Spotted Gets Serious: Sexism on Campus
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After the rise in popularity of ‘Spotted’pages on Facebook for university libraries or campuses, another page has decided to focus on an altogether more serious issue. Normally making their existence very apparent at exam time, ‘Spotted’ pages have generally only focused on funny or strange events students have noticed at their university campus or library (which could explain the rise in students showing up looking perfectly groomed.) However, ‘Spotted: Sexism on Campus’ has decided to use the popularity of these pages to raise awareness of sexism at university. Despite the relatively short period of time the page has been active, the amount of posts published already is enough to raise serious concern. Reports range from comments made by peers to more serious accounts of verbal harassment and physical assault. One user posted: "On a field trip discussing our observations, a female student voiced her interpretation, to which a male student responded “Shut up, men are talking." She was right." Unfortunately, the frequency of posts such as these shows that sexism is still very much present in students’ daily lives. It also highlights a little-discussed issue – that whilst sexism is normally only represented as misogyny, male students have also been victims of attack. Whilst ‘Sexism on Campus’ makes for a disturbing read, there is no doubt that it already having a positive influence on the fight against gender inequality. Reading through the comments section, several Women’s and Welfare Officers from different institutions have already posted their contact details, urging the original poster and any other students from their university to get in contact if they have experienced anything similar. This guaranteed support could well be the first step towards more students having the confidence to come forward and report sexist incidents. As the page grows in popularity, it is hoped that more and more institutions will begin to give more priority to a drive against sexism, along with a more thorough enforcement of ‘Zero Tolerance’ policies. Many students have already been brave enough to speak out against this inequality; hopefully a trend has been set. Read more here.
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