Stigma No More: Milton’s New Gender Equality Magazine
by The Milton Measure on Friday, April 24th, 2015
This winter, students were presented with Milton’s newest magazine: The F-Word. Created by Lyla Nulisch (II), Michaela Olson (II), and Juliet Pesner (II), the magazine addresses current events pertaining to gender equality on and off campus, through mediums such as opinion pieces, photographs, poems, and prose. According to Michaela, she and Lyla, members of SAGE (Students Advocating Gender Equality) for the past two years, attended a feminism conference this past summer with Ms. Engstrom. They were inspired by the initiatives of students from other schools to raise awareness about gender equality in their communities. Believing that there was a great deal of room for improvement at Milton in this regard, Lyla, Juliet, and Michaela wanted to take what they learned from the conference back to school to promote some real change. They thought that a publication would be the best way to reach the Milton community, and thus, The F-Word was born. Despite some push back from the administration about parts of The F-Word, the three editors successfully published their first issue in March.
It seems as though the most distinctive feature of the magazine is how well it relates issues of gender equality throughout the world back to Milton and its students. The magazine accomplishes this close relationship through articles like “The Gender Question at Milton: A History,” which traces the roots of gender separation and inequality at Milton Academy. When asked about her reaction to the magazine, Claudia Chung (III) enthused that what she appreciated most was how it explored a variety of topics ranging from celebrities to distinct opinion pieces in order to keep the subject matter interesting. The magazine itself was received well by the Milton community as a productive method of promoting gender equality.
Lyla summarized that the mission of the magazine is “to raise awareness about the true definition of feminism—a belief in creating equality among all genders—and to promote support for feminist issues.” It isn’t surprising to hear Lyla underline this definition for us, since the word feminism battles many misunderstandings, one of them being that fighting for women’s rights is an exclusively female movement and not a movement for the betterment of all genders. As stated in The F-Word, there are plenty of well-known male celebrities that identify as feminists–including Andrew Garfield and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. That being said, a feminist is someone advocating for gender equality, not female superiority.
Though the F-Word team has encountered some challenges with the administration regarding funding and clearance to publish, it has also received many supportive responses from the student body, thus strengthening the publication’s motivation to produce more editions. In their future issues, the editors hope to receive more submissions from male members of the community in order to have more and a greater variety of voices represented.
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