How come there’s no (insert society’s dominant group here) month?
If I had a loan for every time someone asked this question I’d be in debt for eternity. So listen up you non-marginalized peeps and yes I know some of you are also marginalized in different ways BUT that is not the point at hand.
Why is there a month for nearly every “minority” group in America? Also, when I say minority I mean those of us who are submerged under the pressures of the dominant or majority forces of this country. Minority should not be a replacement word for Latino, Black, Native American or in this case women. It simply helps to describe the system in which we live.
Back to the topic at hand. Women’s History Month exists in order to highlight the great impact and importance of individuals who identify as women have contributed to society. Yes I said “identify.” (That is a major key to keep in mind.) It is also in existence to laminate the fact that while women have often gone left out of historical rhetoric, it does not mean that our work is not important. The contributions that women have made throughout the world should not be left out of the major narrative that exists within history. Therefore, the month of March is our time to expose to the world just how much we have done for so little credit.
While I am glad there is a Women’s History Month, please be mindful that throughout the rhetoric of history there are some women who have been left out of it as well. Women who are of African, Latina, Asian, and Middle Eastern descent have rarely been given the credit that is due their name. With that said, when others ask why we deserve to be highlighted during a certain month or time it pains me so because it is as if no matter what we do our voices are told to be muted. Yet when we cry out in pain, we are told that we are nagging (typical sexist response) or we are pulling some sort of card (i.e. race card).
Coming from a woman like myself who is of African descent, Haitian ethnic background, and at first glance a Black person point, blank period, I know for a fact I am judged off of my outer appearance. Therefore, if I don’t work triple times as hard in this country then the triple strikes already against me will hold me down even further than I am already held. On top of that if I don’t make my light shine, then another individual can come up and snatch that from me at any minute (i.e. cultural appropriation).
So when we say Happy Women’s History Month, and throw our weekly celebrations in honor of it do not suck your teeth in disdain. Do not ask us why we think we are so special. Do not attempt to block our light, the one we have struggled in the dark to even create this glow.
If you are still asking Why Women’s History Month? Then I must ask you “Why is there no full inclusion of women throughout historical texts unless they were serving others in some sort of way? And why are you not as angry about the lack of inclusion as opposed to the fact that there is a month dedicated to that inclusion?”
Why Women’s History Month? Because as WOMEN regardless of what societal conditioning may have us all believe, our stories and contribution to history is just important as the next human being. Also, WHM exists to show younger women, and little girls all around the world that they are full capable of living a life without any limits no matter how our gender is portrayed in books, movies, schools, and such. Young women deserve to know the truth about where they come from and where they are able to go in the future. So Women’s History Month exists not just to laminate what has already been done but what is to come.
Before I leave this post, I’d like to leave you with this message “Each time a girl opens a book and reads a womanless history, she learns she is worth less.” ~ Myra Pollack Sadker