Feminism | Posted by Diane A on 10/2/2009

Homecoming Week Montgomery Blair High School Style

My name is Diane A, and I lead the Women’s Advocacy Group at Montgomery Blair High School in Silver Spring Maryland. One of our most active members, Nellie B, is already a contributor to the f-bomb.

Nellie & Diane Your Body

Diane and Nellie B - Group Members

These are some photographs of the hallway Women’s Advocacy decorated for our school’s Homecoming week. Our decorations didn’t exactly fit into the designated “Las Vegas” theme, but they definitely caused a stir. I gathered facts from articles and organizations, and my club sponsor printed out a list of feminist quotes. At our first meeting, members spread out along the hallway and picked the facts and quotes they found most personally relevent, and wrote them on big pieces of colorful construction paper. We arranged these posters, along with other cutouts and symbols, to create a sort of mosaic.

Students and staff reacted well to the hallway, and within a few days our facebook group had ten additional members!  Little groups would gather between classes to read all the posters, and I heard a lot of people say things like, “Wow I had no idea.” This hallway represents one aspect of our group’s mission to make sure “feminism” is not a dirty word in our high school. Plus, in the first few days no posters were torn down and there was only one act of vandalism, which is definitely a record!

Wo.Adv.Gr.

WomensAdvGroup

W.Adv.Gr.

Cristina...sideways, but still awesome.

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  • Maria D @ at 12:30 pm, October 2nd, 2009

    Congratulations!! It’s really sad how few people know what feminism is really about. All they think about are the smear campaigns people put up against them. If you haven’t already seen it, there’s this really great movie called Iron Jaw Angels. Hilary Swank was in it and it’s about the suffragettes. I showed it to some of my friends and they never knew that women had gone to prison for the right to vote.

  • CJ @ at 12:59 pm, October 2nd, 2009

    How wonderful! I would have loved to have seen something like this at my old high school, or at any that I have taught at for that matter. Can you post a slideshow of the posters?

    Also, I second the Iron-Jawed Angels recommendation. The parade scene is my favorite. I used to show this movie in the classroom to balance out the “Woodrow Wilson can do no wrong” rhetoric in most US History textbooks. Then we’d talk about Birth of a Nation, too.

  • Kelsey @ at 2:47 am, October 3rd, 2009

    Ladies, this is awesome. It is so wonderful to see roots planted in the high school atmosphere. So many young women will benefit from you actions even if you, or they, don’t know it yet. As a fellow feminist I commend your work!!!

  • RebJ @ at 9:42 am, October 3rd, 2009

    This is SO GREAT to hear right now, especially since my school is going through “homecoming week” right now–including all the sexist, ridiculous, border-line misogynistic traditions that it implies. I feel like feminism is totally dead in my school now, and it is so refreshing and uplifting to see these pictures. I applaud your efforts!

  • Amy CT @ at 4:29 pm, October 3rd, 2009

    As a Brit, I have no idea what home-coming is (although if anyone fancies explainging, I would be very grateful!), but I still think that this kind of thing should be endorsed by all schools.

    I go to a very liberal school (my history teacher has “The Encyclopedia of Feminism” on her desk), and because so many of the girls are openly feminist (that makes it sound bad, right?), the guys get a kick out of riling us.

    I think any High School would benefit from this sort of thing.

  • Sheridan @ at 7:27 pm, October 3rd, 2009

    These are some great posters.
    I applaud you for your efforts to bring gender equality to your high school! As a sophomore at public school, I see how bad the majority of teenage boys’ attitudes are towards women, and how much this effects the young ladies who surround them. This is a great idea.

  • Toongrrl(formerly known as Jess) @ at 2:53 pm, October 4th, 2009

    I love the blue girl.
    @Sheridan
    I am still glad I’m out of high school, speaking of teen misogyny.

  • Shoshana @ at 5:53 pm, October 6th, 2009

    HEY DIANE
    So I actually live in your area and go to BCC high school (do you know Sara Gregerman?). BCC had never had a feminist club until this year and actually I started it with a couple other friends. We have a few ideas on what we want to do such as volunteering at a women’s shelter, rallies/protests, and discussing women’s issue, we are also going to the Equality March on the mall October 11 (do you know about it?). I was just wondering if you had any tips? or things you like to do at your meetings. It would be such a help as we’re a little overwhelmed because we had such a fabulous response of interested people at our activities fair. please e-mail me if you could: shoshana.m.erlich@gmail.com
    Thank you so much and i send my best wishes to the Women’s Advocacy Group from the Feminist Club of BCC.

  • Sara @ at 9:26 pm, October 12th, 2009

    I went to Montgomery Blair (wow, was it really 6 years ago that I graduated?), and I’m thrilled to see that there’s now a Women’s Advocacy Group! I remember MBHS being progressive (you’d have to be in Silver Spring!), but those ideals were constantly running up against the ordinary bigotry and ignorance of teenagers. From a MBHS alum, rock on!

  • Kerry @ at 1:47 am, October 13th, 2009

    I’m thrilled that Blair has a Women’s Advocacy Group! I graduated five years ago and I haven’t really kept up with things there (I live in CA now), so I’m glad to see students still care about these issues and that you girls are being proactive.

  • Lizzie @ at 12:36 am, October 14th, 2009

    I am 27 and went to an all girl highschool. It never occurred to lots of my contemporaries that women could not be leaders. So we got arrogant and assumed the whole world was like that. Then we got to college and had tutors who treated men like their equals and us like novelties. And then the workplace, and for many it got worse (not me thank God – my colleagues are all awesome and have an equalist, meritocratic mindset).

    Therefore I think what Nellie B is doing is particularly praiseworthy, because it will give her contemporaries arguments and armor against discrimination BEFORE they most need it – you may need it in school but not as much as you will when instead of an SAT score that is unarguably earned, it’s a salary that MAY be priced based on your gender. By preempting the problem you prevent it ever becoming as severe. I salute you.

    I must encourage you, however, to be sure that you bring boys into your group and discuss your goals with them. Show them the numbers; the infant deaths, the illiteracy, the rapes, the loneliness (male and female), the unsafe abortions, the poverty, the rampant disease, the drug use, the trafficking, the geniuses of both sexes trapped in the lives of simpletons, the wars, the terrorism – all things that grossly unequal, patriarchal societies cause. Show them that you cannot protest the dictator who oppresses you if you then go home and oppress your wife, because you have made his argument for him. Show them that the husbands/boyfriends of feminists and educated women have more and better sex (it’s true; look it up!), earn more money, live longer, have more educated and healthier children, and self-report that they are happier. Show them that owning 99% of a patriarchal world will leave them poorer than owning 50% of an equal one. They are your best allies; remember that.

  • kt @ at 9:51 am, October 14th, 2009

    i am so thrilled that you’re doing this! i’m 25 and i work with high school students doing dating abuse prevention work, and i would LOVE LOVE LOVE to see more of this happening. you rock!

  • Staci @ at 2:35 pm, November 9th, 2009

    Thank your for your research.

  • Violet Okie @ at 10:43 am, May 6th, 2010

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  • Jacob K @ at 6:11 am, October 4th, 2013

    Honestly, Its good you’re trying to empower women, but Homecoming is tradition, so is the dancing, Im not saying we have to dance how we do but its not like the women are forced to dance that way, and I always thought homecoming was for teenagers to have their first , in a sense interaction with women, so trying to change the homecoming dance is just what I would say not benefiting anyone. Like I said before, if people at homecoming want to dance they way they do, don’t try to change them just let them be who they are for one night.

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