Sexism Concerns Raised

Amanda Stahl, Reporter

According to The New York Times article Why Is Fixing Sexism Women’s Work? by Lindy West, many men believe one sex is superior to or more valuable than another. West stated,

“Sexism in a society is most commonly applied against women and girls. It functions to maintain patriarchy, or male domination, through ideological and material practices of individuals, collectives, and institutions that oppress women and girls on the basis of sex or gender. Such oppression takes the forms of economic exploitation and social domination.”

Zack Moncrieff, a senior at Arrowhead High School says, “In Arrowhead High School it’s very obvious that there is sexism weaving its way through the school, just as it does in any school. That doesn’t mean that we should push this subject aside.”

The Arrowhead Nondiscrimination Statement, located at arrowheadschools.org states, “No person may be denied admission to this District or be denied participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be discriminated against in any curricular, extracurricular, pupil service, recreational, or other program or activity because of the person’s sex, race, religion, national origin (including Limited English Proficiency), ancestry, creed, pregnancy, marital or parental status, sexual orientation, or physical, mental, emotional, or learning disability or handicap as required by state statute.”

In the handbook it states, “The Arrowhead School District encourages informal resolution of discrimination complaints. A formal complaint resolution procedure is available, however, to address allegations of violations of the District’s equal educational opportunities policy.”

According to former and senior female Arrowhead students, Sierra Zuzick, Mallorey Wallace, and Holly Craven, sexist acts are taking place at Arrowhead High School.

Zuzick, a former Arrowhead student said, “Sexism is all over Arrowhead. I got bullied by members of an entire baseball team freshman year. They made sexual comments towards me and would throw food at my friends and me.  I confronted adults who had witnessed the events taking place, and they said that they would take care of the inappropriate behavior. They were all let off the hook, and proceeded to throw things. While this continued, an adult who had constantly seen what was going on, apologized and said they wouldn’t do anything and that they’re just being boys. Another instance took place when I tried expressing to my biology teacher why I wouldn’t work with boys who harassed me. My teacher said he felt like he was Dr. Phil because I was stating my feelings.”

Wallace, a senior at Arrowhead High School says, “I strongly believe that sexism is a huge issue throughout the Arrowhead student body. I hear sexist remarks on a daily basis. Even if they’re not meant to be negative, much of the sexism I see at Arrowhead roots in ignorance. I have been bullied each year I’ve been at Arrowhead simply for being a woman. I’m often times called very inappropriate names, and I’ve even been physically assaulted on school grounds for being a feminist. To combat this, I have had many meetings with Arrowhead administration about the issue of sexism at Arrowhead. I also do my part to speak up when I hear sexist remarks.”

According to [email protected], many men believe sexism has been eradicated and that women have achieved full equality. Statistics have shown that middle class girls and young women have many more opportunities and options than was the case forty years ago. Many girls and women do not identify themselves as feminists because they do not believe that such struggles for equality are necessary in this day and age. The frequency of sexual assault and all forms of violence against women and girls is another key indicator and devastating consequence of inequality.

“Women are constantly sexualized. I can hear comments throughout the hallways talking about their body figure. It’s degrading, and it makes females feel so vulnerable. Though sexism usually is associated with women, we should keep in mind each gender has their own struggles to face. Men of course have their own challenges to face against sexism. I think it’s important for all parents to raise boys and girls in the same way and dismantle the system that is failing our females and women,” Craven, a senior at Arrowhead High School says.

Wallace and Zuzick said there are ways to minimize or eradicate sexist behavior throughout the school.

Zuzick says, “Members of staff need to be informed about the deep roots of sexism in the Arrowhead community. Boys all over the school crack jokes at any women who claims herself a feminist. They target, harass, and bully students often on campus grounds. Members need to recognize the signs of sexist students and help the victims who are bashed on the daily. They can’t sit back and do nothing anymore.”

Wallace says, “The end of sexism begins with education. We should implement an entire program on sexism into our health programs.”

Moncrieff says, “There is more good within this school then there is hatred and ignorance. Not only men, but everyone need to be more aware of what they say and do to others. We are all equal no matter race, gender, or background. Times are changing and with that we can not allow ourselves to resort back to old ways. Women are powerful and have so much to offer the world. They deserve to feel as equal as they are.”