Friday 14th November 2014
U5 pupils Rosie Griffin and Susie Liddel, inspired by the ‘Lean In’ project and Emma Watson’s recent UN speech hosted assembly this week. Below is the transcript of what took place:
R: What do you think of when you see this word?
S: Do you picture an angry and bitter female protester who hasn’t shaved in years? Is she holding a sign with an intimidating reference to destroying the opposite sex. Is that woman shouting?
F: ‘we must conquer men to achieve anything in life!’
R: If so, erase that image. We want you to rip it up and forget it ever existed. Feminism by definition, is the political, social and economic equality of the sexes. It is not ‘let’s all shout at men for simply being men’ like many people are led to believe.
S: Many people do not understand what it means to be a feminist. In the past, a woman had to take certain actions to be considered a feminist.
R: However in the modern day, if you are concerned by the inequality of the sexes, then you could consider yourself a feminist. More and more women are becoming aware of the imbalance of equality in society and also at a younger age.
S: This is encouraging as a new generation of feminists may change the current per-ception of feminists and the theory of feminism altogether.
R: Emma Watson’s UN speech now has over 6 million views on Youtube. In this video she says ‘Feminism has become an unpopular word. Women are choosing not to identify as feminist. Why has the word become such an uncomfortable one?’.
S: This reiterates our earlier point and highlights that this is not an uncommon observation. Before any change is to occur we, as a society, need to start re-educating each other on what it means to live under a democracy where everyone should have equal rights.
R: Don’t believe us? Here’s the facts. First of all lets start with education. In 2013, 72 percent of girls achieved C or higher in their GCSE’s compared to a 63 percent of boys. Moreover, 60 percent of university students are female compared to the 40 percent made up by males. These statistics make sense as 52 per-cent of the population are women.
F: So why are the stats reversed when women enter the workplace?
S: Only 12 percent of the 100 largest companies in the world directors are female. Only 1 in 4 MP’s in the UK are women and only 23 percent of journalists are female. The gender pay gap in the UK is 10 percent and on average women earn £5,000 less than their male counter parts.
R: On NME’s list of the 50 greatest music producers ever, all of them were men. This shows that the music industry is practically controlled by men. Only 32 percent of Glastonbury performers are female and 30,000 women are sacked simply for being pregnant every year compared to…0 men…
S: We want to change these statistics. We want to change them so that we can expect to earn the same amount as men and not have to compete with just men to get to the top of our game.
S:To do this we can create an e-petition which enables people to register their support for feminism through the internet. If 100,000 people register to the petition the issue will be discussed in Parliament.
R: However, we have a deadline to collect these votes. Due to the general election, the e-petitons are closing on the 30th March
S: So, We would like you to brainstorm within tutor groups to come up with an aim, name and a plan of action for our campaign. And, we want you to spread the message of feminism. Talk about it within your family, friends and share it on social media. Also, we hope to spread this to other schools, so try and connect with friends outside of school.
R: In conclusion, we would love for everyone in the school to show an interest in feminism. The issues involved in the fight for equality affect us all.
S: So now when you hear the word feminism, we hope you think of a strong independent female. Maybe someone like Beyonce, Emma Watson or even someone like you.
R: Thank you for listening and, to finish, we would like to share two videos with you.