Practical Tips and Communication Techniques – How to respond to sexism behavior in media and public debates

Submitted by HY on Thu, 11/19/2020 - 12:18
Gender Public Debate

Tips proposed to deal with sexism in the media:

1. When we cover a story as journalists, we make women "visible", even when they don't shout.

2. We change the "story"/narrative 1: The story that suggests women are weak and at the mercy of their emotions, and men are logical and strong, as well as women's saviours, is a problematic narrative. We include in our reporting men who show sentiment and kindness, and women who need no saviour.

3. We change the story/narrative 2: as journalists, we do not abide by stereotypes that suggest that showing sentiment is the proof of weakness, 6 6 nor that cold logic is always a show of strength, intellectual or otherwise. Remember thin lines, such as that cruelty is not strength.

4. In harassment and femicide stories, we analyse what happened, offering a three-fold, deep analysis. We do not stigmatise the victim.  

5. We find allies against sexism - colleagues, representatives of institutions, organizations - and we form a community with them. 

6. We give a priority to anti-sexist education of children (games and toys are not forbidden or required play for children of specific gender). 

7. We use an inclusive language.

8. We look for women who can be experts talking in our reporting.


Tips proposed to deal with sexism in the public debates:

As a woman, politician, candidate or, generally, as a woman exposed to the public, consider the following tips in case you become the subject of sexist or stereotypical behavior:

1. Assess the situation calmly and practice your confrontational and dissuasive reaction.

2. Speak openly and state that you are interrupted when you are "protected" by implying that you are unable to manage the conversation.

3. Use arguments when you are accused of your feelings. 

4. State your status when someone refers to you with a diminutive.

5. Immediately mention the comment that was made because of your gender.

6. If you receive a comment because of gender, disapprove of you interlocutor and ask for an explanation. 

7. Be visible if you feel that what you are saying is not heard.

8. Answer calmly, if the comments are about your gender.

9. Be prepared and ready to react. 

10. Speak through you own experiences.

11. Reverse stereotypes and if possible, generalize.

12. Bring the issue of gender to the fore.

For more details: SYNOPSIS_GUIDES_ENGLISH%20for%20reducing%20sexism%20in%20public%20debates%20and%20media_0.pdf

These guides were elaborated in the framework of the project "Capacity building for women candidates and media stakeholders in public debates in Greece" ("GENDER_PUBLIC DEBATE") implemented by the Centre for European Constitutional Law-(coordinator) in collaboration with the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, (Department of Communication & Media Studies) and the General Secretariat for Family Policy and Gender Equality with co-funding from the "Rights, Equality and Citizenship" Program (REC) of the European Union (2014-2020). Project Website: