2008 Fellows

    Megan Lessard

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Having waited until the last minute to declare my major (characteristic Megan), I had quite a Women’s and Gender Studies-intensive junior year. From courses on women in art to Middle Eastern women to early nineteenth-century lesbian activists, I immersed myself in the world of feminism. This was the most simultaneously empowering and disheartening experience I’ve ever had. I learned all about the strong women history has forgotten, and I also became aware that misogyny has taken the form not of hatred, but of indifference, which is far more dangerous. Many women, as well as men, can be considered misogynists.”

“I applied to NARAL Pro-Choice New York because I wanted to learn more about the barriers to adequate health care women face due to America’s lingering prejudices. As a Teen Outreach Reproductive Challenge (TORCH) intern, I helped develop and coordinate workshops on sex, sexuality and reproductive justice, such as access to quality sex education, contraception, abortion and neo-natal care. I worked with a group of high school students who delivered the presentations to various community centers around New York.”

“Yet working directly in the health care field, I was constantly overwhelmed with emotion. Each day I became more and more convinced of the value of our work. I learned that many New York public schools have inadequate sex education, thanks to a system that values state testing and rote memorization over teaching any real life lessons.”

“After a summer at NARAL, I’ve made the decision to attend college for two more years to complete the necessary pre-medical requirements then apply to medical school to become an obstetrician/gynecologist. OB/GYNs are becoming scarcer, and I want to step in as the opposition to adequate reproductive and sexual health care continues to mount. Until then, I plan to commit myself to annihilating this silly (and scary) notion that feminism is passé and unneeded. I discuss these issues with anybody who will listen to me.  Also, a friend and I are currently designing an empowering magazine for young girls. Unlike Cosmo Girl or Seventeen, our magazine will be anti-consumerism, with an intended readership more inclusive than the white, upper-middle-class target audience of most teen magazines. I can’t wait to enlist the support of future feminists.”