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How to recognise and address sexism and when to get support

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Types of sexism

1.

Hostile sexism: To maintain male domination

2.

Benevolent sexism: Desire to protect women due to a belief that women are weaker than men

3.

Ambivalent sexism: Based on beliefs that women are both fragile and pure as well as manipulative and conniving

4.

Interpersonal sexism: Occurs in everyday interactions

5.

Internalised sexism: Conforming to the current sexist systems

6.

Institutional sexism: When big institutions reinforce sexist ideology

Where does sexism stem from?

1.

Beliefs taught by caregivers and educators

2.

Laws that promote different treatment according to gender

3.

Sexist imagery and language in pop culture and media

4.

Normalisation of sexual harrassment and sexist jokes from media

5.

Lack of policies penalising sexism in the workplace, schools and other sectors

Impact of sexism

Sexism can affect your:
1. Mental health
2. Physical health
3. Job satisfaction
4. Relationships

How to address sexism

1.

Remember that you're not obligated to call out sexism every time you witness it - especially if you don't feel safe doing so

2.

Calmly but firmly challenge sexist statements by asking, ‘What makes you say that? Can you explain that to me?'

3.

Try making ‘I' statements

4.

Specify what you will not and won't tolerate - set boundaries

5.

In the workplace/ school: Consider talking to a person of authority

Tackling unconscious gender biases

1.

Acknowledge the gender norms and your current beliefs

2.

Whenever you notice sexist thoughts and behaviours, reflect on why you hold those beliefs

3.

A therapist can also help you:

• Pinpoint your current thinking patterns

• Explore underlying causes of sexist beliefs

• Begin taking steps to overcome them

• Coach you on coping strategies

• Communicate your thoughts and feelings to yourself and the people around you

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