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The Future is Feminine

In reaction to the recent political election, students create a feminist club

Asher Norberg, Copy Editor

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It all started last spring in the state capital. Seniors Hadley Sayers and Natalie Jones were introduced to Shawnee Mission East senior Imaan Jaroudi at the annual Youth in Government conference in Topeka. Jaroudi explained how she had started a Feminist Club at East and made it successful. This gave Sayers and Jones the idea to start a Feminist Club at Northwest this year.

“We were just like ‘Wow, that is an amazing idea,’” Jones said. “The first day we came back , we were already trying to find a sponsor.”

The two approached social studies teacher Rebecca Anthony and presented their idea for a club about feminism, but Anthony was not interested in sponsoring it.

“She thought that not enough people would be interested,” Jones said.

A week later, senior Carson Krehbiel came to Anthony and asked her if she would be willing to sponsor a Feminist Club. He had no idea that Sayers and Jones had already proposed a similar idea. Anthony agreed to be the sponsor.

“It reaffirmed to her that if a diverse group both proposed the same idea then there was interest,” Sayers said. “Our first goal is to spread the message of what feminism is, in its most simplest form: equality of the sexes. Just get that message out there and get everyone at Northwest to see that in a positive light.”

The group plans to provide a space for educational discussions involving feminism as well to mobilize members to volunteer around the Kansas City metropolitan area. Another goal the club has is to fundraise for the Global Fund for Women, a non-profit foundation that focuses on economic and political empowerment for women in addition to sexual and reproductive health rights.

Sayers says she became a proud feminist about a year ago, but that her ideas have always fallen in line with feminism.

“As a young female, I think that there is nothing a woman can’t do that a man can,” Sayers said. “I’ve always liked seeing women making a powerful impact. I loved seeing women being nominated for political parties. I loved seeing glass ceilings shattered in every sort of profession for women. women making a difference and doing things that just have not been done and may not been seen as a women’s role.”

However, politics are at the center of the club’s ethos. Sayers, a liberal, started this club as a reaction to the misogynistic language espoused during the 2016 presidential campaign.

“To me, feminism will always be relevant,” Sayers said. “However, the current political climate has put feminism in a really fragile place. Feminism is equality of the sexes and anyone with basic common sense can decide that, under the definition, feminism is good and just. Our club is bipartisan and that’s because there are so many representatives on all sides of the spectrum who promote women’s equality.”

On the other hand, as a conservative and vice president of feminism club, Krehbiel stresses that the club will be non-partisan, and wants to see more conservatives and members of Young Republicans join.

“You can be conservative without being primitive,” Krehbiel said.

Regardless of political affiliation, gender or experience, Feminist Club hopes to open up a conversation about gender equality as well as provide volunteer and fundraising opportunities every other Tuesday at 7:10 a.m. in room 126.

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The Future is Feminine