Feminism spans generations 

Students and older women connect.


The long-established Woman’s Club of M.V. and the new Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School Women of M.V. club met together for the first time Monday, creating a connection between generations of Island women’s advocates.

At St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, 12 high school students and members of the Women of M.V. club (MVRHS WOMVC) and 15 members of the Women’s Club of M.V. (WCOMV) conversed over sandwiches and tea cookies. 

The older women shared stories of fighting for women’s rights following the first wave of feminism, while the younger ones discussed reproductive rights and access to essential feminine healthcare and services.

The WCOMV was founded more than 125 years ago, while the MVRHS WOMVC club was launched this year.

In a brief welcome speech, former WCOMV president Carolyn O’Daly said that Mother’s Day was started in the 1870s, “when the sheer enormity of the death caused by the Civil War and Franco-Prussian War convinced writer and reformer Julia Ward Howe that women must take control of politics from the men who had permitted such carnage.” 

“Mother’s Day was not designed to encourage people to be nice to their mother,” she added. “It was part of women’s effort to gain power to change society.”

Some of the students volunteered to assist WCOMV maintain the group website, set up and clean up monthly meetings, and help plan and execute summer events.

“I am really excited to help out,” said Lorrayne Barros, a high school junior. 

Marie Wise, the current WCOMV president, closed out the meeting by quoting author and women’s advocate Kate Cox: “Behind every great woman is another great woman.”

“Please continue to be the great women that you are,” Wise told the women.


  1. It’s a privilege and an obligation to mentor these young women. Especially in these times where woman’s rights are being stripped away. Martha’s Vineyard has a history of strong women…wives of whalers who had to keep the home fires burning both literally and metaphorically. These strong young women are definitely up to the challenge.

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