Annual Women in Lit Fest showcases student projects on social issues


Annie Goode

Junior Wren Burke presents her project “Combatting Sexism (Taylor’s Version)”.

By Annie Goode, Reporter

Poster boards, “graffiti walls” and pink shirts filled Gym 3, as students presented projects ranging from “Economics of the Patriarchy: How Capitalism Contributes to Women’s Oppression,” (by Aspen Behn) to “Combatting Sexism (Taylor’s Version)” (by Wren Burke) at the 16th Annual Women in Lit Fest on Tuesday, Jan. 24.

Students enrolled in Lane’s Women in Literature class had been preparing their projects since late October, but the preparation for the actual fest started after returning from winter break. 

“This is the first year that it’s right after winter break, so I am honestly trying to get the timing right. […] It’s kind of a new pace this year,” Women in Literature Teacher Courtney Feuer said.

The fair featured a wide range of topics. Juniors Lily Molinaro and Audrey Thomas studied the representation of women in media and conducted a survey asking if and where people felt represented in the media. 

“Most people said that they felt that their representation that they got in the media negatively affected them, which was really interesting, which makes a lot of sense too,” Molinaro said. 

The visual aspect of their project was a poster featuring different magazine cutouts of women’s bodies or advertisements directed towards women. They also created a magazine that explained their survey results, discussed the effect media consumption has on the brain and groups that are lacking representation in media. 

Senior Amelia Huge also created a magazine with their partner, senior Naelin Peffley, called CommUNITY, which provides information, resources and support for LGBTQ+ people.

“Me and my partner that I am working with are both part of that community, so we felt like being personally connected to [the project] was definitely a big motivator,” Huge said. “Also making sure that other people, who are also going through the similar journey that we had to go through, feel like they are supported through every step of the way.”

Feuer’s only requirement for the project was that it was related to their class in some way.

“So I mean we read women writers, we talk about issues impacting women in the world, throughout time, until now. … It can be really anything,” Feuer said.

Sophomore Arianna Barrios and junior Audrey Dengler both presented on women’s roles in sports. 

Barrios’s project showed statistics comparing the top female athlete’s salary with the top male athlete’s salary, in order to highlight the pay gap between men and women in the sports industry. According to Barrios’s project, there is a dramatic gap between the average pay of women and men in popular sports such as basketball, soccer, golf and more.

Dengler’s project consisted of a powerpoint and graffiti board that posed the question, “Have you ever experienced hate or harassment in your sport?”, allowing students or visitors to participate by writing their experiences on a post-it note and adding it to the wall. 

“I just wanted to showcase women’s voices and their experiences with playing male-dominated sports,” Dengler said. 

In the middle of the gym were tables that appeared to be set up for a meal, with plates, glasses, and silverware. According to the Women and Lit Fest’s 2023 website, this aspect of the Fest, called “The Lane Tech Dinner Party,” takes inspiration from an art exhibit by Judy Chicago from 1974, and allows students to design a place setting inspired by a specific woman. 

“My favorite part about Fest is that it is an opportunity for students to teach each other. … To me that’s the goal of teaching,” Feuer said. “You get students that excited about what they’re learning, that they want to go have conversations about it in the world. And that’s what they’re doing.”

Alex Burstein and Megan Mesikapp