By Chloe Hartzell
There’s a new club redefining what it means to be a girl on this campus. “Girl Up” is a global initiative founded in 2010 by the United Nations with the mission to empower and give girls knowledge and resources to start a social change. According to “Girl Up” president, Claudia Robinson, Madison’s chapter of Girl Up lives by the principles of “honesty, compassion, and taking action.” The mission of our school’s “Girl Up” is to take back stereotypically feminine traits (ie: sensitivity, and caregiving positions), embrace what it means to be a girl, and learn to appreciate the roles that are often looked down upon in our society.
At Madison, members of “Girl Up” have the opportunity to attend multiple community services events such as the upcoming JDRF walk for diabetes and the annual Women’s March that takes place in January. At a regular “Girl Up” meeting, members can expect to participate in meaningful discussions regarding gender and social issues, do arts and crafts, and brainstorm ways to help our community. Most important of all, “Girl Up” members can expect to form meaningful bonds with fellow girls and allies at our school they maybe wouldn’t have otherwise.
After talking with Robinson, it was clear that “Girl Up” was a genuinely inclusive place for all genders and mindsets. Yes, boys, this means you can join too.
Robinson encourages anyone interested in intersectional feminism to join, but she doesn’t stop there. She goes on to state “If you’re not interested in feminism please stop by anyway so we can learn from each other.” After all, embracing the “feminine” traits of empathy, compassion, and sensitivity can greatly benefit anyone regardless of our differences.
Joining “Girl Up” is different from other groups and organizations, in that it doesn’t cater to one grade or one interest. Whether you’re into math or sports, if you’re a freshman or senior, if you have low grades or niche hobbies, all “Girl Up” members are bonded by their desire for change in a world that’s slow to catch up. “Girl Up” is a club pushing boundaries on our campus and asking students to question the societal norm while simultaneously embracing what it means to be a girl.
If community service, fun, and dynamic discussions interest you stop by any Wednesday afternoon at 4:25 in Mr. Avila’s room (M101).