Double Standards

CPB London

Sexist language affects everyone, but it impacts women and girls disproportionately. When someone says bossy, you think of a woman. When someone says boss, you think of a man. Same behaviour - different labels. Unconscious biases that are hiding in our language, and reinforcing old stereotypes. We polled the nation and found that 1 in 5 men British men have no problem using sexist language, 20% of them use sexist language to bond with mates and only 14% of men feel comfortable calling others out if they use sexist words and phrases. Spurred on by the depressing findings, and with the support of a professor of sociolinguistics who specialises in sexist language, we started to look at the ‘double standards’ where women may behave in the same way as a man, but they are given a different, negative label. Concerned that sexist words and phrases demean girls, women (and femaleness itself) - ultimately preventing daughters, sisters or mothers from reaching their full potential at school, work, home, and wider society - we tasked the creative team with highlighting the issue in a minimalist, visually arresting way. A simple idea that would work as a multinational, 360 degree campaign - stopping people in their tracks as the now-obvious ‘double standards’ literally stared them in the face.