Laura Bates

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Laura Bates in 2014

Laura Bates BEM FRSL (born 27 August 1986) is an English feminist writer. Bates founded the Everyday Sexism Project website in April 2012. Her first book, Everyday Sexism, was published in 2014.


  • [Definition by Bates of Everyday Sexism as published om the project website in 2014] To prove how the steady drip-drip-drip of sexism and sexualisation and objectification is connected to the assumption of ownership and control over women’s bodies, and how the background noise of harassment and disrespect connects to the assertion of power that is violence and rape.
  • [Misogynistic and sexist attitudes during her career as an actor] I asked other women if they'd experienced attitudes of this sort. I found myself thinking back about all the incidents I'd never really thought twice about and saying, "Oh, my God, this is huge. Why am I putting up with it?" I couldn't believe how many of these women had hundreds of stories.
  • [On a couple's engagement] As for the man asking "permission" from the bride's father, one friend expressed my thoughts exactly: "If I'm going to get married, I sure as hell want to be the first to know about it."
  • [On changing surnames on marriage] We wrangled back and forth over this – he would have been happy to take my surname, but already had a friend with the identical name. Would that be weird? We dismissed double barrels. We considered the new trend for combining the two names into a hybrid – this worked for friends with the surnames Sand and Smith (giving them the magical-sounding Sandsmith). But neither Baylor nor Tates has quite the same romantic ring. Of course, the simple thing is to keep one's own name and get on with it. But for me there was something meaningful about making a shift in our official identities. Eventually, my fiance came up with a simple solution: we'd each take the other's surname as an extra middle name, leaving our surnames unchanged. Problem solved. (Until, as my mum pointed out, we might have to think about what surname to use for any children, but hey, we'll need something to talk about once we're married.)
  • I was in a school last week and I asked the girls if there are any situations where women are not treated with respect. There was an uproar, all of them shouting: "Yes, the boys in our year call us sluts and slags more than they use our real names. Yes, we're told that we have to send them pictures of our breasts and if we don't, then we're uptight and we’re prudes." This stuff isn't, like, isolated incidents. This is stuff that's coming up again and again.
  • [On the media's short attention span] This is no longer anything to do with me at all. It's about the 60,000 women's voices and the strength of those stories. Regardless of whether someone wants to interview me next week, it doesn't matter at all as long as people are still fighting.
  • When women talk about any kind of misogynistic abuse, three things happen. We are told that we should stop making a fuss. We are told that it could be worse. We are told that other issues are more serious. At the Hay festival this week, Germaine Greer told us all three.
  • Ultimately, if Greer is saying we need to take rape less seriously, she needn't worry … society is already doing a pretty great job of that all by itself.
  • I don't think someone in a predatory position, behaving in an abhorrent way towards young girls, would have looked at the Sun and thought there was nothing wrong with their behaviour, but they would have looked at it and thought: "I’m going to get away with it."
  • [The irony defence of misogynistic material] Previously, you got people to engage because it's just jokes. Now, if it's being watched 11.4bn times, it doesn't have to be a joke any more, because the strength is in numbers.

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