Siobhan Molloy discusses anti-racism training



Siobhan Molloy talks about challenging people’s stereotypes through anti-racism training.

Can you think of different ways of challenging racial and cultural stereotypes?

What do you think of Siobhan’s opinion that ‘if you haven’t examined your own society and looked at that you can't really be objective about other people’s societies either’?



When I was doing the anti-racism training there was actually a nice poster I had got from a project in England of a young Muslim girl wearing a headscarf, a very, very colourful headscarf and tunic, and I put that up and, and we were discussing it and I said to the group, because I think, it's just a lot of knee jerk reaction, and I said, like ‘What is there about that woman that you would be afraid of?’, this thing about covering her hair, they said they weren’t happy with that. Then I produced this other picture, which was of a nun in Ireland who, apart from the fact that her headgear was all black and white, was almost identical to this Muslim girl. ‘Would you be afraid of her, as well’? And they went, ‘Oh, no, no, that's a nun, that's alright’. [laughs] You know, so it was just trying to point out to them, because the media and so on, especially since 9/11, you know, there's this whole suspicion of Arab people and Muslim people and anybody wearing any form of headscarf or anything like that, people have developed almost a knee jerk reaction to it, and they never stop to compare it to their own culture where they would have thought nothing to seeing a group or individual nuns going around with their hair all covered up and in long dresses as well, but that was alright. You know, so it was just, just that sort of thing, challenging. I think if you haven’t examined your own society and looked at that you can't really be objective about other people’s societies either.
Siobhan Molloy discusses anti-racism training
5 - 6 December 2011
Sound recording
Sisterhood and After: The Women's Liberation Oral History Project
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