Trying to start a feminist club

Recently I decided to start a feminist club at my high school. I decided to do this after the following incident;

I was suffering from severe clinical depression. As is often so with clinical depression, I wanted to kill myself. Not knowing who to turn to, I called the children’s helpline. I was having difficulties with my bi-polar mother at the time. I told the man on the phone that she hit me, locked me in rooms, screamed swearwords across the house, etc. He said that “that sounds like a typical woman.” He then proceeded to try to convince me not to go to university, and that I should instead focus on “marrying young and trying to be a good wife.” When I said that that was very disrespectful, he angrily said that he hoped I would end up a bitch like my mother because “women always do.” Then he hung up the phone, saying that if I killed myself it would be “one less woman for men to deal with”.

It broke my heart. I told a few people, but no one believed me. The only people who understood were my feminist teacher and my pro-feminist dad. I realized then that misogyny is more rampant and more serious than I previously thought. So a few weeks after this incident, I went to the principal’s office and asked if I could start a feminist group at our school. Our school has many rights groups; gay, muslim, black, etc, but surprisingly does not have a women’s rights group. So the principal sent me to the teacher that was in charge of managing all the clubs and associations in our school. If you want to start a group, you have to get his approval.

I told him I wanted to start a feminist group and he said, “No,” because apparently we would do nothing but “man-bashing”. I told him feminists don’t hate men, only misogynists. He didn’t believe me. He said that misogyny isn’t “that bad” and “it’s not like anyone’s ever died for being a woman.” Again, a misogynist plays the misandry card against feminists.  So the feminist club was a no-go.

I think the key to eliminating anti-feminism is education because it is, like all prejudice, borne of ignorance. That’s what I wanted to use the club for- to educate the kids at my school. One of the kids in my school didn’t even know what a feminist was. Another said, “Feminists? Aren’t they those crazy girls that are always burning their bras?” {Epic facepalm}. I have absolutely no clue what to do now that this idea has been turned down. Do I go back there again and repeat my demand? Pass around a petition? Do I take it to the principal? The school board? I definitely want to try again in the fall, but I’m not sure how. Ideas?

Disclaimer: This post was written by a Feministing Community user and does not necessarily reflect the views of any Feministing columnist, editor, or executive director.

Join the Conversation