Photo Source: Jose Chavez (Head of Photography)
Back in 2016, Hilary Clinton was the Democratic candidate for the president of the United States, running against the current president, Donald Trump. Clinton is a graduate of Yale Law School, served as a congressional legal counsel for several state governments, gained experience leading the country as the First Lady, became New York’s first female senator, and served under President Barack Obama.
In November of 2016, Hilary Clinton lost to Donald Trump, a person known for being rich.
Even with all of her accolades, she was still labeled as “too emotional” and “not fit to lead” the country. Thousands of people quickly turned down the idea of a woman being president. They thought there was no way a woman could take lead in anything.
However, there seems to be a shift happening in our generation, specifically our school.
Many of us have started to notice that women have been taking the lead on many things around campus. For example, a majority of club presidents, leaders, and members at our school (minus the sports-related clubs) right now are women.
Let’s take a deep dive at this. ASB President is Arianna Edezna. ASB Vice President is Isabel Rea. Senior Class President is Brenda Calderon. AVID Class President is Kailene Villegas. Key Club, the largest club on campus with an estimated membership of 60 students, is led by Sara Hernandez, junior.
And it continues.
Leadership, the organization responsible for all of the school events and activities, consists of 24 students, 7 of them being boys.
This leads me to ask:
What’s happening in our school? What’s up with the guys? Why aren’t they standing out and taking lead roles on campus? Or rather, what has empowered this generation of women to involve themselves more?
To gather evidence and research for these wonderings, I went to investigate by questioning some of the club and organization leaders.
“The girls in our school are stepping it up and taking initiative. During key club elections, none of my male counterparts or any males at all ran for a position, so now we have an all-female board. There could be many reasons why the boys are lacking. Whether they’re not interested in the club, are too nervous and doubt themselves, or aren’t even aware of the clubs on campus, we won’t know until we ask,” says Sara Hernandez, Key Club President, and junior.
None of the boys in Key Club wanted to run for any positions last club elections. And the year before the board for Key Club also consisted of all females. However, the membership itself also leaned heavily towards females. If I’m not mistaken, there hasn’t been any guys on the board since my freshman year. Maybe some of them did want to run for a position but they didn’t even try to partake in the elections.
“I think guys have a different perspective on things and the girls have that touch. Girls know how to do certain things. Guys are more focused on sports and other things…. Don’t get me wrong [some guys] are focused on their future like we do have some guys in leadership,” says Brenda Calderon, Senior Class President, and AVID Senior Class Representative.
I’ve noticed that guys who are in sports don’t have any time to take part in other extracurricular activities or other academic-drive ventures. From what I have seen, many male athletes tend to fall behind in school because they prioritize sports over academics. All of that can possibly get in the way of participating in clubs or leadership roles. However, this doesn’t apply to all guys. Some exceptions have been both athletes and members in clubs, after school programs, and AVID.
“I feel like if guys don’t see other guys doing it, they won’t do it. A lot of guys don’t like being busy. If they’re doing sports, they won’t want to things like leadership or AVID,” says Kailene Villegas, AVID Club President, and ASB Treasurer.
There have been several cases where guys tend to slack off in school because they think it’s not cool to do work or try. Every year, there’s that one group of guys in my classes that just joke around all period and don’t complete any of their classwork. They slack until they’re failing, and they need the teacher to do them a favor.
Especially, if they have friends who don’t put as much effort into school, they won’t even bother trying because they don’t want to look like “nerds.” Supposedly, being smart and involved in high school isn’t cool. Having good grades isn’t cool.
I also took the time to ask a few guys what their view was on this whole situation.
“I think that you rarely ever see guys taking initiative in any kind of club or any leading roles are because . . . girls mature more than guys at an earlier age . . . It’s difficult because as you can see most guys are laid back, not particularly lazy. They like to let women take charge,” says Ezra Salazar, ASB Commissioner of Publicity.
Men indeed like to let women take charge. Maybe they don’t feel like taking too many responsibilities. Or maybe, the women want to take charge, so they just let them.
I personally like to take charge of things. For example, when I am given a project that requires me to work with my peers, I choose to take charge and do most of the work.
Yet, this is not just an issue with extracurricular activities.
The majority of the students in AP classes and after school college courses are women. This is a strange phenomenon that seems to be appearing throughout campus.
Mr. Ta’s AP Language and Composition class for eleventh and twelfth grader has about 22 students, 5 of them being boys. This is the normal demographic for most honors and AP classes on campus.
“It’s not even just the AP classes. All of my AVID classes (AVID is a college-prep program) have the women outnumbering men 2 to 1,” continued Mr. Ta.
According to the statistics gathered over the last three years for students that have taken AP courses, it states that there are currently 86 males compared to 107 females in AP courses. In 2016, there were 126 males and 165 females taking an AP course. Although the numbers are trending higher for men, women still seem to outnumber men in both AP and Honors.
As you can see, there are several reasons why guys aren’t participating in school or take leadership roles. Whatever the reason is, they should put it to the side and put themselves out there.
All these women in our school who are taking initiative and taking lead are throwing out all those stereotypes about women being weak and not being capable of leading. Women aren’t weak. They can lead if they put their mind to it. We are strong and capable of anything.
It’s high school. You’re only here for four years, so make the best out of it. Maybe join that club, run for student class president, or take that college class! Try and do the most for your future. It may not be a cool thing now, but it will be the cool thing when you are successful and look back at all of the opportunities you took.
And to all the girls who are putting themselves out there and doing the most they can, you go girls! We are running this school.
By Ashley Farias (Editorials Editor)