[By Zoé Demeester, intern in communication at Dynamo International Mobility]
This Saturday, June 12th, I had the opportunity to organize an afternoon dedicated to a cause that is close to my heart, “feminism”. Why this theme? Because we are all witnesses – consciously or unconsciously – of sexist behaviors, of violence suffered by women, whether physical or moral, …. Gender inequalities are still present, and it is important to discuss them and raise awareness among young people on this subject.
To begin, I introduced this activity with a quiz on the history of feminism to learn more about the advances in women’s rights and also some figures on the inequalities that women are experiencing around the world in our time. The figures mentioned revealed many inequalities that surprised all the participants (the difference in salary, the right of access to work, the different forms of violence, the young girls married by force…).
Then, we continued the activity by playing a game about feminist personalities, from the pioneers of feminism to contemporary feminists (Simone de Beauvoir, Christine de Pisan, Malala, Mukwege and many others). The goal was to make the team guess the feminist personality by miming the militant actions they have done during their life. A fun way to get to know those who fought for women’s rights.
Afterwards, each participant took a turn to pick out sentences from real-life situations involving ordinary sexism or inappropriate remarks about women. The person had to say how they would react to this sentence, for example: You get off the bus with your 11-year-old sister, a man calls out to you to say that you are beautiful. He follows up with “I could even pay you”. It was this game in particular that opened up the most discussion and debate. We discussed the sexualization of women’s bodies in society and all the dictates that were imposed on them. Particularly the issues of the sexualization of very young girls on Tik Tok, we kind of went through all the fields where the female body was sexualized, (Instagram, commercials, media, TV…) in fact, everywhere. Detecting the source of male-female inequalities, the why of how. Everyone was able to give their opinion and share their personal experiences.
We noticed that each girl who was present had already experienced a verbal or physical aggression during her life. This observation explicitly showed that this is a very real problem in our patriarchal society and that it is essential to change our customs and mentalities.
To finish in beauty, we tasted pancakes, an exotic fruit salad and an apple cake made by me with the help of Juju the cooking pro, and afterwards, we played werewolf special manga all with good mood, sun and a green setting.
In conclusion, we met with the aim of starting a theme which is not necessarily easy to approach and can be even more so in certain contexts, at school, in certain families where we do not talk about it, with our friends. Also, freeing women’s speech allows us to become aware of certain realities and discriminating attitudes and to try to fight on a daily basis against all forms of violence and discrimination suffered by women, and for a man, to be able to react to aggressions, sexist remarks, inequalities, because yes, one can be a man and a feminist! And to finish, Down with the patriarchy!