Gender Equality Club: a new voice at South

Elizabeth Santana, Staff Writer

One of the newer additions to South High is the Gender Equality Club, which is a student-led group founded by seniors Etta Harkness-Bartholdi and Anna Meier. The club meets on Tuesdays from 7:45am-8:30am.

“We are a group that is concerned with equal rights for all people, especially between males and females in our society,” explained co-founder Meier.

Members of the club discuss current issues and past issues on many topics, from feminism to slut-shaming, and ways to envision solutions.

“We’ve been talking about how words are important, words like ‘slut,’ and ‘whore’ and how it can be really really effective in keeping women down, and putting labels on people; and we’ve talked about how in the media, we portray women as figures, like objectivity of sexual desire and everything,” said Meier.

Feminism has been around for many decades, but there are still negative stereotypes. Senior Vivi Grecco, member of the Gender Equality Club, has different views on being a feminist. “I want to change the way people think about feminism because I think it’s in a lot of people’s minds, feminism has become a bad thing, and they kind of think feminism means angry women who hate men.” explained Grecco.

“When we talk about gender equity, I think it’s really important to remember that it involves both genders, because it is true that a lot of women who talk about it forget.” says Grecco. Her thoughts are that true gender equality would involve breaking down gender stereotypes and roles that are oppressive to both men and women.

This statement rings true for member Forrest Zoll, a senior. “Anybody can be a feminist, it doesn’t matter what your gender is,” he stated.The club has been working on putting out a survey asking questions about students’ experiences with gender-related issues. They are hoping to put together a presentation about feminism and gender equality in American society, and how that reflects in the lives of high schoolers.

The Gender Equality Club is also gaining recognition by working with other groups based in social activism.  They recently collaborated with s.t.a.r.t. (Students Together as Allies for Racial Trust) for a meeting about problematic Halloween costumes, and members are interested in co-hosting a dinner with s.t.a.r.t.

Members of the club ask that friends join and support it. “Everyone that comes is a contributor,” said Meier.