After the controversial Schoology events during Women’s History Month 2018, it was undeniably risky to continue this celebration in March 2019. However, the newly formed Ramapo Women’s Empowerment Club has risen from the ashes to say, “Nevertheless, she persisted.”
The club’s creator and advisor, Miss Gregory, explained, “I was influenced to start this club for a couple of reasons. In teaching sociology, we talk about feminism, and I have found that so few students are willing to identify themselves as feminists. I think this is because of a misunderstanding of what the word really means. So with this club, I was hoping to provide a space where students could come to promote equality, but also to ask questions and learn about women’s rights and women’s empowerment, as well as current events affecting women today. I also hoped to provide empowerment to the students at Ramapo, as well as the greater community, through the events and activities of the club.”
Today, she is joined by a powerful group who are dedicated to creating a more inclusive environment for female students. Tara Lamorgese, a Ramapo senior, shared her thoughts about the formation of this club. “The formation of the Women’s Empowerment Club made me feel as though I had a place to confide in. Aside from speaking with my teachers, I didn’t have a readily available safe space where I could release my frustrations about the school day or discuss current events,” Lamorgese expressed. “It is important for women and girls to be provided with this outlet. Often we are taught to mask our emotions or shy away from discussing issues pertaining to women in public spaces because we risk appearing ‘unhinged’ or ‘emotional.’ The pressures of high school can make many girls, including myself, feel insecure, anxious, and dejected. The Women’s Empowerment Club allows Ramapo students to vent and discuss the issues affecting women so that they are equipped and comfortable with doing so in public.”
For this year’s Women’s History Month, the Women’s Empowerment Club is determined to educate the school community on powerful and impactful American females. Each morning during the “Today in History” section of the announcements, an additional fact about that respective day in women’s history will be read. This will be accompanied with multiple schoology posts about an influential female in history. Members of the club will post a fact about female oppression each day as well.
When asked about the club’s influence on the Ramapo community, Miss Gregory revealed, “The biggest impact I hope to have is an educational and inspirational one. I hope students are more willing to talk about issues regarding women’s rights, to ask questions, and to understand the need for all women to be actively empowered every day. I also hope we can educate the Ramapo population regarding women’s historical fight for equality, and the history of oppression that makes women’s empowerment and feminism still necessary today.”
To support this newborn group in their quest for enlightenment and acceptance, check out the numerous stickers that club members will be selling around school. Also, be sure to participate in the activities they are planning for the future. Miss Gregory reported, “We are currently working on fundraising in order to hold a self-defense workshop open to all students. In April and May we will also be collecting food, toiletries, clothing, and money, in order to make significant donations to nearby women’s shelters.”
By: Danielle Miller, Staff Writer
Featured Image: Rosie the Riveter, a famous symbol for gender equality and female empowerment. (Photo courtesy of Google Images)