Wheelock to discuss feminist movement

By Megan Kawasaki

English, Ethics, and Gender Studies teacher and Upper School Humanities Department Head Martha Wheelock lectured on the feminist movement and its social, intellectual and political influence on women and men at the Beverly Hills Library on February 18 at 7:30 p.m.

Wheelock discussed present-day views of feminism, its role as a positive moral force, how it has transformed society throughout the 20th century and the steps women took to achieve the right to vote in California.

This speech is a part of an ongoing lectures series promoted by the Women’s Empowerment Foundation, whose mission is to create a supportive community for women that allows them to connect with one another and gain a sense of personal liberty and happiness.

The Women’s Empowerment Foundation was co-founded by Illana Shoshan (Michael Diamant ’09, Ellie Diamant ’11) and Yael Swerdlow.

“There were some issues that we wanted to bring to the consciousness of people in this country and from other places, but also to examine what our role is in the way we can empower women,” Wheelock said.

Wheelock is a longtime feminist who has given lectures on women’s rights, created films on the achievements of women in history and has attended numerous rallies for the equal treatment of women.

“I am interested in redefining, re-examining the concept of feminism and its validity and why we can’t forget about it,” Wheelock said.

She is currently making a film celebrating the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage in California, which was achieved in Oct. 1911 by a margin of 3,000 votes.

The film will be screened in the Autry National Center in September and will be screened with other similar exhibits at the Sacramento State Capitol Building.

The movie is scheduled to be completed by the end of the summer.

Wheelock said she is hoping that students will be a part of the film’s cast.

Jack Petok ’11 and Kelsey Woo ’11 already have confirmed roles. Petok will play the role of a mayor of a city in California, and Woo will portray a women for the first time.