Stopping Sexism is Everyone’s Responsibility

Stopping+Sexism+is+Everyone%27s+Responsibility

Tweets and Facebook posts like these, although meant to be funny, show that sexism is alive and well at Miramonte.

Miramonte is in the midst of its election season, and as candidates square off for officer positions in next year’s Leadership class, they and their supporters go to great lengths to get their message across to the student body.

Most of the campaigning is fun and harmless and includes posting banners, shooting promotional videos, and handing out informational flyers. However, some students have taken their support too far, resorting to sexist and crude posts on social media to insult candidates they don’t agree with.

Last Wednesday, March 20, Miramonte’s Diversity Club hosted a screening of Miss Representation, a film that examines how women are under-represented and oftentimes insulted in today’s media. Miss Representation focused on women in high-level positions, interviewing figures such as Condoleeza Rice, Rachel Maddow, and Nancy Pelosi.

The recent tweets and Facebook posts about Miramonte ASB officer candidates show that disparaging women is not just a national issue, though. These students probably believed that they were making a joke, and that no one would take them too seriously. Having grown up in a culture that judges women based on their appearances and advertises products using women as sex objects, they were just repeating what they have been conditioned to find funny. Even more disturbing was the fact that the posts were liked and favorited multiple times, showing that the problem exists in the general student population, and is not isolated to those who made the posts.

This is not an isolated incident, although it has been brought to the foreground due to the elections happening at the moment. Sexism at Miramonte is an endemic problem, and is kept alive by both sexes. Every time a girl calls another girl fat, or a boy makes a crude remark about a girl, the ugly side of Miramonte is revealed.

Fortunately, there is hope for the situation. The backlash to the posts was intense, and at least some of those responsible deleted the posts and apologized for their actions. In general, most of Miramonte’s students are sensitive to gender equality and do their best not to engage in sexist actions.

Some amount of sexism will always remain as long as national media and entertainment continues to engage in the behavior exposed in Miss Representation. It can be limited, however, as long as Miramonte’s student body continues to stay aware of the issue and calls out those who act ignorantly.

It is the administration’s job, once they find out cyber-bullying has occurred, to take disciplinary action and stop it from happening again in the same way. However, the responsibility for and solution to the problem rest solely with the students, and only they can create a culture where posts like these don’t happen in the first place. Hopefully, the controversy raised during the current elections will serve as a catalyst for change, and Miramonte can become a friendlier and safer place for all its students.