "going out" and couldn't wait to dance and pretend to be drunk. My companion was a girl called Gabrielle who had been before and took her role as experienced friend incredibly seriously. She nudged me on the way in and said conspiratorially "when you get in, you want to go stand near the back wall". Perplexed, I asked why. And she told me without a hint of anger, injustice or mild annoyance: "Because the boys will try to grab your ass." She accepted it as how things were. And so did I.

Despite my best efforts to remain pressed against that wall, I soon discovered that clubs often require some form of movement - to get a drink, use the bathroom, etc. And when I moved, I also realised that Gabrielle was right. I got to second base several times that night, with strangers' hands that would disappear into the darkness of the club immediately after copping a feel.

I was embarrassed and mildly irritated, but I wasn't angry. I accepted it as part of being a young woman in a skirt. It didn't occur to me that it was sexist or sexual harassment (assault, one might say). It was just like every time I was walking home from school (from the age of 12) and some construction worker would wolf whistle or make some kind of suggestive comment. I'm tempted even now to say that I didn't really mind the wolf whistling in a bid to not look "precious" - because no one likes that kind of girl - and I didn't in theory, but it's a different matter when you're walking down an empty street (even in the middle of the day) and the only people are you, a 12 year old girl, and a group of men who are making various mating calls in your direction.

Apparently, when talking about sexism or feminism I have to address what should be the obvious: I love men. Everyday Sexism is not a bunch of stories about how men oppress women, how men are the enemy. Anyone with even a basic understanding of gender studies knows that sexism is almost as damaging for men as it is for women - mentally, socially and economically - and that women are often just as guilty of it *cough*NA Authors*cough*. I have also been lucky enough to have some of the most amazing men in my life: male relatives, friends and teachers. If you think that I would simplify thousands of years of gender relations down into "men are to blame", then you should get to know me better.

But I like that Everyday Sexism acknowledges the small things women and men face every single day. We're not talking about the right to vote or dress in a certain way or own property, but instead we're talking about the basic social interactions that affect our everyday lives. The lives of women who end up standing against a club wall so they don't get groped, and the lives of men who have been taught that they are monolithic creatures with no control over their sexual urges. And gay women and men - like my brother whom I love very much - who are led to believe there's only one way to be either gender.

Sidenote: So happy that Austria won Eurovision. Europe, I'm proud of you, even with your cheesy music.



This book is about the experiences of people like me and you, experiences that happen every single day and are brushed off. We don't want to make a fuss about them, don't want to appear like a spoilsport or a "radical". No one likes a radical anything. But in 2014, it's time for Everyday Sexism to come to an end. I am extremely glad that this book of experiences exists.

I just hope men and women alike will read this book.

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Profile Image for Paul Bryant.
2,178 reviews9,218 followers
October 17, 2015
Update!


I had to share this with you all, you'll see why. I was listening to a cd of hit songs from the 1910s and 20s and came across this GEM. It's called

"Wait till you get them up in the Air, Boys"

and it's all about why any young man should learn how to fly a plane.....

Sometimes you try to love a girl
And she says no to you;
It makes you feel so blue,
But there's nothing you can do!

You take her for an auto ride
And start that mushy talk,
But if she doesn't like it,
She gets out and starts to walk.

They've fooled us ever since the world began,
But listen boys, I've got a little plan!

Wait till you get them up in the air, boys,
Wait till you get them up in the air.
You can make them hug and squeeze you too,
For if they don't,
Just say you won't
Come down until they do!

Wait till you get them up in the clouds, boys,
There won't be anyone to watch you there!
You can loop the loop and she can hardly get her breath,
It isn't hard to reason with a girl who's scared to death!
So wait till you get them up in the air, boys,
Up, up, up up, way up in the air!

Do you remember when you took the girlie out to dine?
You used to buy her wine,
It made her feel so fine!
She'd always hug and kiss you 'cause she felt so light and gay,
And I suppose you're worried since they took the wine away!

But boys, it's not as bad as you expect,
An aero ride will have the same effect!

So wait till you get them up in the clouds, boys,
There won't be anyone to watch you there!
When you get her way up high, have all the fun you can,
There never was a girl who'd fall that far for any man!
So wait till you get them up in the air, boys,
Up, up, up up, way up in the air!

Wait till you get them up in the air, boys,
Up, up, up up, way up in the air!


Recorded: 1919


**********************


Well, I have to quote this little rant. The subject is breastfeeding in public and the ranter is a BBC DJ in a locally broadcast phone-in show on 12 August :

Couldn’t mums just stay at home and do it? I’m not offended by it, I’m just made to feel uncomfortable about it. You wouldn’t get ‘yummy mummies’… breastfeeding in public. Those kind of women wouldn’t do it because they’re very image-conscious and they know it’s not a great look.

I blame the Earth mothers, you know the ones I mean, the ones with the moustaches, the ones who work in libraries, the ones who wear hessian, the ones they’re always on Radio 4 on Women’s Hour, they are always pushing the boundaries and making us feel uncomfortable.

Breastfeeding in public is unnatural. It’s the kind of thing that should be done in a quiet, private nursery.

It was OK in the Stone Age when we knew no better, when people didn’t have their own teeth… but now I just think a public area is not the place for it and fellas don’t like it.


So there - ladies, just don't do it. It makes us fellas ... well... uncomfortable. You know? Just stay in your libraries and oil your moustaches.


******************************************************************

So are you actually going to review this book?

Well, yes. But it’s difficult. I’ve been putting it off.

Why’s that? It’s either a good book or a bad book. Do your usual thing.

Well this is more than a book, it’s a movement, it’s a whole thing. It’s too big to think about. The whole thing depresses and defeats me. It reminds me of Shot by Both Sides by Magazine. Do you know that one?

No.

It’s a great single from 1978, some days I think it’s my all time favourite single. Although the guy can’t sing at all and half of the lyrics are indistinguishable. But you can hear him sing

I wormed my way into the heart of the crowd
I was shocked to find what was allowed


And then later

They have to rewrite all the books again

Well I see from the title of this book that it’s about everyday sexism because that’s the title. So haven’t we been down this road many many times already? What makes this any different to all the 3rd wave 4th wave millions of books by feminists? Haven’t all these battles been fought and either won or some sort of compromise has been found – you know, like paternity leave, all women shortlists, blah blah ?

Well that’s what Laura Bates and her website & book is all about – the awful fact that not a lot has changed on a daily basis. The sheer amount of crap that girls and women have to wade through. Maybe some quotes will help here to give you the idea. Laura Bates says this :

If we think we’ve cracked this equality thing – that we’re bringing up our sons and daughters to believe they can be whatever they want to be – we really need to take a reality check.

Some randomly chosen quotes –

I love her but when I first told mum I wanted to go into politics she said “Oh yes! You’d make a wonderful politician’s wife!”

At school a teacher said that women were only there (in parliament) because men let them, to shut the feminists up for a bit.

As she expounded her tough stance on immigration she stood in shoes worthy of the front row at Paris fashion week. (from the Guardian)

In the Brownies (when she was 7) we sang songs about potential careers. One verse I remember went : “typing letters, sitting on the boss’s knee”

When I was in the first year (age 11), my form teacher held a beauty contest – asked the boys to vote for the girls and ranked us on the blackboard. (note – that’s how Facebook started).

A male friend said to me “9 out of 10 people enjoy gang rape”. I called him out on sexism, calling him disgusting, he shrugs and says it was a joke.

My younger brother’s 13. He had his friends round last weekend and I couldn’t believe it when I heard them sitting in the front room discussing girls in their class in three categories : “frigid”, “sluts” and “would like to rape”.


Well, what do you expect from brain dead kids. This stuff doesn’t really affect educated people.

Oh, you think so ? I have a few more quotes.

David Gilmour (Canadian literature professor, not Pink Floyd guitarist) said he’s “not interested in teaching books by women”.

German artist Georg Baselitz said : “Women don’t paint very well. It’s a fact.”

Russian conductor Vasily Petrenko said that men will always be conductors because orchestras would be distracted by “a cute girl on the podium”.

Seth MacFarlane sang “We Saw Your Boobs” at the 2013 Oscars ceremony to the various actresses in the audience. It was just funny banter. It’s all just funny banter. The Oscar ceremony organisers all thought so. Boris Johnson, mayor of London, said women just go to university to find suitable marriage partners. It was just a bit of humour.

This is just depressing me.

That's what I'm saying. I'm not even going to quote the sexual assault and rape stuff in here. It's too much. That’s why I really didn’t want to review this book. There’s a cheer-up-men chapter at the end which says not all boys and men are like this (although the ones who aren’t are probably regarded as gay by the ones who are). When you read it it’s like being told you’re one of the good Germans who didn’t vote for Hitler. Actually, I felt like Hamlet :

I am myself indifferent honest;
but yet I could accuse me of such things that it
were better my mother had not borne me


I suppose we have to try to regard things as they are, and not as we would wish them to be, but Lord knows it's a constant struggle. The optimist inside us all makes us want to think better of half of the human race than the dreadful picture presented here. Although we need this book, it offers no way forward.
Profile Image for Giorgia Reads.
947 reviews1,846 followers
June 4, 2021
I loved this book and everything it told me.

I could go on about the whys and hows but since I can’t stick to short and succinct once I get started, I’m just gonna say that I believe more people should read it. This book definitely deserves a broader audience.
Profile Image for Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘.
832 reviews3,720 followers
February 15, 2021


Edit : #LittleLinks
To add your story and read testimonies : http://everydaysexism.com/
Website for my French fellows : http://francais.everydaysexism.com/
Facebook page :https://www.facebook.com/EverydaySexi...

Let me introduce you the three reasons which explain why I'm eagerly recommending everyone to read this. Let's face it, I could have find more reasons, but I guess we have to stop at some point right?

"Sexism is a socially acceptable prejudice and everybody is getting in on the act."

NO you're not the only one and YES, this is real.

Indeed we can't deny that in 2015, there are still a great part of the population who dismisses the fact that women and men aren't treated equally at every stage of their lives : childhood, teenage, university, adulthood in work places and facing birth. I'm sorry but sexism is everywhere and we can't dismiss this idea as a crazy feminist obsession. This book is organized around a lot of testimonies and they are what gives it strength. Just how many testimonies people need to acknowledge the issues?

"If one were to substitute another form of prejudice, on the grounds of race, sexuality, or class, many of these situations would have become absolutely outrageous, or never would have been allowed to happen in the first place."

▧ That's not okay to be grabbed by behind just because I'm a woman. I'm not feeling flattered.

▧ That's not okay to be told that I shouldn't wear what I want because maybe, in that case, I would be asking for trouble. My skirt isn't an invitation to rape me, thank you very much.

"Rape is not a sexual act ; it is not the result of a sudden, uncontrollable attraction to a woman in a skimpy dress. It is an act of power and violence. To suggest otherwise is deeply insulting to the vast majority of men, who are perfectly able to control their sexual desires."

▧ That's not okay to imprison little girls in straightjackets by denying them the right to play with every kind of toys. Girls can love adventure too.

▧ That's not okay to let teenagers think that they're supposed to agree with every sexual demand they face. There's these concepts everybody should know, consent and respect.

▧ That's not okay to determine a woman's value with the perfection of her body or her role as a mother. We are neither dolls nor baby factories.

"My younger brother’s 13. He had his friends round last weekend and I couldn’t believe it when I heard them sitting in the front room discussing girls in their class in three categories : “frigid”, “sluts” and “would like to rape”."

That's not okay to say that it's not a real problem and that women are overreacting. Stop being fucking blind.

You have nothing to be ashamed for.

"Thousands of these women had grown up in the confident assumption that these violations were their fault ; that their stories were shameful ; that they should never tell anybody."

They should be. Who are they? All the men who cat-called you and yelled "TITS!" at you, all the men who grabbed your breast as if your body was public, all the women who told you that you should have seen it coming because you wore a skirt, all the police officers who explained to you that you had to "look ugly" to protect yourself on a walk, all the persons who didn't believe you and told you that you were overreacting because that's what women do, all the newspapers whose journalists tell you and your daughters that their body and their sexuality define them... And so more. THEY should be ashamed.

Not all the men, of course. Not only men, either. There are a lot of carrying and respectful men out there, and there are women who perpetuate gender stereotypes. I'm not denying that. Never.



Each and every one of us is concerned, men and women altogether.

Because we're all responsible, to a certain extent, of the messages we send to girls, teenagers, boys, women and men.

I never read articles about famous people "life". I'm not judging those who do, I mean, I have a lot of friends who enjoy them but the fact is, I never saw the point. I already struggle to remember the names of actors that I like so learning that they broke up with x or g and lose 5 kg? I don't see the point in this. I fucking don't care. Now, when I see what impact these articles can have on women's feeling of self-value? I'm pissed. Not to mention that these articles don't respect the life of the people they're talking about, they help to spread general misconceptions about what being a woman is. Here, I must say that it's maybe the same thing with men - I'm not talking about them because I have genuinely no idea about what kind of magazines are out these days, my BF doesn't read them and no, I'm not buying them for pleasure, you know.

You want to talk about books? About slut-shaming? General and free access to porn to eleven years old guys? Yes, 11.

"We immerse young people in a world of sex and sexualization, but we don't stop to talk about consent, or relationships, or their right not to be touched or coerced or assaulted."

How in the world teenagers can handle relationships and respect each other's if what they know to be right is biased from the beginning? HOW? Do you think that being respectful is innate? I'm breaking it for you, it's not. And each time we underestimate an abuse - every kind of abuse - we're basically telling them that it's okay, that it's normal.

► Perhaps it's time, in 2015, to say that it's not.

"We may never rid the world of hate, but we sure as hell should try."

For more of my reviews, please visit:
Profile Image for Vanessa.
863 reviews1,091 followers
November 24, 2016
This book is undoubtedly the most important book I have read this year, and one that I believe should be read by everyone, whether you call yourself a feminist or not. This is relevant to absolutely everyone, not just women, and highlights the very real threats that unfortunately a great many people experience in their everyday lives.

Laura Bates collects her own experiences and those of others who have submitted to the EverydaySexism project over the years, and lays them out for us in various sections throughout the book - for example, women in the workplace, women in education, women in public spaces, male experiences, etc. It's a perfect way to structure the book, and every chapter begins with a variety of horrific but sadly not shocking statistics to support the ensuing content.

When I say not shocking, that's the worst part. There are so many things within this book that are absolutely horrific, from verbal assault and casual sexist remarks to abuse and rape, and the fact that so many of these things appear to be ingrained in our society and viewed as normal (even by some women as Bates shows) is incredibly sad and troubling. Some of the things that I read, particularly related to the actions of university lecturers really surprised me, particularly in this day and age where I would have assumed that at least in their lecture halls women were safe from prejudice. Apparently not.

I could probably go on about this book for a lot longer, but I'll keep this review succinct. All you need to know is that you should 100% read this book, so we can all work together to trying to squash everyday sexism for good. It may take a very long time, but the more people who are picking up on these things and tackling them head on, the better.
August 4, 2022

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Exhausting. Infuriating. Demoralizing. These are just a few of the words that came to mind while reading EVERYDAY SEXISM. And despite being published in 2014, in many ways things have gotten worse and not better. The overturning of Roe v. Wade, the anti-LGBT+ laws being passed in southern U.S. states, the gleeful and shaming articles posted about any woman who steps out of line by not conforming to society, whether it was Hilary Clinton's campaign against Trump or Amber Heard's testimony in Johnny Depp's defamation trial, it seems like we live in a world that just really hates women. And that, to put it lightly, sucks.



I like the Everyday Sexism project a lot because I think it did an amazing job showing how so many women have these stories to share, either randomly or regularly, either interpersonally or institutionally. With this book, I was kind of expecting essays written by these women about these experiences. Instead, we're given quotes from the Everday Sexism submissions followed by very dry essays tying to these quotes, sorted by subject, and backed by statistics and real life examples.



Overall, I think this is an important book but it seems more geared towards clueless people who don't know how harmful sexism is and less towards people who have a very good idea of what sexism is. For these latter, each chapter of this book is like being beaten over the head with a mallet. The content starts to feel very samey after a while, and some of it is even repeated. Which, again, works well for people who are still learning but isn't so great for people trying to learn more. It was also a little sad to see the chapter on intersectionality kind of lumping together all forms of intersectionality into what felt like one rushed and harried chapter. I feel like the exotification and othering of women of color could have been an entire chapter on its own, for example. The same goes for women with disabilities. Also, I think I would have liked to have seen a chapter about internalized misogyny and TERFs. There's a chapter about men and how men can be victims of sexual harassment and unfair gender standards (which is important, because the same sexism that puts women in victim boxes also makes it so that society believes women are incapable of being the perpetrators of violent crimes or assault), so I think it also would have been good to point out how women can help perpetuate these self-harming standards as well, and how trans-women can be marginalized by bad actor "feminists."



This is a good resource but I fear it's probably already dated... and it's honestly pretty awful to read, so I recommend reading it when you're in a good and healthy emotional space. Triggers for virtually everything apply and the author doesn't hold back.



2.5 to 3 stars
December 23, 2020
Regardless of whether you call yourself a feminist, this book should be essential reading for all. This book is extremely relevant to women and men alike and discusses the real issues and threats that many people have to put up with on a daily basis.
Laura Bates is masterful here in this book. She talks about her own experiences and we can read about the experiences of others, that over a period if time, have shared their stories with "The everyday sexism project" These experiences are placed in different sections of the book such as women at work, women in public spaces etc.. The chapters are informative and are written incredibly well. At the very beginning of each chapter are some shocking statistics. While they support the subject at hand, that doesn't take away how unbelievably horrific they really are.

This book covers issues from sexual remarks to rape and abuse. The sickening thing is, some of these things are considered the "norm" in our society today, and as Bates discusses, that alone, is seriously disturbing.
A woman shouldn't have to feel anxious about what she wears in the morning on her walk to work, because in reality, she lives in fear because a group of men that are working in the street shout lewd comments about her body shape. Some people class that as being "okay" and a "bit of fun" What the fuck?! It's sexual abuse, and it is men like that abuse their power to make women feel small. To make us feel like the second sex. To make us feel like we only exist to please men. Equality doesn't even come into it for people that have these beliefs.
It doesn't come as a surprise to people when I tell them I am a feminist. I am a feminist on many levels, and I strive for equality, which even now, in some places, we're still having to fight tooth and nail for.
I would recommend this thought provoking book to anyone and everyone. Thank you Laura Bates.
Profile Image for Whitney Atkinson.
909 reviews13.8k followers
November 18, 2017
TW: rape, sexual abuse, domestic violence/abuse, eating disorders, pedophilia, and suicide.

“This is not a men-versus-women issue. It’s about people versus prejudice.”

This book could be draining to pick up at times, but I’m so glad I read it. It’s such an elegantly-worded and fully fleshed out call to action. In the most articulate books I’ve read so far, this handled intersectionalism so beautifully and folded together a LOT of examples and research balanced with Bates’ own discussion, as well as quotes from her Everyday Sexism project. Everything folded together really well, and although it could drag at times and I sort of wish I had the audiobook, it was still an important read. The only reason I took a star off is because it could sometimes be long-winded and provide so many examples that it started to weigh itself down, but clearly, the subject matter is still so crucial to examine.

I’ve just learned that I really gain nothing from reading books about feminism that I already agree with. If I don’t learn anything new, or if it doesn’t challenge any of my opinions or give me a perspective I’ve never considered before, it’s sort of just mindless reading that I don’t need to be spending time on. This book reads slightly like a textbook, but I’m realizing that’s probably because I already know and agree with a ton of this material. Some things are more obvious, like cat calling. Yes, i’ve experienced it. Yes, I know it’s uncomfortable, it’s a problem, and that it happens a lot, so nothing new was posed in that regard. However, another chapter about motherhood and the discomfort of the dehumanization was absolutely fascinating, and something I’ve never heard before. So there’s parts of this that were really valuable to me, but more often than not, the chapters covered material that wasn’t new information. this is frustrating to me because the only way I see this being an effective book that will educate and change society is to put it in the hands of people who don’t think sexism exists, ie. pretty much all men, and I don’t see them willingly picking this up. so that’s one thing that just makes me sigh.

overall, i’m grateful for this book because im someone who hasn’t had to deal with being groped or catcalled regularly. since i’m from the south, and i’m really tall and intimidating, i’ve only had to deal with harassment very rarely. but i plan to live in nyc, so i know this may change. it gave advice for how to step in when others are attacked and how to protect yourself for when it happens to you, and it was all advice i’d never considered before, so i think that discussion will stay with me, as well as a few other parts and perspectives that I had yet to consider.
Profile Image for Hannah.
587 reviews1,046 followers
July 12, 2018
I started listening to this as a sort of antidote to the misery that was It by Stephen King (which I have since put on hold and I am not sure I will pick back up again, I struggled with the depiction of sexism and racism and homophobia), and while this was certainly not a fun book, it was one that I thoroughly recommend and one that I am so very glad to have read.

Laura Bates talks about sexism here, the small acts and the larger acts and how they together form a society that is not particularly nice to women (or men for that matter). Drawing on the extensive collection of women’s experiences with sexism and an impressive amount of research, Bates has written an incredibly important book here and one that should be required reading. While I think she could have adressed intersectionality a bit better in parts, she did it a lot better than some other feminist works have done. Her chapter devoted to intersectionality was thus my favourite part of the book and something I would have liked to be more at the centre. But still, what an impressive book and man, what a kick in the gut to listen to her rallying cry of a last chapter that is infused with so much optimism – because, for me at least, the world very much feels like a clusterfuck at the moment.

You can find this review and other thoughts on books on my blog.
Profile Image for Tim.
201 reviews4 followers
April 17, 2014
I can sum up my reaction to this book in one word: horror. I was already aware of the Everyday Sexism Project and had read some studies on the levels of harassment women have to endure. But even so, I was taken aback by the shear scale of the problem described by Laura Bates in the book, made more hard hitting by the individual accounts of what contributors to the Everyday Sexism website have experienced.

All this would be bad enough, but as Bates makes clear, the problem is compounded by how women are often socialised to accept harassment, in all it's varied forms, as just a natural part of life, which they have to put up with as best they can. Even if they do try and speak up against their treatment they are likely, at best, to get a patronising dismissal of their concerns. At worse they can expect the torrent of rape and murder threats that many feminists in the media have experienced in recent years.

If this book had stopped there, it would still have deserved a five star rating and been an important work in cataloguing how women are still disadvantaged in a modern Western democracy. But it goes on to address the wider concerns of feminism about the representation of women in society, how prejudice affects their careers and other life options, and the epidemic of violence by men they have to face. Nor does it ignore how other forms of discrimination, such as those based on race or sexuality, combine with sexism into an especially toxic mix.

But it's not all doom and gloom. The final chapter shows how the power of social media can be used to make a real difference, starting to change attitudes, and giving strength and support to those who suffer abuse and violence.

In case anyone is worried, rest assured that this book is not a rant by some man hating feminist (indeed, Bates points out how men too are affected by sexism and the role they have and can play in confronting it). Rather it's a well written, thoroughly researched and easily accessible account of why feminism still has much work to do, even in 21st Century Britain.

My one concern is not to do with the book directly. When I look on this site at those who have read, or intend to read, it, they seem to be predominantly women. If that remains the case it will a tragedy, for men need to read it too. All men need to read it. For only then will they come to understand how, in Laura Bates' words "Men and women inhabit two entirely different worlds". And once they understand that they can start make the changes that will one day allow us to live in the same world.
Profile Image for Neave.
6 reviews
November 14, 2016
I am going to be one of the few people who actually gives this book a negative review and say exactly why I feel quite a lot of this doesn't express 'Everyday Sexism' as the title, so untruthfully suggests.

My first issue with this book upon reading is that it dramatises every form of sexual assault there is. A chapter called 'Women In Learning' made this dramatisation even more potent for me because of the way reading this actually made me feel.
I feel anxious and daunted by the fact of going to university to study because, by doing that, I WILL be sexually assaulted, I WILL be raped if I ever try and enjoy myself and even in the safety of my own campus, I WILL be followed for telling someone 'no'. Absolutely nowhere in this book does it outline the fact that these cases are apart of a minority and that the men that commit these horrendous offences are apart of a minority and that not every man you will meet will assault you, objectify you or grope you. Most men and college professors are absolutely fine and never grope or assault anyone! Male or female. Not just female, as the book would have you believe.

The sheer lack of male cases in any of the chapters appalled me beyond belief. There is absolutely no mention of spousal abuse directed towards men at all but frequent mentions of assault and violence directed at women. The thing that annoyed me the most about this book is that there is a chapter called 'What About The Men?' And basically, it should be called 'Men Can Handle Sexism Better Than Women and so it isn't an issue'. Bates appears to cover up quite a lot of the subliminal messages within this chapter by saying something too the affect of 'sexism towards men is wrong' (obviously a bit more eloquently and in context that just that.) she then goes on to make statements in this chapter, such as:
'Sexist incidents will often have a far greater impact on women's lives than they will ever have on men.'
In a chapter about men!! Because nothing says support to men facing sexism than being told that your issues are bad, but not as bad as the woman sat next to you on the bus, so it doesn't matter in comparison. Furthermore, in this chapter, the number of times it is brought back to women is absolutely amazing. I was attempting not to laugh with absolute inner distain all the way through this chapter because everything, no matter what happens is never as bad as what a woman faces. She says that the blatant sexism shown in the Diet Coke advert is used by men as a 'trump card' rather than addressing the advert for what it is- sexist. Exactly the thing she is writing this book for; she instead dismisses it because 'the objectification of men is much fewer and farther between that those involving women.'
That in itself is inherently sexist, is it not? To dismiss sexism because women's sexism are more important than men's experiences of sexism.

Some of the things mentioned, arguably aren't even sexist. One extract was that of a young women on a train who was looked up and down by a man, with no comment or assault mentioned, and this was labeled as sexist. Women, come on. Who hasn't given a man (or woman depending upon orientation) the once over? And by this, I don't mean gawking, I mean looking.
Who hasn't seen a TV star…Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Hiddleston etc. or even a man (or woman) walking past you on the street the look over because they've caught their eye? I don't think that's sexist, I think that's human. Women do it exactly as much as men and most of the time, there's no discrimination behind it at all, they were just looking at you. Would you still class that as sexist if you knew the man was looking was gay? Or if they were a lesbian woman instead?

I don't feel that this, at all, gives an equal footing of what sexism is. The balance of women and of men is unfathomably unbalanced . This book, if anything has made me more weary of feeling like being groped or being assaulted, as if it is an inevitable apart of being a woman. I don't think this should be called 'Everyday Sexism' in all honestly, it should be called 'Women and Sexism'.

I would actually recommend this to people, but only under two conditions:
-They didn't believe sexism to exist.
-They thought women were over reacting.
Personally I wouldn't call this a piece of feminist literature, because I don't believe this to prove that women are equal to men, I believe it embodies that women's problems should be taken more seriously than men's.

(Read this in context and make your own conclusions, please. This is all just my view of the book.)
Profile Image for Heather *sad DNF queen*.
Author 17 books442 followers
September 5, 2015
I never know how to react to sexual harassment. It's different every time. I was walking home from middle school and a boy I passed on the sidewalk reached behind him and grabbed my ass. The next day my brother and I yelled obscenities at him from our front porch. Later that same year, a guy in a car pulled up to my best friend and I to ask if we wanted to go to Wendy's with him. We immediately found a cop, who wrote down every word we said despite our lamentably vague descriptions. A few years later I could only express confusion when a prep cook at my first job repeatedly called me "sugar lumps." When my mom wanted me to lie about the man she'd married because doing so was the best thing for her, I did, and it bothers me to this day. Recently I just ignored the guy calling out to me ("Wooooooo! Slim! Slim!") as I was trying to pay for gas. Sometimes the only thing I can think to do is yell after men who catcall me, even though I know it's ineffective.

I started this book at about noon on Friday, and finished it just after nine Saturday morning. I could have finished it sooner if not for having to feed children and, you know, sleep. It's almost 400 pages, but it's so easy read. It's very well-written and never judgmental. The words are addictive, almost hypnotic, in the worst possible way. I understood and sympathized with so many of these accounts, yet at the same time I was appalled people are treated this way. I know the truth, yet it's shocking nonetheless. I felt angry, sad, and horrified while reading this. And I recommend it to everyone.
Profile Image for Nicole.
718 reviews1,786 followers
October 15, 2018
Why the heck isn’t this book more popular!? Only 5k ratings what a shame! I loved loved this book and I’d recommend it to every feminist out there. And not feminist. Basically everyone.
Profile Image for Faith Simon.
191 reviews164 followers
June 25, 2019
Before reading this, I'd never heard of the Everyday Sexism Project. Knowing about it now, I agree that every woman should read this book.
It's utterly heartbreaking, angering, but most important, it gives you ample reasons and evidence as to why we as a society need feminism. I'm always happy to read books furthering the feminist agenda, and I loved this one. Despite knowing sexism runs rampant and having experienced it myself, the entries within this book were still a huge eye-opener.
Please read this book. Reading through it was nothing short of a sad and depressing experience, however, the end chapter gave me so much hope for the future. This book felt like reading a gigantic essay, filled to the brim with personal entries and evidence to boot, with an ending chapter summing everything up perfectly.
Profile Image for Crystal Starr Light.
1,345 reviews811 followers
September 11, 2016
Bullet Review:

Instead of reading my review, do yourself a favor and read this book.

I am VERY fortunate to not experience half of what most of the women here have, but this is a HUGELY important book. Keep your ears open and remember: Just because you've never experienced it, doesn't mean it never happens. Use some empathy.
Profile Image for Laura.
554 reviews330 followers
August 24, 2016
Everyone should read this. It's so important and tackles everything from rape culture to victim blaming to catcalling, etc. I'll definitely try to get some of my family and friends to read this as well.
Profile Image for Iset.
665 reviews471 followers
May 29, 2014

It’s difficult to know where to begin with this review. This is one of the most important books I have ever read. Everyday Sexism resonated with me to a degree I had not expected. As a child I have to admit I didn’t notice this sort of thing, by and large. Maybe because I was lucky enough to have liberal-minded parents who never placed arbitrary restrictions on my aspirations and ambitions. As a teenager I slowly started becoming more aware when I was treated differently due to my gender, something I struggled to come to grips with and comprehend. Now as a young adult over the past few years I have had the unpleasant experience of becoming uncomfortably aware that sexism is still alive and kicking, and far more widespread than I ever would have suspected in years gone by. More than the fact that it’s becoming uncomfortable and disconcerting, just how much sexism I’m seeing in the world around me in the media and professional world, I was shocked by just how many people reported in to the Everyday Sexism Project, and how endemic a problem this is.

What are you talking about? This is 2014! Women are equal now.

This a line I’ve heard before a couple of times in the past when I’ve tentatively tried to bring up this issue, so it was a relief to discover that Bates directly addresses such questions in the book. And she addresses it with cold hard facts – in politics, in the media, in the professional world, in universities and schools. I have to admit that the figures gave me pause. Even I, having experienced this uncomfortable growing awareness of the reality of modern-day sexism, had no idea the figures were this bad. I honestly thought things were much more equal than they are. It’s clear that sexism is a bigger problem than I suspected. That’s a cold realisation that comes in from contributors to the book and its project too – people over and over again saying that they had no idea sexism took place to such a degree of frequency and severity, until sharing these experiences evidenced a veritable tidal wave far too big to be dismissed as isolated incidents perpetrated by a few ignorant individuals. I’m not going to discuss the facts and figures here – Bates does that in the book, and I urge you to read it for yourself and make up your own mind. What hit it home for me was reading through the reports and thinking to myself that I consider myself lucky because I’ve only suffered street harassment somewhat, suffered unwanted groping a few times, suffered disparaging remarks for no other reason than my gender sporadically. As Bates discusses in the book, such unpleasant incidents often go unreported and even forgotten about because they have become so normalised that it’s commonplace, and society sweeps it under the carpet. The fact of the matter is neither I nor anyone else should face discrimination, under any basis. As Bates observes, it’s difficult for people to speak up against sexism in particular because of the general denial about its existence, and speaking up often results in attempts to silence, through accusations of exaggeration, over-sensitivity, or throwing the ‘humourless feminist’ trope into the ring. The book really speaks for itself in raising not only the problem of sexism itself, but also the problem of silencing.

There’s a lot of disturbing material here. Girls as young as 12 report being sexually assaulted whilst walking home from school in school uniform. Some as young as 8 or 9 report having received demands for sex in the street from adult men. Some underage people report rape. Such is the feeling of entitlement some perpetrators have for harassing women that when women deny their demand or even simply ignore it and try to keep on walking, that their sexual demands turn to threats of violence, rape, and murder, and, ironically, accusations of being a “slut”, “whore”, etc. for refusing sex. Many reports speak of actual physical violence being done as a result of their refusal. I’m not sure what’s more disturbing, those reports or the part of the book where Bates examines the insidious culture that has led to people feeling entitled to harass and assault others based on their gender. There are lots of reports of young children in the book saying they don’t believe women are as mentally able, or children objecting to or reporting instances of sexism and being told to keep quiet about it, or, even worse, children being subject to actual assault themselves and not being believed by the adults in their lives, or being told by those adults it was their fault, or that they are inferior simply because of the gender they were born with. Make no bones about it: reading that sort of thing can be hard going. I felt utterly appalled and sickened reading some of these reports. But that’s why I recommend that everyone read this book. Sexism is not extinct. It is shockingly thriving, and the more people who realise just how widespread the problem is and decide that this is not acceptable, the better. From the ridiculous division of “boys’ toys” and “girls’ toys” from birth onwards, through children at school being discouraged from their dreams and being sexualised at a horrifyingly and disgustingly young age, through university lad culture, workplace harassment, job discrimination, street assault, and inequalities in having a voice where it really counts, this book discusses it.

There are many quotes I could put here, there were so many that absolutely resonated with me, reading this book, that I’ve placed some below in my status updates. However, I want to place one below that really shook me in its profoundly disturbing implications. This is one of the reports sent in to the project:

"I am a secondary science teacher and form tutor in Yorkshire. I witness on a daily basis the girls in my classes being called ‘whore’ ‘bitch’ ‘slag’ ‘slut’ as a matter of course, heckled if they dare to speak in class, their shirts being forcibly undone and their skirts being lifted and held by groups of boys, (I WANT TO EMPHASISE THAT THIS IS MORE OFTEN THAN NOT A DAILY EVENT, AND OFTEN BORDERS ON ASSAULT). On a daily basis I am forced to confiscate mobile phones as boys are watching hardcore pornography videos in lessons and I have noticed sadly that as time has gone on the girls in my classes have become more and more reserved and reluctant to draw attention to themselves [...] What I am seeing every day is incredibly worrying and distressing. It is getting worse and worse. I wanted to share this snapshot of my working life with others [...] The problem is that people are too willing to brush this issue under the carpet and dismiss it as just natural teenage deviance. However, being on the front line and dealing with this day after day I can tell you this is a completely different animal. There is an underlying violent and vicious attitude towards girls, a leaning towards seeing them as products to be used."


Frankly, a lot of the reports in the book are chilling, and that is why this book is so important. From the casually assumptive insults against a woman’s ability and intelligence, through to the brutal assaults, and the appalling attempts to silence victims, this book is worth reading. This book is worth reading for the realisation that sexism has quietly and insidiously become a problem of towering proportions. This book is worth reading for the sharing of experiences which highlights this realisation and the scale of the problem. This book is worth reading to inform, and educate, and spread the word amongst as many people as possible. This book is worth reading to recognise the problem and take a stand against its continued acceptability and normalising in our modern society. I urge everyone to take a look at this book, men and women. The victims are you, your sister, your brother, your mother, your father, your daughter, your son, your cousins, uncles, aunts, your friends, your mates, your colleagues… and the perpetrators could equally be them too. This isn’t a “women’s issue”. This is a human issue. Ever been “beaten by a girl”? Told to “man up”? Assumed to be incompetent looking after your own children? Denied custody after going through a divorce? Men suffer from the same sexism too. Men’s reports also feature in the project, from those shocked by what they’ve read and pledging to take a stand whenever they observe it, to those directly affected; such as the man taking his baby daughter on a day trip on the train when a fellow passenger pointed at the infant and loudly declared that there was an abandoned baby on board, only for him to announce that he was the father and perfectly capable of caring for his own baby. I’ve seen this other side of it first hand; my father raised me as a single-parent, having been widowed when I was just a tot. Growing up I was the only child in a single-father family. People often assumed when they heard I was in a single-parent family that I was with my mother. At school we were encouraged to make cards for Mother’s Day, but not for Father’s Day – and I was simply awkwardly told to give my card to my father. My father didn’t get the child support because by law it was only offered to single-mothers. Worst of all has been the assumption on the part of some people that I must be somehow deficient as a woman because I was raised by my father, as if there are super secret womanly things I haven’t learned, without which I can’t possibly be adequately feminine. Sexism affects us all. We need to stop trying to define “feminine” and “masculine” into these ridiculously arbitrary boxes that restrict people. We need to allow men and women to be whatever they want and be free to pursue whatever ambitions they have free from discouragement and discrimination. We need to stop viewing anyone, anywhere, as a mere object, a product, an item to be used. We need to take a stand whenever and wherever we next observe sexism, share it, report it, think twice before we do it, and take a stand against those that commit it. I definitely urge everyone to read this book.

10 out of 10
Profile Image for Kitty G Books.
1,548 reviews2,934 followers
November 9, 2016
This book made me so mad at times. Sexism is real, rampant and horrible. As a woman in a society where I'm lucky enough not to experience sexism myself too often this was both shocking and nasty at times to hear other women's experiences. I don't experience as much sexism as others because I have chosen (or forced myself) to hide away from dark nights, strange people, clubs and the 'usual suspects' but WHY should I and many many many other women HAVE to hide or not go somewhere/wear something etc just so as not to attract unwanted groping, assault and abuse?!?!
This book was, sadly, nothing all that new to me. Whilst it was shocking it's almost all stuff I've heard before from friends and family. This IS NOT OK!
Working together towards spreading positive messages of love and acceptance and safe places seems like the only solution to me, but it's a hard road to tread. Lots of work still to do, abs today's events don't fill me with huge hope about the next few years...
We're all human and EVERYONE has the right to their privacy and their own bodies. NO ONE ever deserved abuse on a street or rape. NO. NEVER.
Being one gender should never put you below another.
I believe in the world being a happy, safe and wonderful place, but we all have a fair bit to do before we're there. This book is a start to open your eyes and see what's happening. Hopefully as more people read it, more people will 'get' that this is not OK... 4*s
Profile Image for Literary Ames.
828 reviews396 followers
July 12, 2014


Laura Bates brings issues of harassment, assault and abuse of both men and women to light, after being deluged with submissions to her website and Twitter accounts. Seemingly small incidents of off-hand remarks can feel like the death of a thousand cuts when they happen everyday in every facet of your life. These sexist ouccrences happen so often and are so insidious and pervasive in Western society that they've become normalised to the point we feel silly for being upset about instances others brush off and disheartened when our complaints are ignored. All of this undermines confidence and erodes self-esteem. Even if we don't realise it, we've all witnessed sexism - on the street, in the media, at school and work, and now online with social media and comment forums. As Bates says, 'Enough is enough'.

Sexism is more socially acceptable than racism. Misogyny and misandry. Men get their own chapter but instances of misandry are sprinkled throughout. Bates doesn't just focus on the stereotypical, she points out that women can rape men, women can rape other women, and that men can be feminists.

Recently I admitted some of the most damaging harassment I'd faced, in response to Moonlight Reader's excellent article.

Huh. Reading your post, I realise now that I experienced sexual harassment at 18 in my first office job - I've never thought of it as being that before. He was a 40-year-old client who publicly harassed me in front of my colleagues. I had no idea what to do because he was also a friend of my boss and almost everyday he would come in for an hour after he'd finished work, every time hitting on me and trying to shame me into submission because I was so young and inexperienced - I'd yet to have a proper boyfriend. This went on for months until my only female colleague told the boss, and suddenly the man didn't come in as much. I didn't tell any friends or family because I found it deeply embarrassing that I couldn't handle it.

As a result, I changed my behaviour towards men, practically fearful of them for years afterwards; making as little eye contact as possible in case I was encouraging any of them, and always making sure I wasn't showing flesh or wearing too much make-up. But I'd still attract the creepers. I look very young for my age - as in not legal - and every now and then an older man will approach me. The worst was when I was in the YA section of the library (I get approached there alot so I don't go in much now) where a man said he wanted to be "my friend". I had Pippi Longstocking-style plaits/braids at the time and was wearing teenage clothes precisely to deter attention.


But that's not all.

Age 12, holidaying in the Seychelles, a native reaches out to touch my left breast "They're coming in nicely," she says.
Age 18, Freshers Week at uni saw a guy banging on my dorm room door for ten minutes shouting that my room used to be his and he wanted to see inside again. I didn't open the door.
Age 19, being followed around a clothing store then out into the street. Quick thinking had me walk into the well-staffed John Lewis which he refused to enter, instead waiting for me outside. I left via another exit.
Age 21, interviewed by a lecherous man who couldn't take his eyes off my chest. Was offered the job immediately. Despite the huge increase in salary and intriguing career-making job description, I turned it down.

Then there are the occasions when a man asks "where's that smile?" or "smile, might never happen" which somehow gave rise to 'bitchy resting face' which only appears to affect women. Hmm.

Sadly, as the majority of the perpetrators of the incidents that left the biggest impressions on me have been Pakistani and seemingly African immigrants (I live in a town with large communities of both), I'm wary of men from similar backgrounds.

83 per cent of Egyptian women report experiencing sexual harassment in the street. Egyptian Center for Women's Rights, 2008


More like 100%. I visited Sharm El-Sheik in November 2008. Worst. holiday. ever. I needed another holiday to get over the stress of that one. The Lonely Planet Egypt guide dedicated just a couple of sentences in the safety section on the street harassment of women so naively I believed it wouldn't be a problem. Nothing prepared me for what I experienced. I've very briefly talked about this before.

I travelled there with only my sister while in our early 20s. Big mistake. We were harassed every day. We didn't even have to leave our hotel room to witness it. We saw it from our balconies. Men clustered around the pool and the massage tables openly staring at women. Men calling after us in the street, trying to get us to follow them down dark alleys in that creepily cliched way we were warned of as children. They took every chance to touch us, to compliment us, to grill us about our marital status. A wedding ring or a husband standing by your side didn't necessarily protect you. (I was surprised the husbands tolerated the blatant disrespect of their wives, I kept hoping the offenders would receive a bloody nose or a black eye.)

I received multiple marriage proposals, me more so than my sister, we reasoned that was because she was gobby while I was quiet and observant, constantly looking out for grabby hands and other dangers. As for assault, my sister's breasts were manhandled. She tried to let it roll off her but I could tell it was starting to get to her. We decided to abandon our plans to visit Cairo and the pyramids - too risky. Would I ever go back? No. I don't want to feel like I need intimidating bodyguards to feel safe walking down the street or relaxing on the beach. No wonder native women didn't leave the house, the one or two I did see wore stiflingly hot burkas.

For awhile now I've held the belief that our deeply ingrained gendered stereotypes beaten into us as children and reinforced by society at large, are the main contributor to society's inability to accept the transgendered. Gender should be a matter of biology alone with none of the additional spurious and unequal social expectations, that if not met, leaves those 'failures' vulnerable to public disapproval and condemnation.

This is my new top 5 of non-fiction feminist reads:

(1) Everyday Sexism
(2) The Purity Myth: How America's Obsession with Virginity is Hurting Young Women
(3) Rape is Rape: How Denial, Distortion, and Victim Blaming are Fueling a Hidden Acquaintance Rape Crisis
(4) All the Rebel Women: The rise of the fourth wave of feminism
(5) Female Chauvinist Pigs: Women and the Rise of Raunch Culture

Okay, so Everyday Sexism took me 3 weeks to read it because I had to pause for a mental swig of spirits every now and then when the rage overcame me, but I can assure you this is a 5-star read that I recommend to all.

Profile Image for Christine.
6,549 reviews473 followers
February 10, 2016
Disclaimer: ARC via Netgalley

Recently, a friend posted an article to her Facebook. The article was about how daughters devote more time to caring for parents as opposed to sons. My comment on her post was how was this news. Because, who is supposed by that finding? Outliers aside, most daughters already knew the truth of that statement. In many ways, this is what the book is about.

If you haven’t heard about the Everyday Sexism project, then you need to get your head out of the sand. Bates started the project for women to vent, list, report,about the sexism in everyday life. The cases range from the truly horrifying – a woman being told by her parents that she asked for what happened to her – to the depressing everyday – catcalls when going to work. The ideas allow for women to know that they are not alone, to educate, and in regards to some stories provide hope or even solutions.

Bates’ book draws on some of the posts of the project but also contains reveling and recent statistics to add more perspective on the stated stories as well as her thoughts on harm and potential ways to deal with such issues. She also does address some of the claims made by various Men’s Rights Movements and addresses how sexism affects men, in particular how society views them as fathers and as fathers rights. This chapter is especially timely considering the rise in stay at home fathers or fathers providing childcare, who face criticism from both men and women.

The book itself is divided into various realms, with sections on work, politics, and media among others. Each chapter opens with a list of statistics, primary recent, all cited (if perhaps a little US and UK heavy) followed by some personal accounts, and then with analysis. The weakest chapter is the one about media, and this is mostly because of the work done by others. And considering that media is the most easily accessible, it really doesn’t have to go into depth. The best chapters include the work and politics, mostly because Bates links certain budget policies (cuts, really) to sexism, pointing out that some policies effect women more than men. The section about work is also compelling because it deals with pregnancy and children in terms of both men and women (in particular, pointing out that paternity leave is nil in many cases).

Bates connection of sexism and how it affects men is particularly well done, and in fact, is targeting such sexism despite the claims of Men’s Rights Movement to do so. She not only shows how the direct effects of presuming all women feel such and such away about children, but also how such a view presumes that fatherhood is nothing and that too is damaging.

While at times I found myself wishing there was some more connection or acknowledgement of other feminist work (for instance, there is mention of a banner reading “well-behaved women seldom make history” but no mention of Thacther herself), the book itself is immensely readable and thought provoking.
Profile Image for Indah.
327 reviews52 followers
January 24, 2018
Everyone should read this. Everyone. It made me think in ways I hadn't before and feel blessed that I have not experienced much of what other women suffer through. This book is essential in elaborating why we need feminism en gender equality. It is a tough read, especially the entries from the Everyday Sexism project nearly made me cry. But it is an essential read.
So please. Read this book.
Profile Image for Selene.
577 reviews134 followers
March 14, 2018
Feminist Lit February (February 1 - February 28) I know I didn’t finish this until mid March but I don’t care, I’m counting it.
Challenge #2 - Feminist Non-Fiction
Challenge #3 - Feminist Own Voices Book
Challenge #5 - Recommendation From A Feminist
Profile Image for fatma.
887 reviews527 followers
December 8, 2017
THIS BOOK. SO POWERFUL.

Everyday Sexism has been on my mind ever since I finished it. It's been a little over a week since I read it and it has somehow managed to colour my everyday experiences in a way no other book this year has. I want everyone to read this book, regardless of gender. I want people to realize the lived realities of women. I want people to realize that feminism is not just important, but also really freaking necessary. When half the world is crying out and having their experiences not only ignored, but also negated, then we have a huge problem.

As a woman myself, some parts of this book left me going YES, EXACTLY!!!! That's what I've been trying to say all along!!!!, and some parts left me shocked with the appalling shit that so many women have to go through. You'd think that as a woman I'd be fully aware of all this, but I wasn't, not really. I think in the back of my mind somewhere I knew the extent to which sexism, sexual assault, and harassment were rampant, but hearing first-hand accounts of them was incredibly sobering, to say the least. And that's another thing that this book does extremely well. It's one thing to read about statistics and news articles—which this book, of course, includes—but it's an entirely different thing to get direct entries from women who've been at the receiving end of sexist microaggressions, harassment, rape, etc. Also, I don't want to take it for granted that Bates's approach throughout this book is definitively intersectional. She has a separate section on double discrimination (i.e. about women of colour, queer women, women will mental illnesses, etc.), but also stresses that her intersectionality is not and should not be limited to that one section. In addition to that, Bates's approach is markedly diverse. She explores sexism in various spheres, such as in the workplace, the media, politics, and the family. Though this book is by no means comprehensive (I don't think any book can capture the sheer scope of sexism present today), I wouldn't hesitate to call it expansive: it discusses the little and the large of sexism, and everything in-between.

Speaking of sobering, this book is a tough read. Parts of it almost left me in tears, and at one point I had to physically smooth out my frown line because I'd been unconsciously frowning for so long. I was angry, I was horrified, and more than anything, I wanted to do something to help. That being said, don't let the fact that this book deals with heavy subject matter deter you from reading it. I know of people who say they don't read "sad/heavy books" because they're "depressing," which is RIDICULOUS. If anything, books with heavy subject matter like this are the ones we should pay attention to, despite the fact that they're not "feel-good-books." Did this book infuriate me? Yes. Did this book sadden me? Yes. Did I regret reading it because of that? HELL NO. I want to shove this book at anyone and everyone who is willing to listen.

I'm going to end this review with a simple request: read Everyday Sexism. Recommend it to people. It makes a (huge) difference. It certainly did with me.
Profile Image for Kris - My Novelesque Life.
4,638 reviews191 followers
October 24, 2018
EVERYDAY SEXISM
Written by Laura Bates
2014; Simon and Schuster (384 Pages)
Genre: nonfiction, social issues, gender, essays, sexism, feminism

RATING: ★★★★★

After being sexually harassed on a public transport Laura Bates takes to Twitter with a new project called, Everyday Sexism Project. As a journalist she starts to collect stories from other woman and realizes how big and problematic this issue is. Bates had women in every country, class, culture etc telling their story of sexism. The one underling issue behind this was that because women were sexually harassed every day it becomes normalized. Things like being leered at, whistled or called out, groping in public in the day time, etc. Women don't think others will care or see it as an assault. Basically, being a woman and being in public is enough to get harassed. Bates has said enough is enough. We need to tell our stories so we don't feel so alone and that it is not okay. We will not accept this behaviour. In between Bates own writing we get many comments on Twitter as real life examples of what Bates argues in Everyday Sexism.


I took this book out hoping to read it over the next few weeks but found myself devouring it in one night. What makes this book so powerful and engaging is that these are real life women sharing things to let other women know they are not alone. It is a hard book to rate as it's more of an informative guide that really makes you think. I will have more to say on the topic another time but as for this book, I recommend it to everyone.

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Profile Image for Joana da Silva.
240 reviews481 followers
March 23, 2022
Reading this book should be mandatory for everybody. Although it focuses mainly on the UK perspective, the examples shown are recurring ones everywhere. This book will make you want to act up on EVERY single little case of sexism you witness (as you should tbh).
Profile Image for Evelyn.
648 reviews56 followers
January 1, 2016
Like many, I first heard about Bates' Everyday Sexism project via Twitter when the #ShoutingBack hashtag was gaining momentum, and I thought it was a great idea to have an online platform where women can share their daily experiences of sexism. I picked up the accompanying book, yet I had no idea of the emotional impact it was going to have on me.

When I was 12 years old, my proudest moment was when I campaigned with a group of other girls in my year to force our headmaster to let us wear trousers in the winter months. At that time, I don't think any of us thought of it as a 'women's or equal rights or sexist issue' or anything like that. We were simply fed up of freezing our legs off because we had to wear skirts and it was bloody cold (tights just weren't cutting it)! After our demands were met, the penny only dropped months later when Spring arrived and we were expected to go back to wearing skirts, and we asked that all important question 'but WHY?'. The boys didn't have to wear skirts, so why should we? We don't want to! It's not fair! Eventually, the headmaster relented and that was the end of that.

I didn't give feminism much more thought. Personally, I was much more interested in other issues like saving the environment, animal rights, the third world debt, the rich and poor divide, and later on, socialism, anarchism, communism (the proper kind, not to be confused with fascism). Feminism didn't really appeal to me because the feminists at my college were all lesbians and really uptight- they were no fun and I just wanted to hang out with the boys with dreads, go to gigs, get drunk and smoke weed. Feminists didn't do that, they just moaned about everything.

It was only when I began to work crappy jobs that I started to see how unequal society was. Nearly all the managers and supervisors were men, and the women were mostly working in low paid positions as admin staff, carers, checkout assistants, shop staff etc. It was 'normal' to see women in the bathroom at lunchtime crying because they didn't know what to do because their creepy manager had come onto them earlier that day. I remember having to register at a different surgery seven miles away because my local one didn't have a female GP, and arguing with staff there because I was out of their catchment area. It all started to click into place.

But I digress. Bates' Everyday Sexism book brought up a lot of my own past experiences with sexism that I thought I had forgotten about for good. Like the time I went to London for work experience with a big advertising company and a man in a suit outside asked me if I'd give him a blow job for £50 - I was 16. Or the time I got lost in Manchester after a gig and a group of men asked if I wanted to go back to their flat for a 'party' and I ran faster than I'd ever run in my life. Or the times I had my bra snapped by boys at school or was whistled at by builders and called a slut when I gave them the finger. I rarely told anyone about these and when I did, even close friends didn't want to know and they certainly didn't want to discuss it. These were all just 'normal' things - why did I want to make a fuss?

Reading other women's experiences in the Everyday Sexism book made me incredibly depressed because I never realised how wide a problem it was, but it also made me feel angry and empowered to want to 'do' something about it as well. Interspersed with the factual accounts are shocking statistics and Bates' does a fantastic job of addressing the issues of why we all need to learn and respect the values of consent and personal boundaries and we need to recognise that assault can come in any form where you have not consented to it happening to you.

The chapters are themed around a certain subject (e.g Women in Media, Young Women Learning, Women in Politics etc), very accessible to read, concise and to the point, whilst at the same time offering enough information to get your blood boiling. There's also a good chapter on men and what they can do to call out sexism when they see it and be part of the change because it's not going to happen on just one side. Things are certainly improving from when I was much younger and that was only 10 or 20 years ago, but there's so much more that needs to be done, so this is a book I would recommend to everyone.
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