50th Edition, News

Female student recognizes reemergence of feminism

By Denebola
Published: February 2011

By Audrey Hong,
Volume 34
February 17, 1995

It happened in the 1920’s, when women fought for suffrage. It happedened in the 60’s, with Betty Friedan and the Feminine Mystique. And it may be happening again right now.
A third wave of feminism seems to have begun, fueled by Generation X’s renewed desire for the empowerment of women and men, together.
The growth of the National Organization for Women (NOW), and the myriad of rallies and protests surrounding the issues of abortion are results of and vehicle for this surge of women’s rights, on a state and national level.
The development of Students Advocating Gender Equality (SAGE), the implementation of a twelve week pilot program focusing on feminism in literature in history, and future enrichment programs on family planning and reproductive choices attest to the feminist surge here at South.
While the sparks for these flames of feminism remain unidentified, some attribute this newfound interest and awareness to the shifts of power in the national political scene. SAGE president Shirley Zilberstein cited “the Republican stronghold in government” as the major factor disturbing the sense of peace and safety that women have enjoyed with a liberal, left-winged leadership.
“The newly acquired power to the Republican party challenges our future and threatens our safety. Many women and men fear we will return to a pre-Roe v. Wade status with regard to abortion,” Zilberstein explained.
While SAGE is the first student club to address feminist issues, for several years South has recognized the importance of focusing on gender equality. In the past, the Faculty Committee for the Respect of Human Differences (CRHD) has been a forum for discussing issues of race, sexuality, and sexual orientation and how they affect life in the classroom. Two years ago, gender equality surfaced as an item of CRHD attention: however, the committee was distracted by last year’s New England Accreditation process and this year’s stalemate in the contract negotiations. The committee has yet to meet this year.
While momentum from the committee’s discussions may have been lost, teaches have still expressed interest in participating in the new women’s studies course to begin this winter.
“I have received much encouragement from the female faculty, who have offered their assistance. The many generations of women and men will provide age perspective that will benefit all,” History Department Head Roberta Dollase said.

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