Securing Your Equality
By combining behavior change
techniques that really work!
There are two ways to deal with discrimination: the way that's effective at stamping it out and the way that's not. It's no different when it comes to stamping out gender stereotyping.
If the message is ineffective, or if the messenge is delivered by the wrong messenger, nothing will change. So, stamping out gender bias requires the right messenger to deliver the right message to the right people in the right way at the right time, and girlsCAN! teaches our girls to do exactly that.
If you're a girl or a woman, you're being harmed by sexism. Every day. Whether you know it or not. Sexism doesn't care if you're nice. Or that you don't deserve to be the target of discrimination. Sexism is harming your ablity to get a job, to buy a house, to build a retirement fund, to influence the political process, to shape your society.
The secret to the effectiveness of the girlsCAN! system is that instead of relying on one thing, it relies on a combination of principles and easily learned, practical techniques. When the system is used consistently, it provides our girls with a highly effective means of stamping out gender discrimination in their lives.
The following outline describes the principles and techniques that make up the girlsCAN! belief-changing system.
- Know your rights and what you deserve
- It's very important that girls know that they both deserve and have a right to be treated as equals. Unfortunately, they're exposed to a lot of things that indicate otherwise. Gender stereotyping is seen on TV shows, in the news, on social media, in classrooms, on the street, and even at home. Girls could be forgiven if they believed that their hopes, dreams, and aspirations are secondary to those of their boy counterparts, but they need to be taught that it's okay to expect equality.
- Use the system consistently
- Consistency is the key. Using the principles and techniques learned in your classroom workshop to address stereotyping when it occurs is the key to stamping out gender bias. It may seem like a lot of work, but the system is designed to be easily applied when needed. And the rewards associated with gender equality defintely make the effort worthwhile.
- Focus on people you have influence with
- Girls have the greatest chance of changing the beliefs and behavior of the people closest to them. This includes fathers, brothers, uncles, classmates, boyfriends, and coworkers. It's not necessary to confront strangers for the system to be effective. At first it may not seem effective if girls only use the system to change two or three people, but when thousands of girls are using the system, it goes a long way towards stamping out gender bias.
- Empathy response and the bystander effect
- These two techniques represent the core of the girlsCAN! system. The system uses a modified bystander effect in which girls are taught and empowered to act as their own bystander by focussing their gender equality message towards those they have influence over and with whom they feel safe. And raising an empathy response in stereotypers puts them in a mindset that has the highest likelihood of changing their beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors.
- Share and discuss your experiences
- Share your experiences of gender bias and how you dealt with the situation with friends, family, and the Mentors. And use the experience of others who've been the target of gender bias to help you work through your own situations. Connect with girls across America, because they have to deal with gender discrimination every day.
- Create a movement of connected girls
- This one's a biggie! The girlsCAN! online community unites girls from all across America as they fight for gender equality. Considering how difficult it is to change an entire nation's collective beliefs and attitudes regarding something as widespread as gender bias, it's vital that girls realize that their experiences are shared by millions of other girls, and that America's sisterhood is ready to support them in any way at any time.