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Students in FemCo gather, discuss, learn and solve problems related to today’s feminism

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During lunch every Wednesday in Room 202 at C.K McClatchy High School, members of the C.K McClatchy’s Feminist Coalition (FemCo) gather around to discuss, learn and solve the problems they see today in regards to feminism. 

I am really proud of what FemCo has become. This FemCo in particular was the first Feminist Coalition in the district and has been around for about a decade, said the teacher coordinator, Lori Jablonski.

Today, McClatchy’s FemCo spends their time doing feminine hygiene drives, bake sales, watching documentaries, having discussions and more. 

Senior and president, Leila Stollenwerk says, “Really we just deal with feminist issues on campus and off campus. We are working on getting involved with the community. We discuss a lot of feminist issues and current events. We had a couple guest speakers, so we are really trying to make an impact here and in our community.”

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Stollnwerk adds, “We are working on campus to create access to more feminine hygiene products in the bathroom, because the machines aren’t being stocked. We are running a feminine hygiene drive to donate to a local women’s shelter.”

While some might think FemCo is just for females, it is open for everyone.

“FemCo is a place where women and also men can come, support and give their input about issues going on with women’s rights, right now or in the past,” said senior and social media manager Audrey Hamilton. 

For the members of FemCo, feminism is something that they hold very near and dear to their hearts. Hence why they have joined the club. Many members have shared FemCo, at it’s basic component it is a safe space for them

“Everyone deserves to have visibility and unfortunately, as many of us know, women are not given the most visibility. It’s kind of cliche but it’s really important that everyone’s voice gets heard.” says Stollenwerk

Every story has a beginning and for the members of FemCo their beginning would be them joining FemCo.

“I think feminist issues have always been very close to my heart. I grew up with Katniss Evergreen, Hermione Granger, and Ginny Weaslet and all these characters as my role models. So I think I have always had this belief that women can do whatever they want to and as I got older, when I saw that there were systems in place to prevent that, it became an issue really close to my heart,” says Stollenwerk.

Junior Leat Mim-Montgomery says, “I wanted to be more involved with my community and I wanted to leave more of an impact on our school. I think that if you want change you have to help fix it.” 

“Hamilton says “I joined my junior year and I just kind of went because I knew someone else who was in it. This year I knew I definitely wanted it to stay and I knew Leila needed the help. I wanted to keep it alive, support it and be a part of it.”

One of the problems CKM Femcos is having this year is the fluctuating members. Some meetings have a lot of members and other meetings not so much. Members have shared that while it’s good to have truly passionate members, the small number of club attendees makes it hard to have a greater impact and reach on campus.

While highschool only seems like a small amount of time in comparison to your whole life, the members of FemCo say that what they’ve learned from the club has had a lasting impact.

“They’ve made me more interested in politics and just being in government in general. I think that it’s something I want to do when I’m older or something that I’m interested in,” says Mim-Montgomery.

Stollenwerk says, “I think FemCo taught me a lot of really important lessons but probably most importantly how to advocate for myself. That if something seems wrong, or if I feel uncomfortable I need to speak up. Too often women are told that their issues are not legitimate and I’ve really been shown that is not the case.”

 

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I attend C.K. McCLatchy High School where I am involved in journalism.
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