I hope everyone’s been having an OK month. March is one of my favorite times of school because everyone really begins to get deep into his or her schoolwork. Then just when work starts to get overwhelming, Spring Break comes and carries us happily into April.
But March isn’t just a month of homework and Irish drinking parties; it’s also Women’s History Month.
I hope you knew that. Women’s History Month is an annually declared month that is dedicated to the appreciation of women throughout history, and it recognizes the many social achievements and contributions women have made to improve our world. It also highlights the various struggles and issues still faced by women in many corners of the world and raises awareness on what can be done to achieve equality. The month peaks on International Women’s Day on March 8 and is marked by numerous events around the world.
Once again, I hope you knew that. This is a very important time to recognize women who throughout history haven’t exactly had the easiest road to making up 60 percent of our student body. Which is why I’m bothered by the lack of events in remembrance that occurred on campus this week.
February was Black History Month: a time that rightfully should be recognized and was commemorated on campus with a number of events. There were a few speakers, a couple of presentations and a general sense that most of the campus knew about it.
So why don’t we have something similar for Women’s History Month? March 8 passed by without any form of remembrance whatsoever. No speakers; no campus wide e-mails; no awareness events. Nobody even invited me to an international Facebook event.
I don’t think that anyone views women’s history as less important than other times of remembrance — at least, I sincerely hope this isn’t the case. A lot of the problem is the way women’s history doesn’t grab our attention like African-American history or the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) events. Those remind us of times when we were directly building walls around our fellow human beings and closing these people off from any sense of mainstream society.
Women’s history is so much more complicated and involves a fight within the majority and a critique of one’s role within the system, not the system itself. It’s not so much about inclusion but, rather, respect. Women’s studies don’t seem to generate the same emotion in most of us that other topics do.
That’s a big deal to me. By ignoring this time of activism we are essentially forgetting that the battle isn’t over. Women have overcome a ton to get to where they are. But remember: Women still have a long march on the road to equality. It isn’t over yet.
If you get a chance, please commemorate Women’s History Month. That’s not so much a request as it is a call to action. A lot more can be done in the future by reminding ourselves of how far we’ve come. Next year, Linfield, I hope you do better.
Matt Olson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.