Celebration of Women workshops demystify feminism


Senior Amelia Pacht holds the sign for a Celebration of Women initiative on Apr. 4. Juniors Ana Espinoza and Sabina Unni asked male and female students and faculty to share their views about feminism.

Izzy Gold, Contributing Wrter

Is Beyoncé a feminist? What difficulties do women face in Kenya? What does it mean to be two-spirit? Six juniors and seniors will answer these questions and explore gender inequality with a series of in-school workshops.

On Apr. 4, the school will host a day of activities related to women’s rights in the Writing Center.  The goal of this event is to raise awareness about women’s achievements.  There will be student workshops and a continuous reading of noted feminist works, and teachers will bring their classes to participate.

“As a student body, we are all striving to get to the next level, whether that be college or career,” said senior and student coordinator Rachel Ettlinger. “It is important to be prepared for that next step in life by being aware of the gender inequality that has been plaguing our society for generations.”

The goal of this event is to raise awareness. There will be many different student workshops throughout the day.  The workshops will cover body image and language awareness, global feminism, the gender spectrum, and women in the media.  Student coordinators are prsenting video clips, PowerPoints, and articles.

This is the second annual Celebration of Women event.

“I found the Celebration of Women Event in the Writing Center very interesting and it also inspired me to channel my inner woman,” said sophomore  Sammy Bizenov.

Senior Emma Podolsky helped plan last year’s event and gave a presentation about sexism and gender bias.  This year, she will talk about the gender spectrum.

Seniors Amanda Ehren and Michaela Gawley are working on a presentation about global feminism.

“Most people don’t know what’s happening to women in other countries and that women are being treated horribly,” said Ehren.

Ehren and Gawley willl use clips from a documentary titled Half The Sky. 

“We have gotten a lot of suggestions from other teachers in the English department and we are looking for current issues that come up in the newspaper,” said English teacher Dr. Helen Sachs, who is coordinating the event.

Ettlinger is creating a presentation about sexist language and rape culture in the media. She will talk about discriminatory comedy acts, among other things.

Juniors Ana Espinoza and Sabina Unni are planning a presentation about women in the media. It will cover media misrepresentation and feminist celebrities in the entertainment industry, including Beyoncé and Lorde.

Additionally, Espinoza and Unni undertook a project to take pictures of Schreiber students and staff holding signs explaining their beliefs about feminism.

During lunch there will be a continuous reading during which students and teachers will have the opportunity to read feminist works and discuss them.

“This is something universities do and the goal is to hear what women in the past have to say and honor their struggles,” said Dr. Sachs.

They are planning on reading older works by Virginia Woolf and George Eliot and contemporary works by writers like Tiny Fey and Nora Ephron.  Coordinators are looking for students and other volunteers to discuss the works. There may also be some original feminist writings by ESL students.

Ms. Sari Schulman’s Theater Arts class will perform scenes to be analyzed.

Podolsky received a grant from the Port Washington Education Foundation for  the event.  The grant will likely be used to hire a professional speaker to discuss feminism later in the semester.