New Feminism Club at Manhasset High School Breaks Gender Norms

Mary Panetta, Writer

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Students will now receive a chance to understand feminism thanks to the new Feminism Club initiated at Manhasset High School this year, led by co-presidents Brooke DiGia and Lesley Jeon.

One might say that in 2015, sexism no longer exists; however, English teacher and club advisor Mr. Novak has spoken regarding the issue, pointing out the gender stereotypes that persist today. “They [his students] expect a man to be interested in sports, just like they expect a woman to wear make-up or be interested in fashion,” he says. Mr. Novak has witnessed students call others by derogatory names that imply homosexual or feminine characteristics. This unfair treatment and evident gender gap has inspired him and other members of the community to create the Feminism Club.

Co-president Lesley Jeon, when talking about starting up the club, said, “By making this club it forced me to realize what’s wrong in the world. We all live in a bubble… and I had to research things; I was ignorant about feminism.”

Alex Mazer, a sophomore, stated, “the club’s girl to boy ratio speaks for itself,” when asked if his friends support his membership in the club. The Feminism Club clearly has a higher membership of women than men. Alex went on to explain that he thinks students are unaware of the true meaning of the club, and hold all the common misconceptions on the topics of feminism. Since this club has just been created, it will take some time to understand the true meaning and goals the Feminism Club is trying to achieve.

This year, the Feminism Club was created to make a difference in our town’s society and create more gender equality, especially in our school. Brooke DiGia stated that the Feminism Club is trying to break the entitlement given to men in the past, because men shouldn’t have been given it in the first place. She said that “feminism at its core is equality for men and women…Feminism isn’t trying to take away men’s rights, but raise women’s rights.”

The board supported the club, mainly because clubs such as these prepare students for real world challenges. When questioned if the Feminism Club would make an impact in the town of Manhasset, Mr. Novak responded, “I think the Feminism Club…is providing a space for the necessary discussions and expressions and debates that accompany any cultural shift.”

The Feminism Club has selected the charities MOMMA’S House and Girls Not Brides to support funds raised throughout the year. On November 10th, the club held its first movie night, showing Legally Blonde and raising $396 for these charities in the process. Throughout the year, the Feminism Club will be holding more movie nights, and other events, in order to raise meaningful funds for the chosen charities.