With Christmas swiftly approaching, tensions are at an all-time high. Workloads are increasing in the lead-up to the holidays, then there’s the stress of organising various family gatherings, and all the money spent on food, booze and gifts.
They don’t call it the silly season for nothing.
Well, now we have actual proof that Christmas really does bring out the worst in us – especially when it comes to sexism. According to a new study conducted by The Body Shop and Plan International, 87% of Australians agree that outdated stereotypes resurface durings the holidays – particularly those around gender.
Research found that most Australians agree that women will be doing Christmas chores this year like cooking, buying gifts, and cleaning, while 44% believe men will more likely be found in front of the TV watching sport.
It will come as no surprise that despite all the rallying for change we’ve done this year, these kinds of social issues tend to drop off the radar during the silly season. The study found that only 16% of Aussies think about gender equality, climate change and world peace, with 87% saying they ‘take a break’ from these issues over Christmas.
Then there are all the stereotypes associated with Christmas – the most recognised characters like Santa Claus and Snowman are men, while the female icons of Christmas like Mrs Claus and even Mariah Carey are rated the least popular. 38% of Ausies even think Santa’s fictional reindeer are mostly male!
Would Christmas pass the Bechdel test? Doesn’t look like it.
It’s not all doom and Christmas gloom, though. Aussies can take a photo with Mrs Claus this year with all proceeds donated to Plan International Australia’s 2020 Youth Activist Series, a 12-month training and leadership program to launch the dreams of Australia’s future change-makers.
“We have seen the impact just one young woman can have if she’s given support to succeed in incredibly young trailblazers Greta Thunberg and Malala Yousafzai,” says Susan Legena, Plan International Australia’s CEO. “The Youth Activist Series nurtures passion and talent and sets up young women with the skills and confidence to make a real impact on the issues that matter most.”
Doing away with outdated gender stereotypes and supporting young women really could be the gift that keeps on giving this Christmas.
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