I have been pondering misogyny after watching the Channel 4 Dispatches programme and reading The Times & The Sunday Times about the accusations levelled at Russell Brand regarding alleged sexual assaults and behaviour which he strenuously denies.
I’ve also read and shared with my 28 year old daughter articles by Marina Hyde and Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett in The Guardian and listened attentively to The Newsagents podcast around this subject. ‘’Bringing down Russell Brand’’ and ”Can you really cancel Russell Brand? ”
I always read, reflect and then think – how can I help, prevent or raise awareness to parents about these important issues as I don’t want to be a bystander or just a passive passenger in life.
I remember the horrific #Sachsgate where Brand and Jonathan Ross were allowed complete freedom to leave inexcusable messages to 78 year old Andrew Sachs – Manuel from Fawlty Towers –who didn’t speak to his granddaughter Georgina Baillie for 8 years and who blamed herself. Baillie sank into addiction and Brand made millions with a standup tour in which he mined the incident and further humiliated her.
She spent a decade thinking it was all her fault.
That’s “the culture” right there.
Stopping misogyny requires a multi-faceted approach that involves individuals, families, communities, and society at large.
It’s not simple.
It’s not quick.
But it’s important.
Here are some steps parents can take to teach both boys and girls about gender equality:
Lead by Example:
Parents should model respectful and equal behaviour in their own relationships and interactions. Children learn a lot from observing their parents.
Encourage open and honest discussions about gender stereotypes, biases, and the importance of treating everyone with respect, regardless of their gender.
Help children critically analyse media portrayals of gender roles and stereotypes, discussing how they may perpetuate harmful beliefs.
Teach empathy and perspective-taking, helping children understand and relate to the experiences of people of all genders.
Encourage children to question and challenge gender stereotypes when they encounter them in books, films, or daily life.
‘Talk & Teach’ the importance of consent, boundaries, and respecting personal space from an early age to both your sons and daughters.
Encourage Diverse Interests:
Support children in pursuing a wide range of interests and hobbies, regardless of traditional gender norms.
Empower Girls and Boys Equally:
Ensure that both girls and boys have equal opportunities and encouragement to pursue their goals and interests.
Address Bullying and Harassment:
Teach children how to recognise and respond to bullying, harassment, and disrespectful behaviour.
Encourage Gender-Neutral Language:
Promote the use of inclusive language that avoids reinforcing gender stereotypes.
Promote Gender Equality:
Discuss the history of the women’s rights movement and the ongoing struggle for gender equality to instil a sense of social responsibility.
Utilise books, documentaries, and educational resources that promote gender equality to further educate your children.
Remember that addressing misogyny is an ongoing process, and it requires collective effort from families, schools, and society to create a more equal and respectful world.
Contemplating the notion of crossing the line, Russell Brand once remarked: “As I always say, there is no line. People draw that line in afterwards…..’’
Well now I hope that line is about to be well and truly painted in bright red and we can all play our part in addressing where it goes.