Cora Sutherland, Pony Express
In the beginning of March, students led a meeting to discuss gender equality through Stillwater Area High School. Student leaders along with staff members were present at the meeting to either show their support for the cause or become more informed.
Senior Sofia Logan helped organize the meeting and is passionate regarding the focus of gender equality, especially at SAHS.
“The goal of the meeting was to connect students that are interested in gender equity issues with other student council members, teachers and administrative staff members that can begin to address how the student government and students, in general, can begin to start a dialogue on gender equity in our school,” Logan explained.
One of the administrators present was Assistant Principal Mary Leadem Ticiu, who supported the students informing themselves on current issues.
Participants in the meeting discussed gender stereotypes among students, specifically as they related to Stillwater Area High School.
“At the meeting we most strongly paid attention to the problems with stereotypical and confining expectations of both genders and how they cause a lot of problems,” junior Alaina Friedrich said. “We don’t pay much attention to within the student body.”
Some students wondered if the meeting was to advocate for feminism, which is a fair question considering the subjectiveness of the topic. A clear-cut answer is not possible due to different students’ various definitions of feminism. Junior Colin Eason did not attend the meeting, but did have an opinion on the topic.
“I do not like the word feminism because to me it is clouded over by extremists on both sides of any argument,” Eason said. “My stance is simply for equality between men and women in the simplest possible definition. For example, a woman or man should never be paid based on his or her gender, but because of their qualifications and skills.”
Neither agreeing nor disagreeing, Logan clarified her idea of feminist ideals and explained, “There is a common misconception that feminism advocates for the creation of a matriarchy, however, it is important to remember the feminism works towards gender equality-equal rights, not the dominance of one gender over another.”
“To me, gender equality means social, political and economic equality between both men and women,” Friedrich said “This is not different than feminism. The ideals are the same — that no matter your gender you are treated with the respect that you have or have failed to earn.”
Although students’ thought processes are very different from one another, they frequently end up at the same point: gender equality is necessary and important in our world, and we still have more progress to make despite how far we have come.
Students that missed the meeting and are interested in future participation will have another chance to learn more about social issues of today being addressed by their peers.
“There will soon be another circle to continue the dialogue on gender equity,” Logan said. “There is a lot of overlap between the people at the meeting and Social Justice Club, which serves as a great outlet to continue these conversations. Since the first circle students, teachers and administrative staff members have been looking for ways to be more conscious of gender equity issues.”
This piece is provided by Hoof Prints, a partnership between The Gazette and the Pony Express, Stillwater Area High School’s student newspaper.