DeKalb, NIU home to groups that support feminism, progression of women’s rights

By Wendy Neese

Today, women in America can be seen sitting on plushy chairs dictating letters to the Chairman of the board, out in the streets doing construction, or on the Supreme Court. To insure further women development, NIU promotes three women’s groups.

Between the DeKalb County Coalition for Choice, the Feminist Front and Women in Communications, women have the chance to open eyes, redefine roles, and at times, hold controversial forums.

“Thousands of children are pulled from homes by parents who never wanted to have them.” This is a concern that Dekalb County Coalition for Choice member Shelley Wilson said sparked an interest in forming this pro-choice group.

By directing letters and/or lectures toward state legislature, Wilson said “We can salvage the few reproductive choices and privileges women and men have left after the Supreme Court decision on July 3.”

In fact, that day, which put the power to legalize abortion in the state’s hands, was the day the DCCC was born. Members were afraid their beliefs were in jeopardy and fearful of what this decison could lead to. Wilson said she feared birth control would be the next to go and pregnant women would be arrested for falling down stairs, if the trend continued.

Even after such a ruling, Wilson emphasized that she is optmistic about women’s rights. “They may take a backseat for now, but progression in women’s movements has rarely been halted for long.”

The Feminist Front is another pro-choice group with a different twist. Leader Julie Stegge explained part of their statement. “Central to our practical fight for liberation is a dedication to the creative development of ideas for freedom through ongoing critical discussions.”

So what is the motive behind the Feminist Front? According to Wilson the group aims to aid the feminist movement by discussing and understanding the revolutionary philosophy behind women’s liberation.

Sometimes women’s groups can spring from a less controversial motive; such is the case with Women in Communications Inc. Even though women compose more than half of the working world, WICI Faculty Adviser Jennifer Brooks still feels women need to play the catch-up game.

“I feel when it comes to entry level positions in the job market, women still need some sort of support, and this can help in their networking connections so they are able to progress in the field.”

Because of this, WICI sponsors guest lecturers, discussion, and raise money for their cause and philanthropies. Most of the members plan to go into the advertising or public relations field, but the club is open to all majors, males and females.