Every Month is Women’s History Month
by Andrea W. Doray
When I was little, yet old enough to start questioning the order of things, I asked my parents why we had a Mother’s Day and a Father’s Day, but no Kid’s Day. The answer, of course, was that every day is Kid’s Day.
March was Women’s History Month in the U.S. So with this same spirit of questioning, I ask why we have a Women’s History Month, and not a Men’s History Month. The answer, of course, is that every month is Men’s History Month.
Please…hear me out.
The goals of Women’s History Month are admirable: to promote awareness of women’s contributions to society. However, doesn’t such a celebration also demean the very citizens it aims to honor by emphasizing that these contributions are so unusual they need such a celebration?
Women in America have been always been asking: Hear me. And, originally, that’s why March—as initiated by the U.S. Congress in 1987 and by presidential proclamation since 1995—is Women’s History Month, so designated to pay tribute to the nation’s women.
Few people would argue that the history of the United States belongs to everyone…the full history, that is. The contributions of the country’s women should be seamlessly integrated into the history books and not treated as “special.”
Extraordinary, yes…as extraordinary as any person’s deeds are in the chronicles of the United States.
It’s easy to point to momentous activities by American women because there seem to be so few of them. The women’s voting rights movement is one just one example, and commemorations of the March 3 suffragists’ march on Washington, DC, 100 years ago abound during this year’s Women’s History Month.
As they should.
To most of us today, the concept of barring about one half of the country’s population from voting for the direction of its future (and arresting those who try) is perplexing, if not downright bizarre.
Suffrage alone deserves its tribute, yet an examination of the reasons why American women even needed this century-long campaign shouldn’t be confined to Women’s History Month.
Justifiably then, the actions of America’s heroic women such as Dolley Madison, Harriett Tubman, Sojourner Truth, Clara Barton, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Abigail Adams—who in 1776 asked her husband, John, at work on the Declaration of Independence, to “remember the ladies”—should also all be credited.
That didn’t happen, and the Declaration’s wording to this day still specifies that all men are created equal. In fact, the Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which would eliminate bias on the basis of gender, first introduced in 1923, has never been ratified.
Yet, where would the United States be without Rosa Parks, without Gloria Steinem, without Sandra Day O’Connor, without women like my mother who served in World War II or those who kept the nation functioning at home during that time?
If you are saying here that I’ve left out thousands, tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands of important and even infamous women from my list, you are exactly right.
That’s why women’s history is way too big to be cuddled into one month a year. Women of all ages and all ethnicities have made and are making history now, right alongside our men, whose achievements, by the way, I respect equally with those of women.
Please…hear me: Every month is Women’s History Month, and we shouldn’t need a calendar to remind us.
About Andrea W. Doray, Writing for Peace Board Member
Andrea W. Doray is an award-winning author, essayist, poet, and humanist living in Arvada, CO. Learn more about Andrea here.
Writing for Peace News:
In Our Blog~
This spring, Writing for Peace will look at gun violence and women’s equality, two important issues that are often intertwined. We’ll take a step back from the inflammatory gun control debate by exploring the subject through poetry, essays and fiction. Links to previous posts on these topics can be found below:
Silent Day, by Richard Krawiec
What Happens When We Lose Our Innocence? by Andrea W. Doray
Where Peace Begins, by Cara Lopez Lee
Opportunity, and Public Encouragement, by Richard Krawiec
A Stranger in Trouble, Part One, by Vicki Lindner
A Stranger in Trouble, Part Two, by Vicki Lindner
Exit Wound, by Melissa Hassard
Circle Jerk, by Pd Lietz
Young Writers Contest
Our 2013 Young Writers Contest closed on March 1st with 106 entries from 21 different countries! Announcements will be made on May 1st, 2013. Congratulations to every young writer who participated! The 2014 Young Writers Contest Guidelines will be posted on June 1st, 2013.
DoveTales, an International Journal of the Arts
The “Occupied” 2013 issue of DoveTales has gone to press! The release date is slated for March 30th, but you will begin seeing some exciting changes on the website before then. Stay tuned, and thank you for your support!
Equity for Women Writers
Writing for Peace encourages all young people to write and to believe their writing can make a difference, but is that equally true for boys and girls? Sadly, the latest VIDA Count indicates that we have a long way to go to achieve gender equality in the literary world. Please help us reverse this trend by reading works written be women and promoting your favorite women authors. Ask your children who they are reading in school, supplement their reading list with books by women authors, and talk to their teachers, librarians, and principals about adding women authors to their curriculum. Take note of the authors reviewed in your local papers and advocate for women authors. Head to your library or book store with a list of the twelve amazing women on our Advisory Panel. And please make a statement in support of women writers here. Thank you!
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