If the title of “Life of the Party” could be assumed by a month, it would definitely be claimed by March. Featuring St. Patrick’s Day, World Book Day, and even National Peanut Butter Lover’s Day, this calendrical period houses a number of holidays— reminding us that there’s always something to celebrate.
But despite its dedication to rather unconventional celebrations, March has long committed itself to the commemoration of a topic that extends far past the depths of peanut butter appreciation: women’s history.
After continuous petitioning by members of the National Women’s History Project, Women’s History Month was started in 1987. Dedicated to “encouraging the study, observance and celebration of the vital role of women in American history,” this annual, one month-long occurrence effectively empowers and inspires those within the country.
“Women’s History Month means that we have a chance to celebrate all [of] the women who have come before us,” said Mrs. Erin Brown, principal of FLHS.
“To me, Women’s History Month is [about] celebrating and acknowledging the things that women have been through and rising above stereotypes,” voiced Reagan Haskell (9). “I think it’s important to celebrate our past because it got us where we are today.”
“As a woman, especially a Black woman, it feels great to be acknowledged and appreciated,” explained Thalia Walters (12).
While promoting a national appreciation of womens’ modern-day contributions, Women’s History Month simultaneously encourages Americans to recognize the societal barriers in which women have conquered in the past— and continue to tackle today.
“Women’s History Month is bittersweet for me,” pronounced Ms. Barb Segal, an AP Government and Politics teacher at FLHS. “We take the time to honor famous women in history who accomplished amazing feats […] but at the same time, I am reminded how much further we have to go to truly reach equality.”
In spite of the realities often faced by American women within a male-dominated society, the annual celebration of Women’s History Month prompts positive conversations about influential figures— making the existence of gender inequality seem a little less grim.
So, let’s explore who some FLHS women look up to.
“Kamala Harris,” stated Ms. Cammy Wolfe, the school’s BRACE Advisor. “She’s a trailblazer, and [gives] young girls hope that they can be anything they want to be.”
“I look up to my older sister, Reaney,” expressed Haskell. “She taught me that showing your emotions does not make you weak, but it makes you stronger.”
“Growing up and now I always looked up to my mother for being strong and resilient,” vocalized Mrs. Brown. “She taught me to never rely on another, to work hard and to save my money for the future.”
“I admire Ruth Bader Ginsburg for so many reasons,” revealed Ms. Segal. “But what I treasure [most] was her strength to stand up for what she believed, even when it was the minority opinion. Who would have known that a different perspective would be on the right side of history?”
“A woman I look up to [is] my very own best friend,” indicated Walters. “Despite us being the same age, I […] am constantly bewildered by how strong and independent she is despite the odds.”
But with March lasting thirty-one days, many Americans are falsely led to believe that the influence of women’s history should be recognized within the limits of this month, alone.
“Women’s History Month is every month,” declared Ms. Segal. “We should always lift each other up and support each other, regardless of the time of year.”
Whether you recognize March as the best Spring month, or as a time period reserved for peanut butter lovers, be assured that it’s centered around an ideal whose importance transcends that of any nut spread: women’s equality. Unless you really like peanut butter, that is.
Happy Women’s History Month, FLHS!
Photos credit Halima Attah
Poster credit Noura Attah