Workshops at Västerhöjds in Skövde

Realstars was the 14th of January at Västerhöjds highschool in Skövde and held a number of workshops with our web-based learning material. Fair Sex: Nätverket. The classes were very focused when they went through it and the general opinion was that it was interesting and raised several important issues.

Ida and Bella, first-year students attending the Health and Care program, enjoyed the the game. “You learn a lot from this game as it allows you to think for yourself. It’s a good approach and the theme is important.”
I asked Ida and Bella how they thought society should solve these problems. They both think that rapists often receive sentences that are too lenient. They mention the importance of having good parents as role models to pass on respectful behaviors.
They also mention that if parents are not able to pass on good norms to their children it is important for youth to have a contact at school. This could be a guidance counsellor, there to help with offensive behaviors as well as victims of abuse.

The third-year technical class engaged in a very lively discussion. Opinions differed considerably on the question: “How do we signal with our clothing and behavior that we’re looking for sex, and does this matter at all?”
Unfortunately the discussion became stuck at the victim/potential victim level and their behavior rather than focussing on the perpetrator/potential perpetrator as being the real, larger problem. This type of thinking seems to be common in society at large, and makes RealStars’ evaluation even more pertinent.

Hanna and Sandra (who are in the same class as Ida and Bella) thought that the rape scenario Case 2, “Just for Fun?”, was very relatable. “The victim could have been myself or my best friend,” says Sandra. They also say that often when you are comfortable with one thing with a guy, it feels as if you are ready to do everything, but that this is really not the case.

You should be able to say “No” and stop at any time, and you should be able to dress as you wish. They also mention that it is very hard to report a rape because afterwards you might feel very guilty and vulnerable. That many choose not to report a rape is a big problem. In working with prevention of abuse it is important to impart knowledge as well as to strive to break traditional gender roles. “We also have to make sure that everyone will become equal. If that happened, many of these problems would solve themselves.”

In response to the case dealing with human trafficking, Hanna said: “I think prostitution is rape, no one does it because they want to, it’s always about money.” Both found the quotes from the clients in the human trafficking case really upsetting, and thought it was very disturbing that prostitution and human trafficking is so hidden. “Both prostitution and human trafficking are probably close by, but we don’t see it. Sexual harassment is closer to our daily lives. When we’re at a bar for example we always have to lay down limits, sometimes even push guys away.” They also reflected on trafficking and prostitution worldwide: “You might have to work with the whole world and ban the purchase of sex absolutely everywhere to really put an end to it,” says Sandra.