Okay all, here is the revised workshop on gender harassment. The only thing that I changed from the roles we discussed during class tonight is that I would like to facilitate the debrief. After typing in everyone’s roles, I felt like I had a smaller role than I would like to have, considering I have put a lot of work into this workshop. I hope this is okay and that I didn’t step on anyone’s toes too hard. Look this over a lot before Friday.Comment with changes/suggestions. Make it work for you. Print it out if you need to. We’re gonna rock this!
Gender Harassment Workshop
Gather students in a circle. Ask for their attention.
Madalynn: Hey everyone! My name is Madalynn. (Everyone else introduces themselves) I go to school downtown at MCTC and I’m studying to be a teacher. For a group project this semester, these fellow classmates and I thought it would be awesome to put on some workshops with teenage students that deal with certain issues we find important to confront. Today I would like to talk with you all about gender harassment, and it’s super important that this is a safe space (describe).
Tay: So, does anyone know what gender harassment means?
Wait for answer.
Tay: Yeah, let’s break down this term. (write “Gender Harassment” on board/large paper) Ok, so the first word is gender, what does gender mean? (wait for response) Gender can refer to a few different things. It can refer to a person’s body biologically. Gender can also be referring to how a person views themselves, which is known as gender identity. In our discussion today, gender will be referring to our bodies, how we interpret them, and how we and other people treat them. Does that make sense?
Wait for answer and write down ideas under “Gender”
Tay: Ok, so the second word is harassment. Does someone here want to define that word for us? (wait for response) Yeah, harassment is unwanted attention. This can be verbal or physical. It can be something someone writes down, or something someone gestures. What’s important to remember about what makes it harassment is that it is unwanted. Does that make sense.
Wait for answer and write down ideas under “Harassment”
Kevin: So, can anyone have any ideas about what gender harassment is then? (wait for response) That’s right, gender harassment is unwanted attention that a person receives due to their gender or gender identity. One thing I would like to bring up is how gender harassment is not the same as sexual harassment. While sexual harassment usually implies unwanted sexual advances made towards someone. While gender harassment can be sexual harassment, the two are different because gender harassment is unwanted attention that directly relates to their body or gender, but is not necessarily sexual. Does this make sense? (wait for response) Ok, now, let’s talk about what gender harassment looks like, especially in a school setting.
Proceed to write down students ideas, discussing the various scenarios they come up with. If the students struggle, here are some helpful suggestions:
– Unwanted hugging, grabbing, kissing, touching
– Making comments about other people’s bodies
– Standing too close to someone
– Holding someone down
– Writing or telling dirty jokes
– Showing dirty pictures
Kevin: You all came up with some really great examples of what gender harassment looks like. How do you think it makes people feel when they are harassed because of their gender, or how do you think other’s feel when they witness this happen?
Write down responses near corresponding examples. Suggestions:
– Bad, sad, unsure, anxious, unsafe.
Connor: Clearly, being harassed doesn’t make anyone feel good- not the person who’s being attacked, the people witnessing it, or even the person doing the harassment themselves. Now I have a question, have you read or seen Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone? There is a quote in that book that I didn’t notice as very important until I really thought about it: “It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to your enemies, but a great deal more to stand up to your friends.”-Dumbledore. I know for myself, growing up in a community of basically one race and class, that I had a lot of friends and classmates who said hurtful things. I never found it too hard to say I thought someone was being mean or hurtful, except when that person was someone that I respected or was friends with. Have any of you heard your friends say hurtful things? Have any of you heard your friends harass someone about their gender? If you don’t feel comfortable sharing you than don’t have to and remember not to use names so that we don’t embarrass anyone in this group.
(Listen to examples of bullying by friends of students)
Connor: Did you say anything?
(Listen to stories)
Connor: Let’s about why it is hard to talk to our friends when we think what they are doing is wrong. What makes it different then when we are talking to someone that we maybe don’t like or someone we don’t know very well?
(Discuss in group)
Connor: Does anyone have any ideas on how to talk to a friend about something like this? How do we tell a friend that we think they are wrong or are being mean or hurtful without hurting the friendship that we have with them?
(Discuss in group and write examples on the board)
Madalynn: Alright, so now we’re going to do an activity. I’d like for us to split up into equal numbered groups. What I would like you all to do is write out a role play of someone experiencing gender harassment. You will be given one of the examples that we wrote up on the board earlier and then you can make up a situation around that example. The reason we are assigning examples is because we don’t want any of these skits to turn into harassment on accident. The examples that we choose should be examples that we in no way will use to make our classmates feel unsafe. I want you all to be sure to do three things (write down): Number one, show a clear example of gender harassment. Number two, make sure that your character has a clear emotional response to the harassment. Number three, I would like for you to figure out a way for the characters to resolve the problem and stop the gender harassment from taking place. Sound good?
The students will split up into groups. They will figure out their example and then be given 10-15 minutes to write their skits. Once they’re ready, the groups will present their skits. After each skit, we will discuss what the group did well, and what strategy they came up with to stop the gender harassment from happening. These examples will also be written on the board.
Madalynn: So, does anyone have any questions, or anything more they would like to discuss about gender harassment? (wait for response) Well, you all did a great job. I’m so happy that we could get together to discuss this, and I hope you all feel our time spent here was valuable. Everyone deserves respect. Everyone deserves to feel safe. It is really important that we do our best to create and enforce safe spaces, and you all have taken an awesome step in that direction today. Thank you so much for your time!