Women's activism club at Fair Lawn
Students at Fair Lawn may have seen and read signs posted around the school with facts about women. But no, they were not put up by angry feminists who devote their Thursday afternoons to trying to bring down the male population of Fair Lawn High School.
That is just the connotation that the Women’s Activism Club is trying to avoid.
“We talk about what bothers us and what we want to do about it,’’ said senior Sophia Lent, noting that she started the club this solely because of her passion to enlighten students of the hardships women face. “There should be so much more focus on the topics that plague women today and we’re the ones with the spotlight.”
The club’s motive is to inform students of common problems women still are facing these days. They explore topics such as crisis intervention, media stereotypes, and social status.
“Members of the club join because they have interest in the equality of women, not because they allow themselves to be subjects of such issues.” said Maria Wheeler, club adviser and FLHS English teacher.
At a typical meeting, each said, members discuss tactics for raising money and collecting donations to be submitted to Lent’s favorite organizations and charities designed to help women and children in need.
And membership is encouraged by both young men and young women at FLHS.
“The club’s purpose is to bring women and men to an equal level,” said Vogel, a club member.
So far, the club has 10 members who meet each week to try and undo the false images of feminists. ”Most girls shy away from issues discussed here at the club,” Mrs. Wheeler said.
Some even say the club remains small because FLHS girls are actually afraid of being labeled a “feminist.”
“I find it staggering when I heard girls avoided joining because of the stigma associated with such issues,” said Mrs. Wheeler, who volunteers to advise the club.
Club members are working on an upcoming activity for “Denim Day,” which will be celebrated by wearing denim jeans or shirts in support of women who have been raped. The idea, they said, is to try and celebrate women having the right to wear whatever they want without being called “unfeminine,’’ or otherwise insulted.
Lent hopes to get the whole school involved, students, teachers and other staff members, regardless of gender. Denim Day will likely take place in April. In the meantime, stop by A117 after school on Thursdays for more information on the club.