Who is she?
Laura Bates is a UK feminist writer who founded the Everyday Sexism Project in 2012. The project encourages women worldwide to “shout out” incidences of sexism in their everyday lives – catcalls in the street, sexual harassment in the workplace or whatever else they encounter.
The response was incredible – the project now has 60,000 posts, is run in 20 countries and was turned into a bestselling book.
Why should we thank her?
Laura has exposed the “casual sexism” that inhabits the daily life of all women. We have all experienced being cat-called, groped, belittled, humiliated or victimised, but in the past, most women have been reluctant (or frightened) to call it out.
Laura encouraged women to speak up and expose what may have been previously considered “normalised” or “jokey” behaviour as WRONG.
The effect has, I think, been profound. Women today ARE more likely to speak out and not tolerate certain behaviours. A recent case in point is the Billy Brownless “strippers” incident, which saw a Melbourne mother speak out on social media against the former Geelong star’s offensive comment about her and her daughter.