Everyone Should Be a Feminist

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Everyone Should Be a Feminist

Ale Lewis '23, Staff Writer

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Cessa Lewis ‘23 and Moli Ma ‘21 created a student club that is sparking controversy on campus as it tries to combat misinformation and discrimination.  It is called the Feminist Club, and even the name is a challenge. The Feminist Club’s mission is to educate students about the struggles women go through daily in our local community and globally.

The inspiration for the Feminist Club came from a story Maddie Fredericks ‘22 told the school at ADL Day about feeling victimized as a woman.  “Maddie Fredericks mentioned something about a feminist club, and that made us realize… oh, there isn’t one?” Moli said. The thinking is that before we tackle the issue of women’s rights globally, we have to address the social prejudices here at SLS.

 Because the word “feminist” causes controversy, Cessa and Moli questioned whether to include it in the name of the club.  “We paint this idea, ‘oh, a feminist is a crazy, radical person’ but it’s just trying to [make] everybody equal,” said Moli. 

Cessa said, “Originally we were debating whether or not we should call it Feminism Club because the word is so stigmatized, [and] very controversial right now, and we were thinking of ways to make it more inviting.”  Cessa continued, “We realized, why are we stooping down to that level? We should own it and call it the Feminist Club and just normalize the word.”  

 Many people also stereotype feminists as women who want to become superior to men. The people in the club recognize that this is not the case.  Feminists just want equal rights. Abby Thomas ‘23, a new Feminist Club member, said, “There are a lot of people at this school that think feminism is a joke.  There are a lot of people that when they hear the word feminism, they get turned off by it and want nothing to do with it.”  

Many female students at St. Luke’s have encountered insensitive comments and a lack of understanding of gender equality.  For instance, during J-term this year, one group of freshmen focused on women’s rights. At the beginning of the project, the students went into the Black Box to brainstorm.   During the session, this group received post-it notes with messages that were written to bring women down instead of build them up. One post-it note said, “The pay gap is fake.”  Other notes had questions about women’s rights, such as, “Why do women march?” and “What is the pay gap?” These questions raise concerns that many students at St. Luke’s are not well informed on women’s issues. 

This club is important because it raises awareness of the struggles women face daily.  The club shines a light on problems, such as the pad and tampon tax, equal pay, and reproductive rights.  Cessa and Moli say they want to create a “sisterhood at St. Luke’s where we all come together and talk about relevant current events.”  Having a supportive group of students here will help educate and fundraise toward goals, such as “being there for everyone, that could be inside or outside our community. It could be students here or lower-income women in our local area… It’s empowering women in communities around us,” according to Moli.

The club meets regularly, so email Cessa Lewis or Moli Ma to become a member of the Feminist club!