Misogyny and sexism in school

A rethink of our assumptions about boys and girls is critical to challenging and changing the misogyny and sexism inherent in our society, and schools have a key role to play, says Peter Radford ahead of this year's FREE & EQUAL? event


Entrenched and harmful gender stereotypes are established early in life.

The issue of sexism in society isn’t a problem “out there”. The problem is me. Us. All of us – whether male, female or non-binary.

We are products of a socialisation that has skewed our thinking such that we are not even aware of our own complicity. Not aware, that is, unless we do the uncomfortable and purposeful work of exposing it.

What about you? Could it be that your own assumptions about gender are part of the problem?

There are two basic views of gender – the Essentialist and Existentialist.

The Essentialist View is the traditional view that men are naturally suited to some roles and women to others – women to caring professions which require emotional sensitivity, men to competitive workplaces and roles which require rational, critical thinking.

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