Responding to everyday 'isms'

Sexism, racism, ageism, homophobia, ableism etc. are often expressed in everyday conversations and delivered as ‘humour’, off-hand comments or story-telling. They ascribe negative characteristics to a group, and assume that those characteristics apply to all members of the group.

If you witness such behaviour, be an active bystander and speak up and support those it’s directed to. e.g.:

  • “I don’t think that’s okay”
  • “What do you mean by that?”
  • “I don’t find that very funny”
  • “I feel uncomfortable when …”
  • “I’m not sure how’s that relevant?”
  • “I didn’t know you felt that way about women/Māori/homosexuals …”
  • “I understand you think it’s okay/funny, but many others wouldn’t”.

Treat everyone with courtesy, dignity and respect.

For more information and resources see zero tolerance