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Yumi Stynes is on a mission to expose the truth about discrimination in Australia

“I’ve experienced sexism firsthand”

By TV Week team
With the #MeToo movement growing worldwide alongside the promotion of gender equality, you'd think sexism in Australia would be in decline.
But in new SBS doco Is Australia Sexist? Yumi Stynes discovers it's more prominent than ever – from the pay gap, to gendered play among children, to public harassment.
"I've experienced sexism in different ways since I was little," Yumi, 43, tells TV WEEK.
Yumi is tackling sexism in the new SBS doco.
"In childhood, we're belittled just for being female or for liking 'girly things'," she says. "Vaginas are considered dirty and disgusting. We're taught to feel shame when it comes to our bodies.
"And in my career, there's always been an element of judgement about the way I look [Yumi's father was fifth-generation Australian and her mother is Japanese], that's never been cast upon my male co-workers."
One of Yumi's most surprising discoveries is how sexism has woven itself into the world of online dating.
"It was so confronting," she reveals. "It's made me feel so much love for my friends who complain about being single, because it's such a hostile landscape. Some of the messages we saw [online] were dehumanising."
Campaigns for equality are growing.
As a mother of three girls, Yumi knows the challenges her daughters face.
"One of my girls was criticised for having hairy legs, which made her feel self-conscious," Yumi says.
"I often speak up when I see things happening that I feel aren't right. I hope the show will start some conversations."
Is Australia Sexist? airs Tuesday, 8.40pm, on SBS.

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