Feminist Activism Club promotes gender equality, raises awareness

Feminist Activism Club promotes gender equality, raises awareness

Pointing animatedly at the screen, Angelo Nickele leads a meeting for Feminist Activism Club (FAC). FAC meets on Wednesdays after school and works toward promoting gender equality.

Bianca Vanciu, staff reporter

GBS students and teachers worked together to start a new after school club called Feminist Activism Club (FAC). According to English teacher Annie Chiado, the club focuses on raising awareness of importance of equality for genders.

“Right now the focus is on the feminism issue rather than just focusing on the organization,” Chiado said.

FAC was created by merging two clubs together, according to FAC Leader Angelo Nickele. The National Organization for Women (NOW) Club and the Feminist Club were both created at the beginning of the school year, only to be combined to make the FAC.

“Over the summer I went to a camp and I had the President of National Organization for Women speak and that inspired me to go out and create the club,” Nickele said.

Chiado worked together with English teacher Kathleen Kinsella, alternating attending meetings each week. Both have children at home, making it difficult to commit to the club without another teacher’s help, Chiado says.

“And since this is my first year teaching here I thought this would be a good way for me to branch out of the classroom and be a better, a bigger part of the Glenbrook South community,” Chiado said.

The club’s first priority was to raise awareness in the community first, before anything else, according to Nickele. It later hopes to eventually reach out and make a difference in the country.

“I think [we need to] focus on our community here and depending on issues, events that occur nationally, responding to certain events with petitions to send to the government, writing Congressmen or local people and then just interacting with people to promote feminism,” Nickele said.

According to Chiado, the club also had plans to include the whole school. The club had hopes to raise awareness to as many students and staff as they can in GBS by having them interact with each other. A high hope for the club is that people at South would also learn from this experience,

“I think we’re going to do something with Post-its, [asking people] why [they] need feminism,” Chiado said.

According to Chiado, some people at GBS misunderstand what feminism is. FAC wants to make it clear what feminism is and isn’t.

“[We want to have] some sort of poster campaign or something, like signs in the bathroom, saying what feminism isn’t,” Chiado said.

There was much confusion when it came to defining feminism. According to Chiado, feminism is not man-hating, which many people believe it is.

“In the simplest terms, it’s equality of the genders,” Chiado said.

She is proud of what the leaders have done for the club, Chiado explained. According to Chiado, the teachers are just the adults in the room, but the students are taking the lead, being organized and thoughtful.

“It’s a hard issue to tackle, especially in high school communities, so I think there is a lot of courage there too, so they should be committed to that,” Chiado said.

As a believer in equality of all people, Nickele went ahead and started the club, his gender not an obstacle. According to Nickele, he was inspired to start this club and he has goals for it, promoting feminism and raising awareness being two of the main ones.

“It means making a difference in the lives of everybody in the community and standing up against sexism and patriarchal developments structured in this society,” Nickele said.