Firstly, let me introduce myself - Tracy Knutson, Executive Director of STOPS to Violence. Over the coming months, we will be upping our efforts to get to know you and to offer more insight into the who's who at STOPS.
This week, I have a story I want to share. I was at one of the local hospitals for a 'procedure' - a pretty typical treatment for a long term (non gendered) sports injury kind of thing. When the procedure was done, the very kind and helpful staff came to check on me and handed me my discharge instructions, which I promptly stuffed in my bag. When I got home, I was reading them and one particular part jumped out at me: 'You may do light work such as cooking or washing dishes. Vacuuming is not light work.'. Ummm.... Ok?
This got me thinking. Either they have a different set of instructions they give to female identified and male identified people - and they just happened to assess that I should get the female identified one or they buy in to the idea of the 'man flu' that assumes that males do not have the same tolerance for discomfort as females, and therefore would just lay on the couch and do not need to be instructed to do so post procedure.
Gender stereotypes at work? I think so.
At STOPS, we have been digging into a tool called Gender Based Analysis (GBA+) and learning more about gender, intersectionality and how people experience systems, programs and policies very differently based on who they are. GBA+ helps us recognize and move beyond our assumptions, uncover the realities of people's lives, and find ways to address their needs. But we can only know if a group is affected differently if we explore it using GBA+. Incorrect assumptions can lead to unintended and unequal impacts on particular groups of people. Click here to learn more about this valuable tool.
And haha on the hospital folks - the last things on my list on any given day are cooking, washing dishes or vacuuming. But thanks for the warning!
All the best to you for your week,
Tracy Knutson, Executive Director.