Feminism Sparks at Edmonds Woodway
By Stephanie Farmer
With the passing of the Women’s March and the dwindling media coverage of sexual assault trials like Larry Nassar’s and Harvey Weinstein’s, the feminist movement seems to be in its annual hibernation before Women’s History Month in March. With all the social issues troubling the US and the whole world, it seems a given that people pause to focus on other important issues; however, a group of EWHS freshmen have realized feminism is an issue at all times.
Led by president and founder Audrey Wilkinson, Vice President Caelan Riley, Secretary Abby Lin and Treasurer Cecilia Smith, the women of feminism club are proud to create a safe space for people to discuss and encourage gender equality.
Club leaders expressed their goals of changing the way women are perceived. Whether it’s just chatting about experiences or creating posters for the women’s march, this club works to empower people to fight against injustice and misogyny.
Wilkinson guarantees the club to be intersectional and puts it in a positive light. “The focus is to liberate women rather than to tear down men,” Wilkinson said, “because it is a matter of equity even when everyone is moving forward, there is a gap. The term should not be off-putting; we are focusing on women’s rights so that everyone has equal human rights.”
The girls wish that “[one day] we won’t even need a feminism club at high schools because that’s not even an issue.” They have hope their generation could be the one that changes the future not only for females, but for all minorities. Hoping to reach a point of equality where people are not judged for physicality but rather heart, leaders have created this club to show the power of the people.
Each attendee of the club took a moment to identify the issues here and worldwide, saying they would walk the hallways with people calling them names and pointing out their flaws, especially now that they confidently call themselves feminists. When standing up for these issues and identifying them, these girls were forced into insecurities, but instead of wallowing in self-pity, they continued to be strong and independent women of the feminist movement.
In Wilkinson’s first month of freshman year, she went to the school library during lunch to grab a book. During lunch, many smaller groups of kids sat by the library and surrounding area to escape the lunchroom commotion. That day she was, “wearing a skirt… and this shouldn’t make a difference…but I guess that has some sort of correlation.”
When she left the library empty handed, one of the boys at the library entrance — someone she hadn’t seen in four years — looked up at her, turned to his friend and said, “There goes that fat slut, right?”
From that day Wilkinson new she had to create a space for anyone who has dealt with sexist behavior. She didn’t have a place to talk, so she created one.
Instances like this go unnoticed by staff and adults everywhere. Girls around the world spend every day dealing with the tearing down of their confidence, being put down for simply being women; for being girls in high school; for simply living and voicing their opinions.
These girls are all ready to put an end to the daily injustices women face in high school and intend to make a statement of awareness for teen girls everywhere. Wilkinson says her mission is to “[talk about] how to enact change at Edmonds Woodway, in our community, in the United States, and on a large scale. Just a couple weeks into my Freshman year, I felt alienated and alone. I didn’t know who I could turn to to talk about the remarks and actions being taken against me for my beliefs and appearance. I don’t want anyone else to ever feel like they don’t have a space to discuss issues that are important to them.”
Edmonds Woodway has always been a hub of socially active teens starting clubs and encouraging the start of a movement. Feminism club is a call to action, with the power and voice to change the culture surrounding students.
Fem Club meets on Thursdays in F105 from 2-3