Well, it’s that time of year again — Women’s History Month. But why do women get a month all to themselves?
True, they were repressed for thousands of years, still suffer inequality in the workplace and home, and are sold as slaves in human-trafficking rings. But I can’t help but think that by giving women their own month, we, as women, are accepting the notion that we are the “weaker” gender — that we need to be coddled and provided for.
Men don’t have a history month because they are history. It should be the same for women.
Since the early 1900s, women have struggled to gain equal footing with men in the home and the workplace. I personally feel like we’ve done that.
So, why are women’s rights still something society is battling?
The first reason for this, I believe, is because the current generation in powerful positions lived through some of that battle. Though women’s rights seem like a done deal, women are equal, to me, many still remember a time when it was not this way.
Also, because of this older generation, many women are still suffering inequality in the home and workplace. It’s how some of these people were raised, but they do not intentionally oppress or repress women like society once did.
By acknowledging our oppression through events like International Women’s Day or Women’s History Month, we are accepting our defeat as equals.
This is not to say that women should not be recognized. In fact, I wish more women were recognized for what they did. However, sometimes this backfires.
Sometimes recognition comes for the wrong reasons. For example, Disney’s new movie Brave is receiving a lot of recognition because the hero of the story is female. If it were the exact same story told the exact same way but with a man, this story would not receive nearly as much hype as it has.
Great. I love female protagonists, but don’t do it for the sake of “showing what women can do.” Do it because that is the best story to be told. Recognize a person because he or she deserves it, not simply because it’s the first woman to do that one thing (or something like that).
One of the events that will be held later this month on campus is a screening of Miss Representation, a film about how the media misrepresents media in limited and disparaging ways. That’s great and all, except we seem to like how women are represented by the media. If we didn’t, we wouldn’t watch or purchase the things that we do.
OK, it’s true that I’m not flawless like many of the media women, but I like watching the flawless women. Isn’t it nice to watch what we can’t always be in our everyday lives?
There’s not much I can do about human trafficking (which I’m sure some men are victims of as well), but I will support those who can help stop. Honestly, I think that this is where women’s rights need to really be focused.
The fact is, if women can’t be confident enough with who they are and what they represent, they will never be able to overcome inequality. I don’t need a whole month, or even a day, to show me how fantastic my gender is. I am just as good as any man, and that’s how I want to be treated.