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Women’s Studies Club promotes discussion, educates students

Mollie+Davis+leads+a+group+of+students+in+a+small+project+at+the+most+recent+Women%E2%80%99s+Studies+Club+showing+the+important+role+of+positive+media.+
Mollie Davis leads a group of students in a small project at the most recent Women’s Studies Club showing the important role of positive media.

Mollie Davis leads a group of students in a small project at the most recent Women’s Studies Club showing the important role of positive media.

Photo by Eliza Benyaminov

Photo by Eliza Benyaminov

Mollie Davis leads a group of students in a small project at the most recent Women’s Studies Club showing the important role of positive media.

Eliza Benyaminova, Staff Writer

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A new club has been formed at Mayfield High School by three passionate students and a supportive teacher in order to create a platform for discussion.

New to the school, the Women’s Studies Club encourages students to attend meetings and engage in intellectual discussions about issues facing women in today’s society as well as women throughout history.

English teacher Kerry Rutigliano values the importance of discussion and is the current adviser of the club. Rutigliano said, “What I appreciate about the Women’s Studies Club is that it invites both males and females to engage in discourse and engage in discussion about issues that are facing women.”

The Women’s Studies Club believes that educating a person about social issues encourages them to open up their mind and acknowledge new and different opinions and perspectives.

While some problems are more prevailing in the news and amongst most people such as the wage gap, other issues regarding women are less talked about yet need to be discussed, so the club provides a platform for these topics.

A place where students can share their beliefs and dig deeper into topics they care for is vital according to the club.

“I believe that a club like women’s studies creates an environment where you can just discuss things that may be polarizing, provocative, or left unsaid,” Rutigliano said. “Those things when discussed in a healthy, dynamic, safe setting will allow people to discover and uncover new perspectives.”

Rutigliano is very supportive of the club and what it promotes so when three senior girls approached her about initiating the club, she didn’t even have to think twice.

“Mollie Davis, Zicari Mathews, and Julianne Kerver approached me and asked me if I would be the adviser for the club, so really they’re the muscle behind it,” Rutigliano said.

Senior Mollie Davis decided to start the club after one of her friends told her about her school’s Women’s Studies Club.

“I thought why doesn’t Mayfield have a club like that? So I found people interested in the club and got signatures and after a while people were coming up to me asking about the club,” Davis said. “It’s important to come together with others and discuss the things going on around us.”

After the three girls got enough signatures on the petition to create the club they began to host discussions of different matters. Rutigliano and the girls said they take pride in the fact that anyone can join at any point and take part in their conversations.

“While they designed the questions initially, they are also absolutely eliciting feedback from other individuals and it is very fluid!” Rutigliano said. “If you miss a meeting you certainly can come to the next meeting and it all is centered around the vitality of discussion.”

Becoming a member of the Women’s Studies Club will give students the opportunity and a stimulating environment to learn and talk about the different adversities women face.

Different topics are discussed at the meetings which stress the importance of exposing yourself to new issues and information.

Rutigliano said, “The second week they talked about women’s roles, what we see in terms of what roles women play in film and how they are both empowering and also, at times, degrading and subjecting. So, they look at so many topics that center around women and then try to investigate the ‘why?’ behind it.”

The club’s most recent meeting opened up a discussion about influential personalities in the media and celebrities who advocate for greater causes. The members of the club are a diverse group of students who discuss how issues affect all demographics.

“Women are everywhere and especially right now in society women’s rights are still not really being respected and I’m talking about all women, women of color and different nationalities and origins,” fellow senior Zicari Mathews said. “So, I feel like creating this club will unite people of diverse backgrounds and bring people together to talk about different things.”

The Women’s Studies Club centers their attention on creating awareness and encouraging discussion.

“It’s good to create awareness about what’s going on and open our eyes to things we may not have noticed before,” Mathews said. “Also, having a discussion with so many different types of people opens up a leeway of different viewpoints which is important since if you surround yourself only with viewpoints that resemble yours, then you’re not going to learn but if you discuss certain topics with other people you may not have talked to before then that helps you grow as a person.”

The Women’s Studies Club is important to the school and it’s students in order to promote discourse and inform the uninformed.

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Women’s Studies Club promotes discussion, educates students