National Organization for Women shares vision of feminism


Taylor Pagan

Contra Costa NOW local chapter President Mary Davis speaks to DVC students during a brown bag workshop in the Student Union Conference Room on March 19.

Taylor Pagan, News editor

The National Organization for Women (NOW) shared their vision during a Diablo Valley College brown bag workshop on March 19.

Contra Costa NOW local chapter president Mary Davis began by asking students in the Student Union Conference Room how many of them considered themselves a feminist.

Davis then went on to define feminism, an ideology she said is often misconstrued. She explained how feminism advocates for and supports equal rights between women and men.

Davis said Californians live in a “blue state” bubble, full of a diverse and fairly tolerant populace. However, our nation still has a “war on women.”

“Now is not the time to be complacent or take things for granted,” she said.

During a question-and-answer portion of Davis’ presentation, history major Melanie Ganda, 24, brought up the topic of representation of women of color in the media. She asked about the organization’s stance on and involvement in the fight for minorities.

Davis said Contra Costa NOW already has key tasks they focus on. She encouraged Ganda, if interested, to join NOW and tackle the issue herself.

“It’s not that we don’t work on it,” Davis said. “It’s just not one of our top issues.”

“I thought her response was pretty interesting,” Ganda said. “If you do want to have change, you have to make it yourself.”

Child psychology major Christopher Switzer, 23, said he enjoyed Davis’ presentation on NOW and wished it lasted longer.

“As a transgender man, I’ve seen both sides of it,” he said. “I’ve been perceived as a woman and treated one way because of it and then I’ve been perceived as a man and treated a completely different way for a same situation.”

Switzer said joining together to talk about these inequalities is amazing and means a lot to him. He is planning on attending a Contra Costa NOW monthly meeting.

“We would love input from younger women and men,” Davis said. “We don’t discriminate.”

More information and a calendar of events can be found on Contra Costa NOW’s website or Facebook page.