succumbing to peer pressure

Monday, May 19, 2008

Feministing reports the sad but not shocking news that 90% of teenage girls report having experienced at least one instance of sexual harassment. The article breaks it down into specific types (my response in parens):
unwanted romantic attention - 67% (yep)
demeaning gender-related comments - 62% (yep)
teased because of their appearance - 58% (yep)
unwanted physical contact - 52% (yep)
bullied or threatened with harm by a male - 25% (nope)
discouraging gender-based comments on the math, science and computer abilities - 52% (shockingly, nope, considering my profession. either I'm incredibly lucky or conveniently deaf)
sexist comments on their athletic abilities - 76% (yep, and all the damn time, in ways subtle, glaringly obvious, and everything in between)

In slightly more uplifting news, also from Feministing, hundreds (or thousands, depending on news reports) turned their backs in protest to Washington Univ. awarding Phyllis Schlafly an honorary degree. Photos here. The third one is my favorite, as it clearly shows faculty members on the podium turning their backs. I favor this type of silent protest, as I think it makes a very clear point without being disruptive, but in settings like a graduation how best to do it without blocking other people's views? Kneel on chairs instead of stand? Step to the aisle and stand there?