Everyday sexism harms our community. It's up to all of us to call it out when it happens.

How do you call out everyday sexism?

We know it can sometimes be hard to speak up when someone you know makes a degrading comment or you see harassment happening. RMIT staff and students speak about a time when they stood up - or wished they had.
Jennifer Parker, Bachelor of Fine Arts

“On public transport, I see people making sexist comments to others and wish I could speak out. It's important to let these people know their behaviour is not okay. A strategy can be to provide support for the victim, if you don't feel safe to say something to the person behaving in a sexist way. Just sitting next to them or asking if they're ok.”

Rebecca Scerri, Bachelor of Social Work (Honours)/Psychology

"I've worked in venues where female staff are not taught how to change kegs. If you want to work as a manager, you have to be able to. I wish I had stood up and said we all come in different shapes and sizes. Men are not inherently able to do things - women are not inherently unable to do things."

Elizabeth Duong, Bachelor of Engineering

“Stereotypes amongst engineers about girls: ‘girls only do engineering for the attention’, ‘they only know how to make pretty presentations and reports’ and ‘it's way easier to get an engineering job as a girl’. It's important to understand your own self-worth and not let these people get the better of you.”

Emad Alamoudi, Master of Engineering (Electrical Engineering)

"I've got a friend who works in a company with boys in the same position; however, she gets less money than them."

Finn Devlin, RMIT Staff

"Plenty of comments in bars and clubs, you wish you'd called it out but could never find the words. In a setting in which alcohol is involved, you worry about violence."

Cléa Jordier, Bachelor of Business (Management)

"They might feel really uncomfortable and react in a wrong way if you say something in the moment. You have to find the right time."

Thea Mucas, Bachelor of Engineering

"Whenever our teacher left the room, my classmates would mock her and get particularly creative about comments concerning her gender. No matter how small the incident, they still add up and become normalised when they shouldn’t be. I wish I had called out their unacceptable behaviour."

Abena Dove, RUSU President, Bachelor of Social Science (Psychology)

"I generally speak out. Of late with my Uber drivers, when they make suggestive and inappropriate comments. I try to calmly explain why it's inappropriate and how much power they have in that situation.”

Annalise Matthews, RMIT Staff

"As women I feel like we're always thinking about how to respond so as to avoid compromising our personal safety. In times when it feels safe to say something I have to muster my courage to speak up, but I always try to because it's so important to contribute to change!."

James Harland, Associate Dean, Student Experience, School of Science

"I've called out casual sexism in conversations, when people say things such as 'run like a girl', 'tomboy', or talk about attitudes to dancing, flowers, or art as if they were feminine things."

Savi Pethiyagoda, Bachelor of Engineering (Aerospace Engineering)

"I understand that this is a serious issue and one that has to be addressed within our community."

Amelia Batchelor, Bachelor of Design (Animation & Interactive Media)

"Speaking up against harassment can be daunting - but we must take initiative against aggression if we are to deconstruct the systems that make these acts acceptable."