The Everyday Sexism Project received its 50,000 entry this week, less than two years after being launched. Founded in April 2012 by Laura Bates, the project catalogues first-hand accounts of sexual harassment from both men and women from around the world.
From catcalls and casual remarks to stories of rape and sexual assault, through Twitter and its blog the project brings attention to instances of sexism both serious and minor, or what it describes as “so niggling and normalised that you don’t even feel able to protest”. Recent accounts published by the project include women who have lost their jobs for becoming pregnant, as well as men who have been mocked for wanting to take paternity leave.
Writing for the Guardian today, Bates said that the success of the project was less to do with its popularity, but more to do with the “sheer mass of stories out there” that otherwise go untold.
She said: “That these women, and so many more, are suffering these instances of sexism, prejudice, harassment and assault on a daily basis should be an outrage. But it isn't. It's a lifestyle. The society we live in has normalised the treatment of women as second-class citizens, as disposable objects, as punchlines for jokes.”
With over 100,000 followers on Twitter and now 50,000 entries on its site, the Everyday Sexism Project has amassed a large following since its launch. But not all the responses to the project have been positive. Bates has also described how she regularly receives violent death threats because of her work.
She said: “Graphic messages telling me how I should be raped and which tools should be used to disembowel me ping into my inbox on a weekly basis. Just for giving a platform for women's voices. Just for raising the issue of gender equality.”