21 June 2013
Yesterday, I came across this article, "What happened when I started a feminist society at school" and it still has my blood boiling. In brief - a group of 16-18 year olds started a feminist society at school, and took part in the brilliant Who needs Feminism campaign.
The response from their male peers was horrific online abuse. The response from the school was encouraging the girls to stop the campaign and take down any photos in order to stop the abuse.
Even worse for me- the school in question is my old secondary school, Altrincham Girls Grammar School. It leaves me almost (but not quite) speechless to think that an institute of education for almost 1000 girls is trying to convey the message that sexist abuse is a problem of the victims and not of the abusers. It's not.
The school's reaction should have targeted those carrying out the abuse, the boys writing those shamefully ignorant comments. I'm curious to find out whether the boys' school down the road, Altrincham Grammar School for Boys, reacted to this at all, or any other schools in the area.
Trying to make the girls keep quiet to 'avoid the bullying' isn't a solution, and it astounds me that anyone would ever try and make teenagers NOT stand up for the basic human right of equality. In my mind, the appropriate reaction to this horrible incident is speaking to those boys, and educating them about gender equality. Has this happened? And if not, why not?