Everyday sexism remains rife, Project’s creator tells Westminster pupils in “eye-opening and dynamic” talk
The normalisation of sexism in daily life and how that underpins gender inequality, has been highlighted in a thought-provoking talk by Laura Bates, as part of Westminster's PSHE and Wellbeing curriculum.
The founder of the Everyday Sexism Project, which works to catalogue and expose instances of sexism experienced by women on a daily basis, spoke to Upper School pupils in March about the continued persistence of sexism in our society, as well as giving practical suggestions about what we can all do at a grassroots level.
The talk and Q&A gave insights into the experiences of women who, like Laura, have suffered from numerous instances of sexism. She openly shared her experiences of sexism and sexual assault, which led her to start the globally-known Everyday Sexism Project. She invited pupils to reflect how everyday sexism is at the root of gender inequality in modern society.
Following the talk, Morola (Sixth Form, BB ) said: “Being able to attend the talk was a massive privilege. Laura Bates presented things that we usually don’t pay much attention to in a completely different light. She drew important connections, from blatant harassment to seemingly harmless newspaper headlines, which allowed us to fully understand how pervasive and sometimes undetectable sexism can be.”
Lila (Sixth Form, WW), added: “She presented irrefutable evidence on the persistence of sexism in the UK, explaining the inconveniences women face daily are part of a wider picture of abuse against women that goes under the radar because sexism is an issue that many still think has been solved. It was an incredibly eye-opening and dynamic talk which equipped us all with the reality of the situation through crucial facts and statistics and the data from more than 50,000 women’s personal experiences recorded through the Everyday Sexism Project. We are all very grateful to Laura for coming to speak to us.”
“After the talk, there were many thought-provoking conversations as we reflected on what we can do within our community. Seeing the impact of her talk amongst my year group was extremely inspiring.”
Fergus (Sixth Form, MM) added: “Laura Bates demonstrated how sexism is still so prevalent today, despite common perception, using everyday examples of things we are all too familiar with, such as sexualised advertisements and casual sexism. We learned how some seemingly minor cases of sexism can amount to the significant threat facing our society today, and how we can call these out to change the culture both within and outside our Westminster community.”
Emma Blakemore, Head of wellbeing, reflected on the impact of the talk had on pupils: “Laura’s talk provoked an empathetic discussion amongst our Upper School pupils, allowing for a greater understanding and appreciation of prevalence of gender issues.”