Anna discusses the difficulties she has faced in challenging sexist behaviour throughout her life and the support that Kick It Out can provide to report sexist abuse.
I remember vividly the first time I encountered sexism in football.
I was seven years old and played in an Under-8s all-boys team, as there were no teams for girls that age. I was a shy child and did not really feel comfortable playing with boys, but the love I felt for football was greater than the feeling of being an outcast. I will never forget when I scored my first goal and my joy was clouded when the opponents started shouting to each other ‘how could you let a girl score?’
Over 20 years later, I would like to be able to say that things have changed and that today, when I am in the stands watching Newcastle play, I get shocked if I encounter sexism. But the fact of matter is, I still expect it. And challenging it is often scary, exhausting and a difficult thing to do.
It must be said that far from all men harass women, but the point is that every woman has experienced sexism. It is everywhere around us and as women, we carry it with us from a very young age. Sadly, most of the time it is easier to stay quiet and accept it, than to challenge what we hear and see.
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