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The County Chronicle

The County Chronicle

Women and gender studies: end of the year review

As the school year begins to wrap up, so do the classes at LCHS; one of which being Women’s Studies. This year was the first time the class has been conducted, despite other high schools within Loudoun County offering the class in recent years.

The newly introduced course outlines basic principles regarding women and gender studies. As an elective, it fills in the informational gaps for students as an addition to the material they cover in their required Social Science classes. In the course, students have the opportunity to take part in intellectual class discussions to dissect how current societal systems put in place ignore or erase the needs and concerns of women.

Women’s Studies teacher Caitlin McAteer describes the intention of the course as “a way we want to take education in a new direction,” which she calls, “more realistic.”

McAteer has had a long history with the feminist movement and has taken an active role in speaking up against the inequalities being placed upon women and other marginalized groups. She grew up in a household raised by a feminist mother and a father who was virtually unfazed by gender roles, shaping McAteer into the advocate that she proudly is today. “I saw a need here, and I thought it was important to do it,” she said.

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“It was startling to me as a kid to find out that in other families, that wasn’t the case,” she said. “You don’t know what we could accomplish if everybody had equal power and equal voice.”

Unfortunately, Women’s Studies will not be conducted in the next school year, due to low enrollment numbers partially as a result of the school’s attendance rezoning, but it can still be offered in future years.

“If you want to know why these rights are being stripped away, and why it’s really important to have them, this would be the class to take,” McAteer said. “We have the opportunity in a safe space to talk about the things that are happening contemporarily in politics and how that directly impacts our student body.”

Many of the students who had signed up for the course had gone in with the expectation of a twist on your average history class, focusing on historic women and how they shaped our world. Senior Amber Owens was pleasantly surprised with the reality of the curriculum.

“We did learn about older history, but brought it into real-life issues that we have to deal with today,” wrote Owens, “It showed issues that I didn’t even think about.”


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About the Contributor
Alexis Shugars
Alexis Shugars, staff writer
Alexis Shugars is a reporter for The County Chronicle, who’s interested in writing about a variety of topics. This is her first year writing for the LCHS Newspaper. In her free time, she enjoys playing her two dogs and painting.

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