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Mary Lou Murillo, 12

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   I joined Eyes Open last year because in the English 11 S.J.A. class,we had spring project; for the project I went to “The Vagina Monologues.” After I went to the monologues, I came back and heard the feminist club was doing their own version of the show. I then decided to participate in it. At that time, I wasn’t a part of the club but after the monologues I kept coming to the meetings. The club really interested me, and this year I was asked to be a part of it. I knew I wanted to be a feminist because feminists are really open about what it means to be a woman.

      Before joining the club, I didn’t know about the feminist community. I knew about the first waves of feminism, but it never really interested me until I saw “The Vagina Monologues.”

   The show is a group of ladies reciting monologues expressing female sexuality. The topic is considered inappropriate, so I thought it was cool that the women got up there and expressed everything related to the subject. There are monologues about things like orgasms, and other monologues that are about the darker sides of female sexuality, like rape.

   I personally don’t like using the word “feminist” because I feel that it is very biased towards women. I feel that feminism is more of a gender equality thing including men and the trans community, so I feel like the word is used to put every gender on an equal spectrum. That’s why this year we completed a very colorful mural signifying the LGBTQIA community.

   I think because there are extremists that give a bad view on the general idea of feminism. I think men are also iffy about it because “feminine” is in the word, so it’s why I try to refrain from using that word.

   A lot of girls are kind of shy about having a period, when there’s nothing they can do about it. I know a lot of younger girls get uncomfortable when they start growing breasts; they shouldn’t feel that way.  I feel that girls, especially younger girls when they’re growing are poorly  taught about what they are becoming. I know in a lot of places it is wrong to use a tampon because you’ll “lose your virginity” and “never be allowed to get married” since “no husband is going to want you.” There is a lot of negativity towards being a woman and it shouldn’t be like that.

    I know a lot of people who don’t see discrimination among genders. Some say “Well, we are treated equally: women can work anywhere and men can work anywhere, too.” They refuse to see the pay gap or acknowledge the pay gap. I think those people truly believe there is an equal gender spectrum because they are treated equally, but others aren’t . But you don’t have to be a girl to be a feminist.

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Mary Lou Murillo, 12