Although writing can help decipher history, it’s our humanity which keeps all of us striving for an improved future.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Women's History Month


In the United States, Women's History Month traces its beginnings back to the first International Women's Day in 1911. In 1978, the school district of Sonoma, California participated in Women's History Week, an event designed around the week of March 8 (International Women's Day). In 1979 a fifteen-day conference about women's history was held at Sarah Lawrence College from July 13th until July 29th, chaired by historian Gerda Lerner. It was co-sponsored by Sarah Lawrence College, the Women's Action Alliance, and the Smithsonian Institution. 

In February of 1980 President Jimmy Carter issued a presidential proclamation declaring the week of March 8th, 1980, as National Women's History Week. The proclamation stated, "From the first settlers who came to our shores, from the first American Indian families who befriended them, men and women have worked together to build this nation. Too often the women were unsung and sometimes their contributions went unnoticed... This goal can be achieved by ratifying the 27th Amendment to the United States Constitution, which states that 'Equality of Rights under the Law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.'" Carter was referring to the Equal Rights Amendment, which was never ratified, not to the amendment which did become the 27th Amendment to the United States Constitution after his presidency.

In 1987, after being petitioned by the National Women's History Project, Congress passed Pub. L. 100-9 which designated the month of March 1987 as Women’s History Month. Between 1988 and 1994, Congress passed additional resolutions requesting and authorizing the President to proclaim March of each year as Women’s History Month. Since 1995, U.S. presidents have issued annual proclamations designating the month of March as Women’s History Month.

Women’s History Month lacks visibility on campus



She said that other University and student groups used to step forward, but as time went by, she found less and less units offering events for women’s history, and at some point didn’t have anything to put on the posters.
“(Women’s History Month) is still important, but I think that it’s not something our department wants to focus our time and energy on right now, and it is not where the scholarship is right now,” Kahn explained.
Kahn said the work of early feminists centered on bringing women back into history and literature and to “recover what had been left out.” While this effort is not done completely, the focus has shifted to studying gender as a question of identity, the intersections between gender and race, gender and class, and gender and ethnicity.
That’s one of the reasons why it is fitting that the Gender and Women’s History Symposium, which ran Feb. 27 to March 1, falls between Black History Month and Women’s History Month, Ruscitti said.
“One of the things we’ve tried to promote a lot is intersectionality — so paying attention not only to gender but also to race within feminism,” she said. 
Calling it a “symbolic way to bring together the two of them,” Ruscitti said that it is important to be conscious of the ways that feminism and the study of women have excluded demographics and to work toward a more comprehensive idea of what it means to study women’s history.

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Even though I am from Kansas, I enjoy venturing into other worlds from around the globe which is why my writing focuses on diversity. With fluid accessibility to modern media and traveling opportunities, my Midwestern world can expand and explore beyond my own backyard. In addition to studying cultures, I take pleasure in studying history. Submitting to a moment in time allows us to remember, or to muse even, over our society’s past. Although writing can educate as well as entertain, yet what makes art incredibly amazing, to that of paintings, photographs, and music, it transposes emotion into another form of humanity, and therefore, it is our humanity which keeps all of us striving for an improved future.

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