ACTIVITY 3 : Limiting and hurtful phrases

  • But you can’t become a basketball player, you’re a girl !
  • Boys don’t cry. Act like a man!
  • You have to save money to survive. You can’t have fun with it.
  • Veterinarian ? It’s too difficult for you to study, but you’ll make a good seamstress.
  • Your sister is much smarter and nicer than you !
  • Anyway, you’ll never make it ! Good for nothing !

There are phrases that we have heard, sometimes from teachers, classmates, friends, colleagues, neighbours, family members, strangers or vague acquaintances, that have marked us and influenced us.

From childhood, through adolescence, to adulthood, we are bombarded with influences. Even advertising, television, films, newspapers, FOREM or ACTIRIS can convince us of certain things about life and about ourselves, and limit us in our daily lives.

There are so many things that we prevent ourselves from doing in order to respect “social conventions”, so many things that we do automatically, that we don’t even realise it. 

What influences have my family, friends, neighbours, teachers had on me, in terms of

  • Work/employment : ……………………………………………………………………………………………………
  • Projects : ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….
  • Hobbies : ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….
  • Money : ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..
  • Gender roles : …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
  • Prohibitions : ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….
  • What beliefs do I have about being unemployed ?
  • ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………