A letter to Santa from all women

We don't want material things this Christmas, just equality and respect.

Related Topics

Dear Santa,

Just a small Christmas list this year.

  • No more street harassment

So the woman who wrote to us this week describing her daily experiences might, even just once, get to work next year without having already been sexually appraised and verbally abused by passers by. You know, just once without:

“Being told ‘You'd be so beautiful if you'd just smile' and 'Oooo she's pissed don't fuck with that bitch' and 'I love you sweetheart come home with me' and 'I'd fuck that' and 'I'd tap that' and countless other comments just walking to work at eight in the morning, 'Come here sweetheart, I just want to talk...bitch'”

  • An end to the normalisation of harassment and sexual assault

So nobody ever again writes us a report of their experiences that ends like this one:

“I had my skirt pulled up numerous times in high school, I was flashed twice on my route home, I was groped between my legs in a club, and had a man masturbate whilst telling me he wanted to suck on my tits in the street in broad daylight… Countless shouted comments about how un/attractive I am over the years.

I consider myself lucky, relatively.”

  • Support from bystanders

So nobody else feels betrayed by those who stand by and watch:

“Multiple times, men stopped their cars as I was walking along (in broad daylight, with other people around) to ask me "how much?" When I told them no, even politely (I was much too afraid to say it forcefully), many would continue to drive alongside me at a slow pace, either continuing to harangue me for sex, or spouting insults and threats. Nobody ever came to help me.”

“I was on the train returning from an upsetting dermatology appointment. I had painful cysts all over my face. A large group of boys were loudly and openly discussing how ugly I was, and how they'd have to 'tap that from behind'… What frustrated me the most was that it was a packed carriage, and nobody said anything.”

  • Real reporting on women’s achievements

Because when an athlete as great as Jessica Ennis takes the stage to be recognised for her achievements, the online response with over 450 retweets shouldn’t be “As long as I have a face, Jessica Ennis will have a place to sit.”

And some of the biggest articles on national news sites about her the next day shouldn’t be about her “derriere” and “how she learned to love her ‘butch’ Olympic body”.

  • Simple, human respect

So that maybe, just maybe not every week will have to feel like this one:

“In the last week, I have comments about my appearance at least every day. I have had three different men try to get me to go home with them, including one man who stated "I will fuck you and then you can fuck off home". I was spanked by two different individuals, had my hair pulled and pinned against a wall by another in a night club.”

And a woman of just 26 won’t describe herself this way:

“It makes me feel so used up... I'm tired of it. I'm 26 now and some times I hate myself so much for something that is not my fault.”

  • A safe working environment

So that women like this can concentrate on their jobs, not on keeping a ‘safe’ distance from the boss:

“Male director frequently gropes other female members of staff, says inappropriate sexual things and is lewd. Get's away with it as he is the director and everyone desperately wants to hold onto their job. Have to actively be on guard when he is around, keeping a big distance and not inviting personal contact”.

And women like this see real action on workplace harassment:

“Went to HR about sexist/flirty CEO. Was told to put up with it as I'm 'young and pretty and they're men, what do you expect?'”

  • And a safe walk to school

For the 10-year-old who told us she changed her route home after boys shouted about her “tits”, and the 15-year-old who had to deal with a man pretending to ‘air juggle’ her breasts and the 16-year-old who was flashed at twice and the eight-year-old whose skirt was lifted every day and the girl whose uniform and backpack didn’t deter the person who groped her bottom and then squeezed between my legs, up my dress, from behind”.

Just a small list, Santa.

React Now

  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Junior Web Designer - Client Liaison

£6 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join a gro...

Recruitment Genius: Service Delivery Manager

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Service Delivery Manager is required to join...

Recruitment Genius: Massage Therapist / Sports Therapist

£12000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A opportunity has arisen for a ...

Ashdown Group: Practice Accountant - Bournemouth - £38,000

£32000 - £38000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful accountancy practice in...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Ed Miliband and David Cameron  

Cameron and Miliband should have faith in their bolder policies

Ian Birrell
Andreas Lubitz runs the Airport Race half marathon in Hamburg on 13 September 2009  

Being sensitive to mental health need not lead us to downplay the horror of what Lubitz did

Will Gore
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor
How to make your own Easter egg: Willie Harcourt-Cooze shares his chocolate recipes

How to make your own Easter egg

Willie Harcourt-Cooze talks about his love affair with 'cacao' - and creates an Easter egg especially for The Independent on Sunday
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef declares barbecue season open with his twist on a tradtional Easter Sunday lamb lunch

Bill Granger's twist on Easter Sunday lunch

Next weekend, our chef plans to return to his Aussie roots by firing up the barbecue
Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

The England prop relives the highs and lows of last Saturday's remarkable afternoon of Six Nations rugby
Cricket World Cup 2015: Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?

Cricket World Cup 2015

Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?
The Last Word: Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing