Upper Merion’s students have taken the lead in branching out to form new clubs that represent how the student body feels and what they wish to accomplish in their measly years at high school. In addition to clubs here that stand up against all sorts of discrimination, such as No Place For Hate, GSA, BSU, and ASA, this school year we can take a stand up against sexism with the new Feminism Club.
Yes, the dreaded word. Feminism. Upper Merion has something of a stigma against the idea, but Hailey Rymarowicz, the founder and president of the club, works to change that. Last year, she went around the school with a clipboard, asking us fellow students if we were open to participate in a feminism club, and got a resounding “yes” in response. This year, it’s here.
Hailey believes that the the first step on the way to stopping the discrimination against women and supporting the social, political, and economic equality of the sexes is with a club that works to raise awareness of the issue at hand. This comes after problems with sexual harassment within this very building, and the Feminism Club hopes to show students what their limitations are. To her, feminism matters because she believes that the phrase “boys will be boys” can no longer be used an excuse for their disrespectful behavior towards women, nor does she like hearing women blame themselves for issues given to them as a result of their gender. So, with every step she takes that moves the Feminism Club forward, she empowers them.
The Feminism Club typically meets on Thursdays once or twice a month, and rather than the stereotypical club meeting where the officers stand and say things that you don’t pay attention to before asking for money and dismissing you, they hold more of an open discussion, and it’s welcoming and inviting to all. Just in October’s meeting alone, there were more boys attending than girls. The members of the Feminism club listen, and they share their own opinions in an effort to unite the student body and rise above sexism. Hailey doesn’t even consider herself the leader of the club. More, she just makes the presentations. Everyone in the feminism club is treated equally, no matter your gender, sexuality, or race. The Feminism Club does not stop at equality for just white women, they touch on the importance of intersectional feminism and the inclusion of people of color.
Besides just having open discussion, the Feminism Club is working with teachers to have short PSAs on the announcements, Morning Buzz, and on posters around the school. You probably have already seen the flyers advertising the club, but these PSAs won’t work to coax students into joining — they’ll raise awareness of the cause and educate us on the importance of feminism in today’s society. The Feminism Club is also considering short presentations in class, leaving no stone unturned in their efforts to inform students.
So, as the Feminism Club grows, not just in size, but in their impact, they will seek to create a society where all sexes are created equal.