Kenneth Edison & Stefan Carlson
Managing Editor & Photo Editor
In observance of International Women’s Day, both male and female members of the EC community met in the library cafe to discuss the importance of women’s issues in society on March 8.
The gathering was organized in lieu of participating in the Day Without Women strike where women collectively did not go into work for a day to demonstrate the importance of women in everyday life.
Philosophy chair Katrina Sifferd explained the rationale behind hosting the discussion rather than not coming into work.
“I really respect all the women who had the opportunity to fully participate in the strike today and not spend moneyand not go to work, we tossed around the idea and we decided that not teaching our classes today probably wouldn’t be the best way to support the spirit of the day,” Siffered said. “But we wanted to show our support for the cause by wearing red to show our support and signal to the college at large the importance of having a day that highlights the role of women, which is often invisible.”
Director of the library Susan Swords-Steffan explained the tradition of wearing red is a homage to the roots of International Women’s Day which began as a part of the Labor Movement in the 1900s.
EC Senior Nicole Suhm, who is organizing an EC Feminists group, explained the importance of forming a collective group to voice the concerns pertinent to women in this political climate.
“We started a Facebook group around January because after the election a lot of us felt really scared,” she said. “And it was really important to us the day after the election to go to class and listen to professors words of comfort and things that we can do to make a difference. We’re college students, we don’t have a lot of money and we don’t have a lot of time, but we wanted to be sure to support each other.”
EC Junior Jonathan Alfonseca was one of the few men in attendance, though he argued that men always have a place at events meant to empower women.
“For me, it’s kind of like a no brainer to come to these kind of events,” Alfonseca said. “It’s basically just a question of whether or not you support human beings. And for me that’s a yes. So that’s why I’m here.”
Suhm would later explain that President Trump’s attitude regarding women was a major cause of concern that sparked the creation of the Feminist club.
“Being a woman in this kind of political climate where we just elected a president who has openly talked about sexually assaulting women, it’s a really scary time,” she said. “So it’s important for women and their allies to all get together and show their support.”