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University takes a stand against everyday sexism

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Challenging everyday sexism
Some of the speakers and participants at Stirling's Challenging Everyday Sexism event

The University of Stirling hosted a special day of events recently, for a no-holds-barred discussion about sexism. 

Stirling’s Challenging Everyday Sexism conference presented a host of talks and workshops highlighting the sexism encountered by women on a day to day basis.

The events brought together male and female audience members from across Scotland, to raise awareness of sexual abuse and harassment, and broaden discussion about the importance of tackling sexism.

The event programme included a joint talk on challenging sexism by Kezia Dugdale MSP and the founder of the Everyday Sexism Project, Laura Bates, as well as a lecture about living in a porn culture by American feminist author and founder of Stop Porn Culture, Gail Dines

There were also a series of interactive sessions delivered by White Ribbon Scotland, Rape Crisis Scotland, Hollaback Edinburgh and the Women’s Support Project.  These provided advice about preventing violence and harassment and guidance about challenging the objectification of women.

Professor Karen Boyle, event organiser and Co-Director of the Centre for Gender & Feminist Studies at the University said: “The idea for this event originated with a group of students who wanted to do something positive to address the widespread, and increasingly normalised, sexism of everyday life.

“This extends from the trivialisation of women’s achievements in the public sphere by the relentless focus on their looks and personal lives, to routine experiences of sexualised harassment, and the realities of living in a porn culture where women are constantly objectified.

“We have had a phenomenal response to this event and welcomed colleagues from higher education and the voluntary sector from as far afield as Norwich and Inverness.

“The issues addressed here are relevant for all sectors of society, and we have had passionate and engaged discussions today about challenging everyday sexism in both public and private life.”

Laura Bates, founder of the Everyday Sexism Project said: “There is a hugely positive and exciting wave of feminist activism flourishing amongst young women and men, who are standing together against sexism. I'm thrilled to be involved in this proactive event, bringing people together to discuss concrete ways to combat gender inequality.”




Background Information

  • The Challenging Everyday Sexism conference was organised by the University’s Centre for Gender & Feminist Studies, with the generous support of the macrobert, the University of Stirling, and the Divisions of Sociology & Social Policy, and Communications, Media & Culture.
  • The Centre for Gender & Feminist Studies is an inter-disciplinary research centre which brings together leading feminist and gender-focused scholars working in and across a range of disciplines at the University of Stirling. The Centre is co-directed by Kirstein Rummery (Professor of Social Policy) and Karen Boyle (Professor of Feminist Media Studies). It is home to MSc and MLitt programmes in Gender Studies (Applied) and runs a series of events throughout the year developing and showcasing feminist research at the      University of Stirling.

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