Headlines like these have filled our news feeds this year, bringing light to the lingering gender discrimination in our society. It has become increasingly evident that the fight for equality is nowhere close to complete. And while issues of women’s justice can feel far away from our supposed “liberal haven” of Palo Alto, our local community continues to feel the weight of gender inequity.
In this issue, our cover section aims to explore the many facets of the fight for women’s rights today by looking at this issue through a variety of lenses within our community, examining our local perspective in the ongoing fight for progress.
Photography director Ines Legrand and staff writer Carlota Blanco look at the impact of recent legislative actions regarding abortion while investigating abortion’s place in local conversations in “Piecing together the puzzle.”
Social media Manager Ajin Jeong and Business Manager Andrew Xue also inspect recent legislation — a new law requiring public school bathrooms in California to be stocked with free menstrual products. In “Unwrapping the prejudice,” we see how this bill is destigmatizing periods and sparking meaningful conversations about equity.
We have also turned our attention to the impacts of socialization on gender equality. The popular clothing brand Brandy Melville has recently faced criticism for unethical hiring practices and the perpetuation of unrealistic body standards for young women. Features editor Dominique Lashley and Multimedia Manager Alexis Chiu investigate the brand’s impact on the local community in “Brandy Melville backlash.”
While issues of women’s justice can feel far away from our supposed “liberal haven” of Palo Alto, our local community continues to feel the weight of gender inequity.
Gender disparities are not invisible at Palo Alto High School — it is quite the opposite. In “Stemming the divide,” webmaster Annum Hashmi and graphic designer Esther Xu revisit statistics from 10 years of Paly’s STEM electives, uncovering a persistent gender gap that has not seemed to narrow recently.
And while many spaces remain divided along gender lines, we hear from one individual who is breaking barriers in “Berghout breaks out.” Managing Editor Merwa Marof and Social media Manager Ajin Jeong talk with comedian Phoebe Berghout about her art form, gender and their intersection.
Scattered throughout our magazine are puzzle pieces, representing fragments of the overarching movement for gender justice. And while this puzzle is not complete, identifying and exploring its many facets allows us to gain a more comprehensive understanding of its breadth and depth.
Our writers, too, have been faced with incomplete puzzles, riddled with missing pieces, as they aim to tackle topics ranging from Indigenous history (pg. 26) to dance inequities (pg. 50). But through thoughtful reporting on varied viewpoints and thorough research, they continue to address the many puzzles posed by our community, piece by piece.
On the cover:
The figure of a woman on a puzzle lays, half-finished, as hands scramble to piece it together. With art created by staff writer Palina Kuzmina, captured by photography director Ines Legrand, this image represents the complex and multifaceted issue of women’s rights that we address in this issue. There are numerous separate pieces to the puzzle, many of which are missing or unknown — but the pieces come together to create a resilient female figure, representative of the fight for gender equality.