Issue Area of the Week: Gender Focus

Hello future volunteers!  Your Gender Focus Coordinators, Jackie and Anna, here!  We are here to tell you about all of the totally tubular things we have planned for FYSOP 23.  But first, you are probably wondering…”What does “Gender Focus” even mean”.

When we started this job, Anna and I (Jackie) knew what Gender Focus meant to Becca, Elena, Sam, Kiera, and all of the other coordinators that came before us, but we had to figure out what it meant to us.  Anna and I realized that Gender Focus was all about identity.  How does an individual construct their personal identity within or outside of society’s norms?    We are focusing on how the structure of gender manifests itself in our society and the construction of individual identity by looking at the perceptions of masculinity and femininity, body image and self-esteem, sexual orientation, and sexual and domestic violence.

It starts with gender.  Our society has a binary system in place, and within it two genders exist: man and woman.  We are looking at the way society says they are supposed to act, look, and the hierarchy they have in a given system.  These all directly relate to healthy v. unhealthy relationships, body image and self-esteem, and sexuality.  In researching sites we tried to find places that focused on sexual and domestic violence, LGBTQ advocacy, and body image.  Here is a look at some of our cool sites.

  • Girls Inc.–  Girls Inc. is a national organization that inspires all girls to be strong, smart, and bold.  We know that strong self-esteem is important.  Girls Inc. provides girls with a strong support system so they feel comfortable being themselves as they move towards adulthood.
  • Emerge– Emerge works toward eradicating violence in intimate relationships.  Emerge was the first abuser education program in the United States, and we can’t wait to work with them again.
  • Black and Pink– Black and Pink’s mission is to abolish the prison industrial complex and advocate for LGBTQ prisoners.  We are focusing a lot on FYSOP Fusion, and Black and Pink is a perfect example of the overlap between Gender Focus and Human Rights.

Once again Anna, I, and our 24 Sassy Staff Leaders are so excited to meet all of you.  FYSOP is a phenomenal experience and we want to share it with all of you.  If you want to know more or have any questions, feel free to call us at (617) 353-4710 or email us at

GF Lovin’

Jackie and Anna


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