This section looks at the differences between women and men and among women themselves. It also explores the issue of challenging sexism. It is important to challenge sexism as this creates an environment where young women feel equal to others and valued as individuals.
Introducing the topic of exploring differences
a. Ask group to draw themselves on flipchart sheets, and to write words around their body to describe themselves in terms of (for example) class background, type of house they live in, culture, religion, sexuality, disability.
b. Come back as a group identify similarities and differences.
c. Use as a reflective evaluation tool.
- The Unequal Opportunities game
- The Drag King workshop
- Carry out a diversity and equality audit of your youth provision, or a shorter gender audit
Introducing the topic of challenging sexism:
- Media stuck in the 1950s – download the media workshop instructions
a. Recent adverts displaying sexism
b. Past adverts displaying sexism
c. Compare the two to promote discussion
d. Look at magazines compare them to see the similarities and differences. Look at an old image and see what if anything has changed.
- Jacky Fleming cartoon books
a. Use any of the cartoons in her publications to provoke a discussion.
b. Use several cartoons to decide what’s sexism and what’s not. How it affects them and how it can be challenged.
c. Encourage individuals or groups to create their own cartoons to illustrate their own life and experiences.
- Agony aunt exercise
a. Group writes down different problems (imaginary or real) and puts them in some sort of container.
b. Individuals pick out a problem; the group discuss and try to come up with a solution.
- Looking at gender
Split the group into two halves, each group will need flipchart and pens. Ask each group to draw a woman on one flipchart and a man on another. One group look at the issues connected to being a ‘woman’ and the other group look at the issues connected to being a ‘man’. What’s good and bad about being a boy and what’s good and bad about being a girl.
Come back as a large group and compare the drawings. Discuss the issues. See any similarities and differences about female and male.
- Word exploration
a. Word webs – sexist words- who in society uses them who doesn’t. Try to encourage the group to think about the media, newspapers, magazines, TV, Radio, Family & Friends, etc.
b. Ask the group to try to come up with words that could be used instead that aren’t sexist.
c. Create a collage which displays women in a positive way.
d. Create an archive.
- Image exploration
a. Pictures of women in different situations i.e. police officer, housewife. office worker, doctor, solder. See what assumptions the group makes of these roles and people.
b. Give actual facts about the women and their working situation today and see if they correlate with their discussion.
c. Encourage individuals to make their own poster “This is Me”. Use a Polaroid camera to take their photo, place photo in centre of large piece of paper/card and use other images (from magazines, etc) to show what they like, what their interests and hobbies are, and what they want to achieve, etc.