The day-to-day sexism and sexual harassment women face can be lost under a large number of more grandiose socioeconomic issues such as: climate change, abortion rights, and nuclear war (and of course the fact that Donald Trump is our new president).
Although it’s just as important as these other issues, sexism seems to be less discussed in mainstream media.
One of the main reasons is that most women either fear to report such incidents or they lack the necessary outlets in which they can report and identify these incidents.
A new app called Whistle does just that. It is an app that allows people to blow the proverbial whistle on any sexism, sexual assault, or misconduct.
So how does Whistle work? Upon opening the app, it allows you to tap a button to “whistle.” It will then ask a you “where did the sexism take place?” where users can choose whether it occurred at work, school, public, home, online, or media.
The user is then given ten categories in which he/she can identify what type(s) of incidents that just occurred.
Categories such as sexual harassment, discrimination, boys’ club behavior, double standards, etc. can be chosen and the user is able to choose more than one category.
The user can then anonymously describe what happened and afterward, they are able to post this incident on the systems database in which the post is displayed in a twitter-like news feed.
With this app, more people are able to report such incidents anonymously, which enables users to lose the fear of being identified. The accessibility of the app allows users to easily and swiftly report incidents.
Over 100 incidents were reported on the app. Some of the complaints include:
You might think “well that doesn’t sound like sexism.”
According to CEO Ursula Mead, with more and more reports being posted in Whistle, the data collected in the app helps “better understand sexism. What is it? Where is it happening? How often? In which environments?”
Mead states that “anecdotes about sexism are very, very powerful. We’re trying to take those anecdotes and turn them into trends and concrete numbers. That way, we can start pushing for real solutions.”
In other words, we will get a better definition of what sexism really is and subsequently better categorize certain situations.
Although the app itself is not made to stop sexism and sexual harassment, its encouragement of women to come forward and report these incidents can help pave the way to a solution.