By Moa Golster
The student club Do Something! will organize a “Feminist Bake Sale” in Hillwood Commons during common hour on March 3. Men will be charged $1 and women 75 cents to represent the wage gap in America. All proceeds will be donated to the Suffolk County Coalition Against Domestic Violence.
“The reason for the bake sale is to shed light on the problems that women still face today,” said Nicole Balnis, a sophomore Social Work major, and president of Do Something! “Women are still not paid or held in the same regard as men,” Balnis added.
Do Something! is the largest non-profit organization for youths and social change in the U.S., with 2.5 million members, according to its website. They strive for young people to make social change by starting different campaigns that their members subsequently can take to their own communities, without needing money or help from adults. The organization’s social interests are wide; addressing the issues of bullying, animal cruelty, homelessness, discrimination and more via their website.
The LIU Post chapter of Do Something! was established on campus during the 2013 spring semester. The club currently has 20 members, and the “Feminist Bake Sale” will be their first event.
“So far we have been given a lot of encouragement from [the office of] Student Life and Leadership Development. They think it is a good idea, and are excited to see it unfold,” said Balnis.
When Mathilde Bringsjord Laderud, a senior International Relations major, heard about the upcoming event, she thought it sounded like a good initiative. She experienced discrimination when she interned for a well-known international organization last semester.
“I started to receive unprofessional suggestions from male bosses – something I probably would never have had to put up with if I were a guy. At the same time, my female boss started to discourage me, and suddenly she told me they didn’t need me to work for them anymore,” Laderud said. “You’re in a vulnerable position as a young woman with ambitions because you want to make the most out of the opportunities you get and please your employers. But how do you do that when you end up in my situation?” she added.
Anthony Melo, a sophomore Electronic Media major, and a member of Do Something!, has noticed that some people are wary of the word “feminism.” “They treat it as a dirty word, which is sad considering the actual meaning of it,” Melo said.
He thinks that an accurate definition is given in Beyoncé’s song, “***Flawless,” in which Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s TedxEuston speech was sampled. Adichie states: “Feminist: a person who believes in the social, political, and economic equality of the sexes.”
“It’s important to spread the information, and have people learn about it,” he said.
Do Something! hopes that the “Feminist Bake Sale” will be welcomed and supported by LIU Post students. “Like feminism, it’s not just for women – it’s for everyone who wants gender equality,” he added.
“If it is successful, we would love to do something like it again,” Balnis said.