Women of West Club

Briannon Bailey, Reporter

The Women of West Club is West High’s very own women’s empowerment club. It helps fortify confidence for females transitioning into college and their adult life. The club was originally only for seniors and was created to prepare and inform the club members about what it’s like to live in a male-dominated world in modern society.

Women of West was then opened up to juniors to be more inclusive of grades and opinions. The club was originally started by West counselor Judy Friar, about a decade ago. She was the sponsor of the club until she ultimately retired in 2016.

English teacher Rachel Kittoe started sponsoring Women of West in 2011 because of her own personal experiences. “I’ve always been a feminist; I remember in college being kind of annoyed because I was an English major and the only times I could find books that my professors suggested for us to read that were by a woman was if I took Women’s Studies,” Kittoe said.

Women of West is a diverse and inclusive club; the reason they don’t allow men to join the club is that years prior they have had boys come and try to join the club and it didn’t end well. “They just wanted to join to tell us feminism isn’t real,” Kittoe said.

Women of West hosts the occasional fundraiser and most of the proceeds to go to create their merchandise. This spring they’ll be hosting self-defense classes for females. In Women of West, students get help transitioning into adult life, being surrounded by strong and empowered females sharing their opinions and reflecting on others’ opinions.

Emily Ogilvie-Fiacco, a junior member of Women of West, says, “Although a lot of people have been saying females and men are equal in the modern world because of how much feminism has progressed, there’s still a lot of differences and inequalities between the two. Our society is so very patriarchal and it’s so very controlled by men and their stereotypes and I think that that it’s something that needs to be changed.”

Another outstanding member of Women of West is senior member Natalie Fraser. Fraser is one of Women of West’s more involved members and she’s someone who’s always advocated for women’s empowerment.

“Women’s Empowerment is cool but often it stops short of equality. We’re saying we want females to feel strong and capable but we’re not going to step on men’s toes to do so. I actually think that true women empowerment comes at the price of making people uncomfortable,” Fraser explains.

Ogilvie-Fiacco and Fraser’s sophisticated and insightful views of feminism show the kind of people involved in the club. Women of West meets every other Wednesday in Kittoe’s room, 13.

No formal registration is needed; all you need to do is show up with an open mind.