Sexist language affects everyone, but it impacts women and girls disproportionately. When someone says bossy, you think of a woman. When someone says boss, you think of a man.
Same behaviour – different labels.
Unconscious biases that are hiding in our language, and reinforcing old stereotypes. We polled the nation and found that 1 in 5 men British men have no problem using sexist language, 20% of them use sexist language to bond with mates and only 14% of men feel comfortable calling others out if they use sexist words and phrases.
Spurred on by the depressing findings, and with the support of a professor of sociolinguistics who specialises in sexist language, we started to look at the ‘double standards’ where women may behave in the same way as a man, but they are given a different, negative label.
Concerned that sexist words and phrases demean girls, women (and femaleness itself) – ultimately preventing daughters, sisters or mothers from reaching their full potential at school, work, home, and wider society – we tasked the creative team with highlighting the issue in a minimalist, visually arresting way.
A simple idea that would work as a multinational, 360 degree campaign – stopping people in their tracks as the now-obvious ‘double standards’ literally stared them in the face.
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