The stones of small acts of sexism are being overturned by feminists everywhere, and it’s becoming increasingly clear how early sexism starts. Sadly, children are falling victim to idea-shaping acts of sexism on a daily basis, from a startling number of children’s films failing the Bechdel test to the fact that children’s books are almost twice as likely to feature a male protagonist as a female one. This shows an outrageous lack of strong female characters, which will manifest in children’s minds as harmful ideas about women’s roles and abilities.

Furthermore, scientific, building and sport games are marketed overwhelmingly at boys (reflected later in the disproportionate number of men in STEM and sports careers), while girls are fed ideas about how looks and motherhood are the most important things in their lives. Often, young girls are left at a disadvantage in ‘male’ subjects by the time they reach university age. In turn, young men are forced to conform to hyper-masculine stereotypes regarding emotion from childhood onward (for example, the galling expression ‘don’t cry like a girl’), which could be argued is at the root of appallingly high suicide rates in young men, as they struggle to communicate these suppressed emotions – dangerous consequences of prejudice at infant level.

Later comes over-sexualisation, which starts small, with gender-biased dress codes and uniform rules, later crescendoing into hurled abuse from men in the streets and (sometimes sexual) violence. One in three girls experience groping at school, which foreshadows with painful accuracy the number of women worldwide who will be raped or beaten at some point in their lifetime. All of these factors accumulate to perpetuate attitudes of sexism in our society, and it is children we must start with if we are to overcome centuries of ingrained societal prejudice in a world which can no longer permit such outdated ideas.