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S/HE: EC’s First Gender Equality Club

While on her morning commute to her internship at DigBoston this past summer, Danielle Olsen’ ‘13 noticed how much harassment young women receive while walking on the streets and on public transit. For Olsen, the commute was a nightmare with comments following her like, “Hey baby you lookin’ real good… What? It’s a just compliment.”  If you are a woman living in the city chances are you may have also heard similar things shouted at you while walking down the street.

“What really stood out to me was that I didn’t know how to deal with it, ” Olsen said. “At first I ignored it, but then I’d get called a name for not responding. So then I started half heatedly smiling and saying ‘thank you,’ but that didn’t feel right either.”

This treatment had become so frequent that Olsen started keeping a log of what people said to her.

“I think it would have been a lot easier for me if I had a place I felt safe going to or a resource on the correct way to deal with street harassment,” she said.

Her experiences with street harassment made her wonder how many other women had ever felt unsafe or wanted to talk about their own experiences with cat-calling and harassment.

This inspired her to stick it to the patriarchy and start a new club called S/HE.

S/HE is EC’s first gender equality group.

“Emmanuel is filled with powerful women and was built by powerful women,” says executive president Olsen, “so it surprised me that we don’t have a group here dedicated to having educated conversation about women’s gender issues and spreading awareness about gender equality.”

Although the club is still in its infancy, there has already been a very high interest throughout the women’s studies program and across campus. Olsen says the club would like to hold campus wide events such as documentary showings, and presentations featuring guest speakers.  There is also the possibility of a feminist book club, with help from assistant professor of Psychology, Dr. Clare Mehta.

Her most interesting idea comes in the tempting form of baked goods.

“I have one specific idea in mind which is a Gender Equality Bake Sale. The Equality Bake Sale demonstrates the gendered wage gap in the workplace. On average, women make $0.77 per dollar that men make in the same position, where both have equal qualifications, credentials, and experience. To simulate the gendered wage gap, men will pay 25% more than woman for baked goods. Since we asked for a spring budget from the SGA, I would hope to donate the proceeds to a woman’s organization” says Olsen.

The club will be holding its first meeting Thursday November 21, from 5-6 pm in the WSC, room 110. S/HE is open to both men and women and will definitely be a club to watch here at EC.

Posted by on November 15, 2013. Filed under Around Campus,Clubs & Organizations. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.