Annie Rubinson, Blogger

In my previous feature on Next Generation Politics, Senior Amanda Taylor stated that “politics affect your life in every way possible.” However, as students of a highly progressive, liberal school, many among the Masters community opt to ‘stay out of politics’ after engaging in heated debates surrounding the Trump election. GALs, the intersectional feminist club at Masters, provides an outlet for students to voice opinions, spread awareness, and help members develop a more personal relationship with current events regarding gender inequality.

        Sophomore Nora Fellas, Co-President of GALs, describes the club as “a way for us to take the issues that are going on in our world on a larger scale, and connect them to our lives as high schoolers.” Fellas, along with Co-President Jackson Stanich and Secretary Campbell Ives, aims to strategize ways to “raise awareness surrounding feminism and intersectionality in general.”

GALs meets on Fridays during lunch, and welcomes students of all grades and genders to participate in roundtable discussions centered around particular issues in current events, as well as points of controversy within the school.

        GALs emphasizes the importance of acknowledging the connection between politics and our own life experiences. “I think that most women have faced sexism, even in our short lives,” Fellas said. In each meeting, members are encouraged to share stories about personal encounters with sexism–she hopes that this helps to provide students with a sense of belonging, by showing them that many members of the school community have been through similar experiences as them.

In addition to hosting open discussions, GALs looks for ways to support oppressed women worldwide. Fellas explained that the group is planning on having a bake sale to raise money for Planned Parenthood, an organization that is known for providing healthcare for women. They are also discussing the #MeToo Campaign, an online movement that spreads awareness about sexual assault. Although many GALs discussions touch on subjects that may play a bigger role in students’ lives after they’ve graduated, Fellas highlights that it’s never too early to get involved.

Politics find their way into many aspects of Masters, both in and out of the classroom. However, despite the social awareness of the School, many students decide to tune out of political conversations.

“In light of the political drama that was seeping into Harkness discussions, the administration wanted to make sure we were being mindful of everybody’s opinions, which is important, but I think this discouraged teachers and students from bringing up politics around the Harkness table,” Fellas said. “It’s always good to discuss things to gain a better understanding,” she added.

Feminism doesn’t only concern politics–prejudice can present itself in any and all aspects our lives. In addition to planning an interactive presentation showcasing the realities of sexism and sexual abuse, GALs is currently collaborating with Music Appreciation Club to discuss the negative portrayal of women in songs, specifically regarding objectification and sexual slurs.