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Everyday Sexism Project launches in Denmark

The Danish branch of The Everyday Sexism Project was launched on August 08 2013. Already over 300 women have contributed to the site with their stories. The site serves a catalogue of documenting the ways women experience sexism on daily basis.

(10 September) The spokeswomen behind the site, journalist Irene Manteufel and Ulla Tornemand, Vice-President of the Danish Women’s Society, say: “Basically, everyday sexism is anything from personal experiences with rape, rape threats, objectification, sexualization or just misogynistic comments in a discussion, to feeling humiliated when facing yet another newspaper story with a misogynistic angle or looking at yet another commercial with stereotypes of objectified women”.

The Everyday Sexism Project Denmark (E.S.P) consists of the website danmark.everydaysexism.com, where you can tell your experience on sexism anonymously, and a Facebook group. It’s a closed Facebook group, where all potential members are screened to make sure that this Facebook group is a safe and secure place to share experiences with sexism.

Irene Manteufel says on some of the impact the project has: ‘The Everyday Sexism Project Denmark has already lead to changes for some of the participants from the Danish Facebook group because the members encourage each other to challenge the sexist behaviour they meet. For example: a woman has confronted a co-worker at her workplace with good result. Another has written a letter to her trade journal about the gender stereotyping that is reproduced by the journal. Others confront friends about sexist behaviour react to gender-stereotyping in schools or sexist commercials. All with ongoing support from the group”’

The intentions and hopes for the site

“We hope to reach a point where we can publicly present such a big and wide range of the documentation that no one will ever try to deny the existence of sexism, or the impact it has on women’s lives and feelings every day from a very early age. We hope this documentation will open people’s eyes and create a movement toward a cultural change" says Ulla Tornemand, and she continues: “If women complain about incidents of sexism, they often face comments like “It’s just you being sensitive”, “Well, get over it” or “You sound like an angry, boring old feminist”, “It was a joke, don’t you have a sense of humour?” With E.S.P., everyone can see it’s not about individual “problems.” We figured the project would be just as needed in Denmark, and so far that seems correct: The Facebook group is a very lively base for continuous discussions and reflections among the 336 members, and on the website we already gathered 45 full pages of contributions in only one month”.

Irene Manteufel elaborates: “We hope that everyone who has something to contribute, will be aware that the site exists, and find the courage that it often takes to contribute. Furthermore it is our hope that this project will result in change. That it’ll change the way we treat each other and that, in time, it’ll lead to a higher degree of gender equality.

Facts
The Everyday Sexism Project (E.S.P.) was started in Britain in April 2012 by Laura Bates [1], and during the first year was able to present 30.000 contributions from women about all sorts of experiences with sexism. 16 other countries have launched their own branches of E.S.P. in cooperation with the British headquarters, and working with the same goals, guidelines and definitions of sexism.
Danish Women’s Society is a member of the Women’s Council Denmark, member of the European Women’s Lobby.

[1Laura Bates is the founder of the Everyday Sexism Project, a collection of over 10,000 women’s daily experiences of gender inequality. She is also contributor at Women Under Siege, a New York-based project working to combat the use of sexualised violence as a tool of war. She has written for the Independent, the Huffington Post, Grazia, the Women’s Media Center and JUMP! magazine for girls.

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