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Dear Amy,
My name is Melanie and I am 14. I am doing a research paper and I chose feminism as my topic, as it something that I feel very strongly about and would like to express my views. I am wondering if you could tell me where to start and where to find research done on the causes and effects of sexist acts. I don't know where to find statistics or information regarding sexism, could you please help?
Thanks, Melanie


Dear Melanie,
Thanks for taking the time to express your views and to hopefully educating your classmates on those views. I think the best place to start is to look at the potential issues that are happening right in front of you.

For instance, at your school you might want to look at the breakdown between male and female teachers/administrators. Most likely, men will be in the more senior positions. It's just a matter of counting heads. And, assuming that you go to a public school you can also determine how much each position earns in income.

You should also look at your schools sports programs--are the boys sports better attended and more encouraged than the girls? What about your local paper: how many women right articles for the front page and what about the editors of that newspaper. You can get this by reading the paper.

It's good to start with what is right in front of you, as that is likely to resonate most with your classmates. It's harder to allude to something that might be happening somewhere. Also, it's good to measure attitude - if a woman has sex is she called a slut? or a girl who is athletic, is she called a tomboy? If these questions don't resonate with your community and/or school, write back and I will help you think of other things to investigate.

I hope that helps. Good luck and thanks.



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