New Feminist Elective ‘Fightback’ Tackles Sexism At Victorian High School

A feminism-focused elective will be formally introduced to a Victorian high-school later this month, and one teacher is already planning to tour the “free, accessible curriculum” at other schools. 

‘Fightback’ is the product of Fitzroy High School’s Feminism Collective, a group founded by students and teacher Briony O’Keeffe two years ago. O’Keeffe says the course is aimed at “trying to get young men and women to think a bit more critically about the sorts of sexist behaviours they might either engage in or see on a daily basis.”

It will introduce students to topics like gender inequality, violence against women, and misconceptions like the “hairy armpit” feminist. The Collective also intend to distribute posters outlining how objectification affects women.

Sixteen-year-old student Stella Bridie said she hoped the project would help others understand the “subtle sort of sexism” that labeled her as bitchy, while a male student may be called assertive. She also described her friends taking offense to her stance, leading up to them “[yelling] at me, for simply saying that I want rights.”
A Kickstarter to back the project recently hit over $12,000 in donations, smashing its original $3,000 target. Advocates online have praised the initiative, with some commenters saying “your work will save lives, lift others, and generally help everyone,” and “inspired and pro active young people like you that make me feel hopeful that a shift in the culture of objectification and sexualisation of young women is possible.”

Male students have been welcomed to the initiative, and three out of ten students currently in the Feminist Collective are boys. In the light of male high school students hurling offensive and abusive language at figures like Clementine Ford, the course may succeed where others have failed in broaching the topic to young men. 
O’Keeffe intends to educate other schools about the course after Fitzroy High officially adopts it on November 26.
Story via The Age. 
Image via Kickstarter.