What happened when these girls put up a poster about feminism is why we need feminism
‘Anti male,’ ‘A joke’ and ‘Hairy’ were just some of the responses
In an effort to spark a conversation with their peers about feminism, a group of girls at Staples High School in Westport, Connecticut put up an exhibit as part of their Women in History class.
The exhibit began as a series of two banners put up in the hallway, the first labeled ‘Feminism Is’, followed by ‘Feminism Isn’t’ a week later. The girls then asked students to leave their own responses about on the interactive banners, expecting and open to a variety of opinions.
“We were really hoping for some positive responses, but of course we expected some negative ones. They’re inevitable with an experiment like this,” Kristina Wasserman, a Staples senior told babe.
Within 30 minutes of the banner labeled ‘Feminism Is’ being put up, the wall was met with negative responses
The girls watched as students left post-it notes which wrote “Not important anymore,” “Something that should exist in the Middle East, not the US” and “Gay as fuck.”
More responses including “A man hating system,” “A problem” and “A cult” were added over the few days the poster was up.
Along the bottom of the banner was a row of beauty projects which asked girls to choose how many beauty products they had used that day, which someone squirted lotion all over.
The exhibit was called “a waste of paper,” “a bad idea” and “bullshit,” and was taken down four days later.
“It got to the point where it was no longer appropriate,” said Kristina.
The wall was replaced with a second banner labeled ‘Feminism Isn’t’
This time the entire wall was covered with memes and post-its that read “Not Danny Devito.”
Some of the few responses to ‘Feminism Isn’t’ not referencing the famous actor were “Good,” “Relevant” and “Smart.”
The hate their banners received didn’t let the girls down, but rather sparked the need to address the wider problem in their community.
Among all the negativity, the girls’ exhibit did receive some positive responses, but they were largely overshadowed. It was the positive feedback, however, that made them keep their project going.
The girls realized the negative responses on the first two banners were due to the fact most students don’t really know what feminism is. So they started ‘Project F’ to educate their school on gender issues.
“I think I speak for many of the young women in my class when I say that we’ve experienced great sexism in our school setting, and we won’t tolerate it, we want to change that” Kristina told babe.
The next phase of the project started by putting up a third banner which said ‘If feminism is the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes, then why…
Instead of the wall remaining interactive, the girls filled it with their own post-its and feminist memes.
“If feminism is the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes, then why…”
“…is a female called ‘bossy’ instead of the boss?”
“…is a women raped every two minutes in the US?”
“…is the erectile dysfunction market four times greater than that of maternal healthcare in less fortunate countries?”
“…do men go to jail longer for fraud than they do for rape?”
Students still tried to vandalize the third poster, but were stopped before they could.
The girls also put up an opinion wall, where they stated why they are feminists, as well as a collection of famous celebrities who are proud feminists.
Kristina told babe that even though their first two banners were vandalized, they noticed students had already started a conversation about equality, whether that was through positive post-it notes in response to the negative ones, or in person.
The girls are hoping to continue Project F over the summer through their Facebook page, and while most of them are seniors and will be graduating soon, they have already passed the project on to rising juniors.
“We want to start small by getting people in our school community talking in the hope it has a positive effect on a larger scale.”
You can check out the Project F Facebook page here.
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