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So you want to talk about feminism at Washburn…

Henry Braun, Author

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What comes to mind when you hear the word “feminism?” If you are interested, intrigued, or maybe even confused, then Feminism Club is the place to go. You’ll find the Feminism Club in Ms. Hollerich’s room 308 Thursdays after school.

Feminism club’s overarching mi
ssion is to spread the message and meaning of feminism.

“Even if you don’t think of yourself as a feminist, whatever your ideas about feminism were before, it doesn’t matter,” said Kirsten Spolyar, the club’s de facto leader.  “We’re always looking for different viewpoints and diversity.”

All the club members who were intervIMG_3436iewed agreed that they want the club to be a space to discuss and educate.

While there are plenty of stereotypes–mostly negative–about feminism, Washburn’s feminism club doesn’t really adhere to any of them (not that this should be a surprise to anyone). The atmosphere is pretty laid-back and open, and they’re hardly shoving their views down anyone’s throats. They are more than open to new perspectives, and welcome new members with ideas or points of view to share.

That isn’t to say that there is no substance to feminism club, and there are certainly strong opinions within the feminist club community. The feminists had very strong opinions about how important feminism is to the Washburn, as Kirsten said, “On the internet, you say anything about feminism, you get threats.”

They also talked about the stereotypes around feminism. Commenting on the “femi-nazi” stigma, Spolyar said, “First, I hate anything with ‘Nazi’ thing because it’s comparing—it’s putting
people at the same level as Nazi which is repulsive. The ‘angry feminist’ stereotypes. I don’t wanna say that we’re not angry because there are a lot of things to be angry about. We have justified anger.”

If you went to Washburn last year, you may remember Feminism Club as a popular and large community after school, but that fails to hold true for this year. They’re a much smaller club this year, and they’re (almost) all white and female. They are seeking new members of any demographic, and would really appreciate any new viewpoints.

What’s next for the Feminism Club? Well, right now ,they’re working on a tampon drive. What does that mean? Another member, Taylor, said “Our drive is trying to get donations for homeless women because they don’t have that luxury.” If that sounds like something you want to get involved in, check in on thursday after school next week in room 308 and see what you can do to help.

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So you want to talk about feminism at Washburn…