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I am a 13-year-old girl and I have noticed lately that guys in my school (ages ranging from 10-14) are starting out their lives treating women and girls unfairly. I hear several comments every day regarding the importance of women and the role of women such as housewives and nothing more. I think that ideas that have been put in their heads in one way or another should be proved wrong, but how? I am not sure what to do but if I try to change their point of view, some will make a degrading comment towards women. I am starting to feel helpless. Will they ever change? I don't feel like I want to bring this to the school counselor or anything because it seems like it is almost all of [the boys in the school]. I just don't want my generation to grow up to be a group of sexist pigs.




Dear Kristen,

You certainly have a big task in front of you, but determination and commitment are exactly what you need to solve this situation. I think that you have to start by showing your classmates that women are capable of being more than housewives. For instance, are women teachers in your school? Are they athletes? Also, what about the parents of your classmates?

Maybe you could organize a workshop at your school--a career day of sorts--where your classmates’ parents come in and talk about what they do. You should make sure that you have equal numbers of men and women and that they have similar jobs. This would give your classmates proof that men and women are capable of being equals and of equally contributing to life outside of the house.

It's also equally important for you to prove that men are capable of contributing inside the home. So if you can find men who are stay-at-home parents or even dads who are extra-helpful around the house, they would be good examples, too.

I would guess that you would find teachers who would want to help you organize such a day. I agree that arguing isn't a good way to teach, but examples are. Thanks again for writing and for caring enough to try to change the situation at your school. I'm sure that others will be thankful that you initiated this effort. Good luck and let me know what happens.



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