By Valentina Marmolejo
The Feminist Book Club (FBC) preparing for its first semester at County College of Morris hopes to unite people with common interests and create a safe space for an open discussion.
“We just wanted to bring a group of like minded people together and we all like books so we just thought it would be a good way to do it.” said Chloe Smith, liberal arts major and president of FBC.
When it comes to the books, Smith and Vice President Rachael Work hope to use the broadest meaning of the word feminist: equality of the sexes. Wanting to expand from classic male and female roles, Smith and Work wanted to make sure that the books represented all genders on the spectrum.
They have chosen books like “She’s Come Undone,” “Mrs. Dalloway,” “Frankenstein,” and “The Awakening,” as well as a few children’s books and short stories that have recently come out that question gender norms.
“People asked us at the fair, ‘Why not just a feminist club? Why not just a book club?’,” Work said. “It wouldn’t be truthful if we picked one or the other, because it’s not just a book club, and it wouldn’t be just a feminist club. We needed something that would keep things moving, to not get anyone into a rut.”
Work said she thinks it will allow people to more fully express their feelings about a piece if they can identify with the characters or situations.
“You can talk about all these issues without having to be the center of attention at that moment, so it was a great way to bring light into everything and get people to talk. ” Work said.
Smith said she wants the meetings to be an open discussion where different opinions can be voiced.
“It’s not going to be the kind of thing where we’re schooling anybody, because I’m sure everybody has so much to bring to the table, and we’re really looking forward to that, because there’s so much other people get from books that we probably haven’t even thought about as we read,” Smith said. “That’s what’s going to be so fun about having these discussions.”
While it is too soon to say how successful the club is yet, the current social climate may lend a hand to its popularity.
“I think they probably will be popular, because I think a lot of the stuff in the political world will pique people’s interest with like women’s rights and what not.” said Nina Thoguluva, biology major at CCM. “I think that’s like a new wave of interest, like feminism as a whole.”
The officers for the FBC can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.