Feminism in Action
Feminism in Action
- Step 1: Acknowledging the Connection; Recognizing Sexism
- Step 2: Check-In: How Do I Deal With Sexism?
- Step 3: Trusting Our Power; Knowing Ourselves
- Step 4: Speaking Out
- Step 5: Striking a Balance; Socializing and Activism
- Example: Changing the World, One Boyfriend at a Time
Step 1–Acknowledging the Connection; Recognizing Sexism
Step 2– Check-In: How Do I Deal With Sexism?
When confronted with sexism, do you challenge it?
- At what level of seriousness do you challenge sexism?
- In that moment, why do you challenge sexism?
- In that moment, why don’t you challenge sexism?
We can all think back to a time when we were confronted with sexism and didn’t know how to respond or didn’t feel comfortable responding. As you read through the rest of these steps, think about that particular moment.
Step 3–Trusting Our Power; Knowing Ourselves
We can use our answer to this question as the source of our power and motivation when combatting sexism in our everyday lives. The reality is, fighting sexism is on the right side of justice. We can feel empowered by the knowledge that we are furthering justice through changing the minds of the people around us, one conversation at a time.
Step 4–Speak Out
When you choose to speak out against a sexist comment, joke, etc. keep a few things in mind:
- Our motivation–what drives us to speak out?
- How we respond–Do we say something jokingly or seriously? What words do we use to get our point across?
- When do we respond?–Do we say something immediately or would it be more effective to wait and say something to the person later and in private? Are we in an appropriate setting to confront the person? Will we even be able to influence this person or should we save our energy?
- What is the goal of the interaction?
- Want to stop a behavior in the moment? Permanently? Around us? Around everyone?
- Is it to send a message?
- To protect someone?
- To defend ourselves?
- Who is our audience?
Answering these questions will help you determine if you can make an impact and how to craft your response appropriately.
Step 5–Striking a Balance; Socializing and Activism
- Being true to ourselves–We need to remember our motivation and act according to our consciences.
- Choosing battles–if it is clear that a person will not be swayed, sometimes it is better to save our energy for a time when we can actually make an impact.
- Stretching ourselves–We can all think of a time that we should have said something, and didn’t. Sometimes it is beneficial to go outside of our comfort zone to say something that needs to be said. Try it!
- Protecting ourselves–Sometimes, it is not safe to speak up. It is important to assess the situation and always guard our own safety (physical and emotional) and sanity.