From left to right: Sofie Cato, Tess Jagger-Wells, Dana Whittles, Lizbeth Canche
Cupcakes for Feminism was created by Tess Jagger-Wells, Dana Whittles, Sofie Cato, and Lizbeth Canche. We are all students in a program called Media Academy at San Rafael High School in San Rafael, CA. Several months ago we were assigned a project in which we had to recognize an issue present in our community, and attempt to change it. The four of us were put into a group and given the topic of women’s services. As four feminist teenage girls we all immediately recognized the impact that stereotypes about women have on the confidence of girls of all ages. We unanimously agreed to focus on attempting to change these stereotypes in our community. Throughout the course of the project, we have come to the realization that one of the largest issues with social stereotypes in our society is the impact it has on women in the field of technology, so we decided to do something to change this. Although we started out with the intent to target this issue in our community, our goal has since expanded. We want to combat these stereotypes in a way that will impact women everywhere. We want to help open doors that many people will insist were never closed in the first place. We want to make a difference.
You may have noted that the title we chose for ourselves seems ironically stereotypical. Yes, we have noted that too, and there is in fact a reason for it. There is a still-evident social stereotype in our society that women are weaker than men. From a young age we are taught that girls like the color pink, and flowers, and dolls, and baking, and boys like the color blue, and sports, and aren't allowed to like any of the things that girls are supposed to like, or they are called "girly," and as a result this has become an insult. Subsequently, a women who calls herself a feminist is, by some unwritten law, not allowed to like such "girly" things either. Part of our purpose is to help people realize the true definition of feminism, and this includes helping to blur the strictly-set lines that define what a person should and should not like. So we chose a stereotypically "feminine" object, like a cupcake, and said, "Why can't there be computer scientists who bake cupcakes?" Because, as one of our founders, Tess Jagger-Wells, stated it, "The problem isn't women who like to bake cupcakes, it's people who think that's ALL women can do."