People choose different days to celebrate pivotal moments in their lives. Whether it’s as traditional as Christmas, as random as Groundhog Day, or as political as Hispanic Heritage Month, specific dates are allotted for celebration.
While Christmas and Hispanic Heritage Month are sacred and worth paying homage to, the month of March, National Women’s History Month, should be critical in every woman’s life.
The public celebration of women’s history in this country began in 1978 as “Women’s History Week” in Sonoma County, Calif. According to author and artist Borgna Brunner the week including March 8, International Women’s Day, was selected.
In 1981, Senator Orrin Hatch and Republican Barbara Mikulski co-sponsored a joint Congressional resolution proclaiming a national Women’s History Week. In 1987, Congress expanded the celebration to a month, and March was declared Women’s History Month.
Today, the idea of feminism and what the movement is truly about depresses me. A feminist is thought of as some butch female who refuses to shave and hates men in every aspect.
When did feminism mean being anti-feminine? When did feminism become the notion of disliking the opposite sex?
It wasn’t long ago that a girl early in her college career told me she wasn’t a feminist. When I asked her why she was anti-feminist, she said, “I don’t have a problem realizing that I am the one who is supposed to be submissive…plus, I like being a girl.”
I had to walk away from such blunt ignorance. It probably wasn’t her fault that she answered me in such a naive manner, considering the fact that it’s March and I have yet to see any congratulations or celebrations for our gender on campus.
I love being a woman and even more, feminine. I am not a lesbian nor do I hate men; I enjoy cooking, and I shave!
But above all, I am a feminist according to my firm belief that Feminism doesn’t have anything to do with gender. True Feminism is not discriminatory.
Instead, it underlies the idea of breaking down stereotypes about women being inferior to men. It celebrates women being leaders, confident, and able to be independent individuals.
People, we are in the month of March. Why can’t everyone be feminists out of respect?
This time only comes once yearly, just as Christmas, Black History Month, Father’s Day and Hispanic Heritage Month. Shall we take a brief moment to recognize and pay homage to women like Phillis Wheatley, Sojourner Truth, Kate Chopin, Lucille Ball, Beatrice Hicks, Althea Gibson and Ellen Ochoa just to name a few.
It’s because of feminism that women are liberated.
In the words of Cheris Kramarae and Paula Treichler, “Feminism is the radical notion that women are people.” It doesn’t get any simpler than that.
Marjua Estevez is a sophomore magazine production student from Tampa. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.