Fighting with the Sky

All Social Workers Should Be Feminist

Posted on: December 10, 2010

Ok, well, I think everyone should be feminists.  But this is more to comment on my surprise at the use of sexist language and practices within the social work school that I attend.

Most of my interactions occur with other students and I am often surprised at how often I hear sexist, victim-blaming, slut shaming, etc. language.  I thought going into social work I would encounter people who were social justice minded and working to fight oppression.  For the most part, that is what I have encountered.  But there are the occasional times when I hear homophobic language (usually “that’s gay”) or rape jokes.

It just amazes me that people who are social justice minded when it comes to race or class or other social identities cannot recognize sexism and homophobia.

We do talk a lot about LGBT issues in my classes because they present as a “vulnerable population.”  Gender is talked about occasionally by some professors, but not all.  A lot of people recognize that LGBT people are still discriminated against, but don’t recognize that there is still discrimination against women.

So what can we do?  What can I do as a social work student?  We can speak up when we hear oppressive language and sexist comments.  We can bring up the social justice issues surrounding women in classes.  We can fight to end sexism in the greater community.

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1 Response to "All Social Workers Should Be Feminist"

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