We’ve all heard the expression “get back into the kitchen.” I bet “make me a sandwich” sounds pretty familiar too. We all know these comments are sexist to women. But what we don’t realize is that sexism exists towards guys as well. Guys are expected not to be able to cook well, not to be able to handle taking care of kids, not to be as sensitive as girls. “There is a lot of sexism toward guys. Girls often make jokes about guys only being good for certain things. But no one really notices that, yet everybody notices if a guy is sexist,” says Jenny Lye, a grade 11 student.
Megan Abbey, another student, points out that “there are a ton of organizations out there geared towards women’s rights, but none or very few that deal with the sexism that men face.” It’s not only a general statement – there’s sexism towards guys right here at NT. Take a look at leadership positions in the NT community. As Senior Vice President of the NT Music Council, a head of Outers Club, and a leader on NT’s Wellness Committee, Rachel Loo plays a prominent role in North Toronto’s community. She says that on leadership retreat there were definitely more girls than guys involved in leadership roles at NT. It seems that guys are less inclined to take on a responsibility in the community, letting the girls do it instead. Is it because they’re afraid of the girly stereotype they’ll receive, or are they just not interested?
Sebastian Winemaker, one of the creators of the North Toronto’s Gentlemen’s Society, a club that tries to promote male leadership and conduct throughout the NT community, says that “statistically, girls are more prominent in the leadership roles of North Toronto.” For example, at NT, the position of a secretary on student council is almost always a girl. “No guy wants to be a ‘secretary’,” says grade 11 boy Baiden McCallum. “They should give it a more macho name. Like chief bro organization consultant. Or swag captain. Or executive flow director.” Marco Chan, another grade 11 student at North Toronto, says that a lot of guys do associate the position of secretary with a girl, and they don’t run for it because they don’t want to be stereotyped as “girly.” It’s true that the position of secretary always seems to appeal more to girls than to guys, maybe because girls tend to have better organizational skills. But that doesn’t mean that boys should be afraid of running for the position simply because of the stereotypes.
It also goes beyond the positions on student council. The heads of Fashion Show are female. The PAL Heads are female. The majority of the students involved in leadership positions on the North Toronto Wellness committee are female. The two head editors of Graffiti this year are female. Out of the nine members of music council, only two are males.
So come on NT. Drop the sexism towards men. Encourage your guy friends to run for secretary. Encourage them to get more involved in leadership in our community. And don’t make sexist comments towards guys, because, hey, you don’t like it when they make sexists jokes about women, right? North Toronto is already on the road to change, with the Gentleman’s Society encouraging leadership among NT males. But it’s up to us to keep the change coming.