Beverly clubs fight for feminism

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Sydney Tran, staff writer

Wednesday marked the 95th anniversary of the granting of women’s suffrage in America as well as Club Day at Beverly. One sophomore and two juniors took to celebrating these events with the founding of two clubs dedicated to further promoting the feminist cause.

Sophomore Shereen Kheradyar, and juniors Eleanor Bogart-Stuart and Katherine Hertz are fighting for women’s rights with their respective clubs, The Feminist Club and Women Empowered. With the intention of drawing attention to and fighting against the infringement upon women’s rights, each set out to start a club on campus.

“I started [The Feminist Club] because I believed there were a lot of young girls and guys who didn’t know about the many things that go on in day to day life that limit women,” Kheradyar said. “My goal is to make people more aware and for them to learn from each other.”

While Kheradyar plans to educate and inform about feminism, Bogart-Stuart and Hertz plan for their club to fight these inequalities through activism.

“Our club is based off of activism within the feminist community, so that means actually attending rallies. It’s more than just educating people on what feminism is; it’s actually doing something about it,” Hertz said.

Despite the notion that America has achieved gender equality, statistics show otherwise.

According to Forbes, the gender pay gap has been static for the past decade at a 23 percent difference. This means that, on average, women make 77 cents to every dollar a man makes. Additionally, Pew Research Center found that women are twice as likely as men to claim that they have faced gender discrimination in the workplace, and according to Catalyst Inc., sex discrimination charges made up 29.3 percent of Equal Opportunity Employment Commission charges filed in 2014.

Kheradyar, Bogart-Stuart and Hertz want to change this.

Since there are two clubs that want to address the same issue, there is likely to be a merge. The groups look forward to the possibility of the joining and subsequent growth of the clubs.

“I would honestly love for [the clubs to merge],” Kheradyar said. “Feminism is about girls coming together, so the more the merrier.”

Ultimately, Women Empowered and The Feminist Club want to fight the negativity toward the identifier “feminist” and encourage people to accept the seriousness of the cause.

“Particularly because we’re in high school, we get a lot of criticism and a lot of people think we’re just a joke because it’s a feminist club. The best way to combat that is to look them in the eye and be very serious and just say ‘This isn’t just for fun. This is a real thing. This is what we care about,’” Bogart-Stuart said.

Hertz had more to add.

“We have to represent what we’re standing for, so if we laugh and joke about it with them, then that gives off a vibe that it’s okay, but we really have to set the example of what feminists are all about,” Hertz added.

Although running a separate club, Kheradyar agrees.

“Another big part of the club is showing people the bad connotation to the word ‘feminist’ is a myth. Like any other group of people, there will be extremists, but that doesn’t mean the group as a whole should be represented in that way,” Kheradyar said. “The main point is that if you believe in the equality between a man and a woman, then you are a feminist, period.”

This article is part of a series on new clubs. Find more on Tea & Talk and Debate Club.

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