Did you know that Women History Month is March? Neither did I until recently. Since 1911, March 8 has been International Women’s Day and in March 1987, Congress expanded the whole month of March to be about women. Even though I went through the public school system from 1995-2007, I never once learned about Women History Month. Though I don’t really care for Minority Months, the the months dedicated to every gender, race, culture, sexuality outside the stereotypical “white straight Christian man” created to show how minorities also helped shaped the United States, I do worry that people are forgetting how much women have done and continue to do for the United States.
I recently was planning my trip to New York city to see Susan B. Anthony’s home. My name is Susan and I have dedicated several research papers to her throughout my life. As I read the tips on the page, I cam across one comment: “Before a visit, get a deep background to understand with some precision what Susan B. Anthony is all about. She doesn’t much matter now, but she did then.” Wait, what??? Anthony is the reason why I, and millions of other women, was able to vote last election. Because of her and millions of other women who came before me, I am able to go to college, have a job, and walk outside my house without a man escorting me.
In school we are taught about the Founding Fathers, but do we learned about the women who took care of the children, the house, and the harm while the men were busy? We learn about the soldiers that defended our country during war, but what about the women who worked in the factories or disguised themselves as men to join the war? We learn about the Presidents who created laws, but what about the First Ladies that made speeches to gain support for their husbands? Do we learn how it was the Women who worked for equality for Everyone, not only for themselves but for the slaves, the Native Americans, the Immigrants, the mental illness, the disabled, the children, and even the “white straight Christian man.”
It is hard to believe that everyone realizes how great women are when politicians spend time and money trying to control women’s choices and bodies. A minority of men even believe “rape” is imaginary since women are always asking for it, a reason why a rapist can get a slap on the wrist while a victim is forced to drop out of school. Though more women than men graduate college, men continue to make more than women at the exact same job. Everyday women prove to the world how much they do matter; last summer it was the female athletes who brought home most of the medals home to the United States and last fall it was the female voters who decided the president. Women deserve more than a month that no one knows exist, they deserve an equal part in the history books.