The clever wordplay in the Femtastic Team’s name, conceals a serious club beneath the surface. They are a newly established group that already has a many members. Their flyers have been posted in many places around the school, such stairwells, hallways, and the cafegymatorium. Further, the founders Riya Saha ’17, Isabelle Mah ’17, and Caitlin Tsang ’17, sent out an email to further inform us about this recondite club. As a result, on the day the club started, many people flocked to room 300. Caitlin, Isabelle, and Riya, proved willing to share information about their femtastic team via email.
Why was the club designed?
We wanted to combine our passions for women’s rights, education, and service. Therefore we established this club to address all these issues while having some fun with fundraising and blogging.
We also felt that by making a club, we could turn the BSGE community’s attention toward an issue that could affect all of us. Denying a woman her right to an education limits her ability to change her situation. Most specifically, a quality education can decrease the number of child marriages and HIV/AIDS infections, increase her salary and family income, and empower her. Frankly, there is not enough discussion or attention to the cause. Unfortunately, people have misunderstood that this club is only for women but that is plainly false as this issue significantly impacts men as well.
We also wanted to make a point that we wanted to call our club the Femtastic Team (emphasis on the team) because achieving our goals will require a team effort. Our club is very welcoming and friendly and love to hear the creative ideas that our team members give. We hope to gather as many people as we can to fight for this cause together because everyone should care about our future.
This is a club for BSGE. We find that our school needs to change from complaining about the overwhelming workload to understanding and appreciating that we have equal access to a quality education here while others do not get that privilege.
What do you hope this club will grow into?
Most importantly, we hope that the members in our club grow, in terms of leadership skills, taking action, and in creativity. We plan to have creative fundraisers that not only raise awareness for women’s rights to education, but to also change BSGE’s usual stereotypes of fundraising through only bake sales. We also hope that our club members can use our blog, femtasticsite.wordpress.com, as a creative outlet to express gender equality. We want this to be a space where you can feel free to express your opinions, regardless of gender expression, and come together to help raise awareness through creative means such as writing or photography.
How do people in your club make their voices heard?
In this club, we highly value our members’ opinions, and try to adjust our club to your strengths, weaknesses, and your interests in the club. For example, if you like blogging, then we will try to incorporate more blog activities into our club activities. There is also the opportunity to ‘make your voice heard’ by possibly holding fundraisers that YOU create and think of. You have the chance to make your ideas come to life!
What do you want your members to gain from joining your club?
The Femtastic Team wants our members to have fun, learn more about women’s rights, and be grateful for the privileges we have because of the education we have access to. We want to address this by helping other disadvantaged people gain access to education too.
We also hope members will gain a sense of community within our team. This is a free and open space where everyone is entitled to voice their opinions on certain events happening today or ideas for fundraising. We want members to feel that their voice matters. Some people are afraid to call themselves “feminists” as they might be made fun of or people may draw conclusions about your opinions on shaved legs. Though this is not technically a “feminist club,” it is important that we discuss a little bit about our opinions on the sexism or bigotry rooted in our system. This can lead to a share of personal experiences and we hope our club will evolve into a safe space where people can speak about women’s rights and feminism easily while making close friends.
What are your goals and how will you accomplish them?
Our aim is to raise awareness about the importance and impact of women’s rights to a quality education and educate people about the current events/issues that are happening today through blogging. By doing so, we hope to prompt others to join our cause and make change.
We are currently trying to raise money for the Malala Fund in order to help girls gain access to education.
Our next goal will be to hold a drive for female hygiene products, girls’ underwear (girl’s size 10-14), and hotel soap bars. It is incredibly important that women have access to pads because girls who do not have these necessities may have to stay home during the duration of their period, causing them to miss about a week of school every month, negatively impacting their education. We plan to donate to an organization called Days For Girls who make feminine hygiene product kits and distributes them to women in poor regions of the world.
For more info about the Days For Girls organization that we will be working with, go to http://www.daysforgirls.org/
We hope to accomplish this through original fundraisers, the occasional bake sale, and school events.
To raise awareness, the blog provides millions of people with information about women’s education in which we hope will gain their attention.
Who do you want this club to attract?
Honestly, anyone who has a passion to make a positive change. We want this club to attract people who share an interest in women’s rights, rights to education, or just has an interest in human rights overall. We want to attract people who are looking for a creative outlet. We are aware that the term ‘feminist’ can have misunderstood meanings, and obviously, the club is not only limited for ladies. Freeing the access to a quality education will impact everyone— woman or man.
What obstacles do you think you will face in the future?
A big obstacle that we are facing right now is the lack of members. We feel that with a larger club, we can organize larger and more elaborate events for out school.
Why do you think people joined your club?
Many people joined our club because they all share an interest in women’s rights, and are willing to help out our local and international communities. Plus, they were probably enticed by our offer of candy and snacks.
If there was someone who was debating whether to join your club or not, what would you say to convince them to join?
Try it out, the Femtastic Team will always welcome a new member, and if you have any remote interest in women’s rights, don’t be afraid to join! If you don’t like it, we won’t pressure you to keep on coming. The Femtastic team is a platform where you can express your ideas and viewpoint without fear of being judged.
This is also the chance for someone to make a difference that will truly affect you, everyone else, and also the future. Also there will be candy and snacks!
The Femtastic Team has a strong purpose to help underprivileged women and the founders have much hope into what will become of their club. They want to give more attention to those who are not as privileged as we are. If you have become interested in joining their club, they meet every Tuesday in room 300 at 2:30. They hope to see some new faces!