Fitzroy High School, located in Melbourne has addressed gender equality and launched a new subject in the curriculum focusing on ‘feminism’. The subject is called ‘Fightback: Addressing Everyday Sexism in Australian Schools’.
The topics that are covered over 30 lessons include: domestic violence, media representation of woman, statistical breakdowns around work and visibility of woman in sport.
The Fitzroy Feminist Collective is a group of students who gather to put up posters around the school and proclaim their frustrations to the school board. Each member of the group has a different reason why they needed feminism as a subject in the school.
For Nia aged 17, she thought the growing stereotype of woman ‘living’ in the kitchen was a concern and for Zsuzsa, it was a lack of recognition for woman in sport.
Teacher in charge of the Fitzroy Feminist Collective group, Briony O’Keeffe says she is trying to get young men and woman to think more critically and engage in fighting sexist behavior on a daily basis around their area.
“We wanted to make sure we didn’t reinforce that and show that gender inequality is just one side of discrimination, there is race and sexuality – and you can experience it at an intersecting basis.” says Ms O’Keeffe.
“It’s not teaching kids to be feminists, or a political ideology, it’s teaching kids about gender inequality and that it does exist” said student and group member, Nia Stanford to ABC News.
What has been confusing some of the public is whether they will focus mostly on women and their gender equality or include both sexes and how they are being stereotyped in the media. The last lesson in the course will be acknowledging men and how they are stereotyped in certain aspects.
When writing sources for the website, Ms O’Keeffe’s group has been compared to the American white supremacist movement the “KKK” as men’s rights movement have thought about FHS Feminist Collective poking fun of other men’s movements.