The Twitter thread highlights how women across the world face a range of threats and challenges every day.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on April 16, 2021. It has since been updated.
While most of the world would like to believe we've attained the heights of gender equality, the reality is quite far from it. Every day, women across the globe deal with a range of threats and challenges that might not be evident to those who've never had to experience it from a very young age. This is what Twitter user Gayatri highlighted when she started a powerful thread where she asked women to tell her they're women "without telling me you're a woman." Gayatri took the lead, sharing: "When I walk in a dark lane, I mentally am aware of the escape routes."
"It's always assumed that my political views are borrowed from my dad or my partner and that I'm generally gullible," she added. "If I step out by myself, I double triple check the clothes I'm wearing to see if I can be considered improper or revealing." Speaking to Bored Panda, Gayatri explained that she often talks about women's life and workplace experiences on Twitter. "I started this thread as a way for women to share their experiences and the prejudices they face in everyday life. The answers showed that women all over the country and world even had the same experiences. We fought the same battles," she said.
Many women responded to Gayatri's tweet, sharing their uniquely "female" experiences that highlight how far we are yet to go in the fight for gender equality. Here are 23 of the most powerful responses:
"You'll change your mind about having kids" https://t.co/2vRvUJV6t2— Phoebe Greggor (@Phoebe_Greggor) December 10, 2020
No amount of professional or educational achievement is enough to make up for the fact that I'm unmarried.— MadMax Zoombie (@TapiocaChip) December 10, 2020
My assertiveness at work is called that time of the month.— Gee (@GayatriiM) December 10, 2020
Telling men I'm in a relationship even though I'm single because they'd rather respect an unknown man more than my choice to say No.— Freida Maggi Khalo🏳️🌈 (@yadudewhatever) December 11, 2020
They ask me if I am cabin crew when I tell them I fly for an airline.— #CovidRequests #CovidSupplies (@dillidikudii) December 10, 2020
Gayatri shared that one of the main things she was able to grasp from the responses to her thread is that rights and reality are two very different things. "Instead of asking women what needs to change about women's rights, I think what needs to change is the perception of men. Women are still looked at as inferior beings who need to be told what to do and how to live every single day," she said.
Take a few anxious breaths every time am alone with a man in an elevator— Ziba Bhagwagar (@howbza) December 10, 2020
Please cut the cake and distribute - team celebrations— Soundarya (@soundarya_b) December 11, 2020
Most days am the last one to sit for dinner, last one to go to bed and first one to rise.— Bhumika Thakkar (@bhumikagem) December 11, 2020
Was actually taught how to sit “properly” and not to laugh out loud.— Nareal Chutney (@VeduVada) December 10, 2020
"Men need to actively listen to women, overcome their biases and age-old mental conditioning, and treat women as equals. These discourses are being labeled feminism and the women who talk about this, feminists. But if you think about it, all women want is to left alone and not be told by men how to lead their lives," Gayatri added.
- When alone, I walk with my keys grasped between my fingers, in case I need to use them as a weapon.— Bansari Kamdar (@BansariKamdar) December 11, 2020
- I’m often told my ambition is well and good but it’s unnatural to not want a marriage and family at my age.
My worth as a human being reduced to a "successful" marriage and my willingness and ability to bring a child into this world— Ishu (@DimpledJalebi) December 11, 2020
I know the difference between violet, purple, mauve, orchid, plum, wine and lavendar colours.— Scribbles_HKS (@KaurHarkirtan) December 10, 2020
On occasions, I have held back from tearing up during very tough days at work, because I am afraid I’ll be judged; & not to give anyone a chance to frame me as “emotional”. For Other folks who fist bump a wall or use profanity, it is be just another tough day! 😐— rashmi (@ArghWii) December 11, 2020
My mom asked me to put this out here: who's going to take care of your husband when you travel?— Not-Fiction (@startafresh4) December 11, 2020
Who takes care of your kids when you travel?— Vani Saraswathi (@vanish_forever) December 11, 2020
While most of the tweets in the thread are from Indian women, writer and founder of "Voice of Salam" Elizabeth Arif-Fear said that even in the West, women face sexist attitudes, harassment and barriers to entry both inside and outside the workplace because of their gender. To solve these issues, we need to "dismantle gender-based stereotypes about gender roles," push for "full parity in dividing unpaid work at home with their partners," and report incidents of harassment and "illegal questioning of their marital status in job interviews," she said.
While walking the streets, I have to move out of a man's path. Always.— Dipti Nagpaul (@diptinagpaul) December 11, 2020
My professional achievements are measured by my gender and not because I deserve the recognition because of the hard work, dedication that I have put in— womensweb (@womensweb) December 11, 2020
If everyone forgets to cook, I gotta— Rohini Mohan (@rohini_mohan) December 11, 2020
What would I know about politics, economy, current affairs or anything for that matter 😏— Riddhi Singh (@badassbrownmom) December 11, 2020
If anyone from the generation above or below me falls sick in my birth family or marriage family, I have to take off from work to nurse.— Elizabeth Seshadri (@lizsesh) December 11, 2020
"Ladies, you can do it! Please believe in yourself!" Arif-Fear said. "Likewise, partners need to do their share at home, colleagues should check their attitudes (e.g. sexist comments), not mansplain in meetings, and managers and employers should ensure that they are creating fair equal opportunities and spaces at the table. Consideration for those with childcare responsibilities is also important."
If I drive slowly, the car behind me gets my gender.— एस के बी (@Shairakasalaam) December 11, 2020
I under estimate myself, consistently.— Nisha Sampath (@geekafterglow) December 11, 2020
-Always beating myself up for the smallest of errors.— Shruthi (@nonstopbakbak) December 11, 2020
-Walking that razor thin line between being a full time working woman, and a mother
-Guilt eating me up most of the time
- Always the first one to reach out, check in, apologize et.all
-multitask like crazy. exhausting. 😓