Voice of Change: First Feminist Club Kicks off at Mililani High

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Shelby Seu

Community, equality, worldwide. Those are the words sophmore Ava Maclachlan, recording secretary, used to describe Mililani High School’s first Feminist Club founded by vice president senior Annabelle Ink. Ink noticed in her business courses that not many females were in high positions within the workforce and that it was harder for women to climb this ladder than men. In response to the lack of discussion around this issue, the club was started to promote a safe and open-minded space for students to have their voices heard.
“All of our executives are women and just making that climb to the top more of an equal playing field for us and also just the struggles that we each face everyday, simply because we are women,” said Feminist Club president senior Ila Nako. “It’s something that we care about and we don’t see that discussion in school much, we don’t see that discussion anywhere actually in our world and it’s something that needs to be brought up or needs to be taught at this young age before we go out into the world and we just like, kicked by reality.”
These topics and discussions then lead to advocacy projects that take place once a semester. The club aims to find projects that could benefit their community, as well as providing the members with a deeper understanding of the struggles women may face in Hawaii. The club council, who began organizing their first semester project, says that they will be focusing on violence against women.
“I know it’s easy to think that ‘Oh, I’m just one person, what can I truly do?’ when yeah you are one person, but in a community with people that will uplift you,” said junior Lyric Illiana Bernard, the Feminist Club treasurer. “I think that it’s really easy to strive for change, and I think that’s what we’re building here.”
The Feminist Club also intends to educating their members on what feminism truly is. They wish to change the views on feminism by addressing the negative stigma around it. According to the club’s corresponding secretary junior Zoey Dangleman, the typical stereotype of feminists are women who are lonely, man hating, aggressive, and only wish to be in power. Yet, the club hopes to get rid of this stereotype by teaching the members that feminism is much more meaningful than just angry women protesting against men.
“Well, I think that feminism is the belief of the political, social, and economic equality of all people,” said AP World History and advisor Kimberly Lauzon. “All people and genders are included.”
The club’s members consist of a variety of genders, races, sexualities and stories all connected by numerous common goals and views. They hope to show that feminism is not only limited to women, but it accommodates anyone, no matter who they are or how they identify.
“I think it’s more about coming together as a community to fight these horrible stigmas against feminism,” said Bernard, “along with coming together as a whole to get to somewhere where we need to be, which is equality.”
The club also did a time capsule project during their first meeting. The capsule consisted of personal questions they would answer, such as rating one’s own confidence, and keep away until the end of the club’s year to read them. The goal, set forth by the council, is to promote self growth. During the meetings, confidence will be one of the main focuses because it’s an important skill relating to feminism.
“By the end of this, we want to see that growth that they can accept themselves more fully because that’s also a problem with feminism.” said Nako. “That in society women are taught to be pushed into a beauty standard and that’s not something realistic that we can all do so we need to learn to love ourselves fully as we are. That’s what we want to encourage with our members.”
For further information to join the Feminist Club see Mrs. Lauzon in P15. Mrs. Lauzon can also be reached via email [email protected]