Week 1: We want to tell people how to make a difference – Smashing Sexism

It’s been only one week since our retreat.

Over the past week we realized that there’s a problem, but we also realized we have no idea what the solution is. Our goal is not to just tell people that we live in a rape culture that promotes sexism and gender roles, but instead tell people how we can make a difference. We now understand if we want to find a solution, we need to find the root of the problem, or at least a big part of the problem. We think that getting opinions from students and teachers will help us figure out where sexism and gender roles occur in high schools.

High school is an important time in someone’s life: it can shape who they are. If someone experiences/witnesses sexism in their high school, wouldn’t that promote sexism in life after high school? So we created two surveys: one for the students and one for the teachers, to give out in our school. We plan to show these surveys to our principal, Mr. Lawson, Monday morning. If he lets us hand them out, we should get the results by Thursday and analyze the results during our meeting next Saturday.

In addition to our surveys, we are collecting data about other aspects of our topic from other sources. We looked at Vermont’s Youth Risk Behavioral Survey from 2015. Specifically, we looked at perception of weight, perception of grades, and whether or not students were trying to do something about their weight, by gender identity.

We’re also curious about the genders of students in specific classes and we wonder if there’s any correlation between class subject and gender. We’ve also acknowledged that gender and career choice can have some type of correlation.

There are so many factors that effect the problem we are trying to solve, but once we narrow down our focus to what really matters, we’ll be able to make the needed difference.

Emily Pecsok

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