The common misconception about Women’s History Month is that the culture is diminishing what it means to be a woman by confining it to one month. However, it is meant to highlight women, to bring to light how important women are.
A group of senior girls in the free period room got together to talk about how important Women’s History Month is to them. When asked the girls what the hardest part about being a woman was, senior Emma Watkins said, “Female maintenance standards. For example, shaving. Women get shamed for not shaving or being completely smooth.” I asked how she felt about the expectation to shave, and if we should all be expected to shave or none of us should have to. Emma replied, “I think you do what you want to do.”
The expectation to shave was brought about by consumerism. When men left to fight in World War II, razor companies had lost their target marketing group. So, they decided to change their audience and convince women to shave. Ever since then, it has become an expectation and a guideline for women to follow.
But International Women’s Month is not something only to be celebrated by women; its a month of recognition for women, but senior Billy Stepp reflects on the importance of women in his life. Stepp was adjusting his broken backpack when he said, “I love my mom and I’m so thankful for her because she always sews my clothes and backpack.” Stepp continued, “My mom shaped me into the person I am today.”
Senior Garrett Huggins said, “I’m so thankful for so many teachers at this school, especially Mrs. Morris. She’s my role model.” Sophomore Ellie Archer said, “I’m so thankful for Mrs. Brooker, she always encourages me and really inspires me.” Students reflect on their favorite female teachers and staff at Wesleyan as there are so many wonderful women who are employed.
This shows students how lucky they are to not only attend Wesleyan, but to have so many wonderful teachers that they look up to as well. Because out of the world’s 123 million illiterate youth, 76 million are female. Even with extended effort and outreach programs that provide women with access to education in third world countries, the female literacy rate is still under fifty percent.
This is why Women’s History Month is so important. It not only brings to light and highlights important women in history, but also shows what the population still has to work on. There has been a lot of change in the past. From women’s suffrage to gaining access to education for women in less developed countries, freedoms for women have come a long way. Yet there is still so much more to accomplish, and together, the world can accomplish this.