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5 Ways To Spend Women’s History Month Learning

Every year when March rolls around, people across America celebrate Women’s History Month. The national celebration originated in 1981 and is meant to commemorate and encourage the study, observance, and celebration of women in American history. While Women’s History Month is an amazing time to honor women’s achievements and contributions, personally, I have a hard time remembering my fellow female predecessors whose milestones helped pave the way to equality. Names like Susan B. Anthony, Harriet Tubman, and Sojourner Truth ring a bell and emerge frequently in Women’s History Month discussions, but the truth is, I’m nowhere near as educated about their contributions as I’d like to be.To celebrate all that has been accomplished for women, and challenge the double standards that remain for American women, it’s become my mission to set aside time for learning this month. That said, how do you begin to tackle hundreds of years' worth of women’s history? What resources are out there, and how can you actually celebrate? If you’re like me and you’re ready to start learning, here are five ways to celebrate Women’s History Month in March 2022 and beyond.

LISTEN TO FEMALE-ORIENTED PODCASTS.

Whether you’re running errands, taking a weekend road trip with your besties, or carving out a day to reorganize your dorm room, listening to a women-led podcast can be a fun way to pass the time and learn something in the process. In honor of Women’s History Month, try adding a new podcast or two to your usual rotation. You can find hundreds of podcasts on Spotify, Apple, and iHeartRadio; for Women’s History Month, consider listening to an episode or that addresses gender equality or discusses the history behind female activism.Check out Stuff Mom Never Told You, What’sHerName, HERStory on the Rocks, and The Other Half: Women Through the Ages, all of which are rooted in research and history. I’ve also become a huge fan of Girls Gotta Eat, where hosts Rayna Greenberg and Ashley Hesseltine tend to address stigmas surrounding relationships and sex. You may also enjoy 9 to 5ish with theSkimm, Friend of a Friend with Livv Perez, Girlboss, LadyGang, Superwomen with Rebecca Minkoff, and more podcasts that address career, lifestyle, and wellness while featuring interviews with trailblazing women. 

INVITE YOUR BESTIES OVER FOR MOVIE NIGHT.

Another way to expand your knowledge of women’s history that requires very little effort is by watching a movie or documentary that celebrates women. Order some pizza, grab some wine, and invite your besties over for a fun, informational, and inspirational Women’s History Month party. While the movie choice is up to you, consider assembling a lineup of films and docu-series that highlight prominent females or feminist issues (yes, Miss Americana counts!).
Check out Netflix’s Becoming, which centers on the former First Lady Michelle Obama, and Hulu’s RBG, about the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. For a more global view of the fight for women’s rights, add Period. End of Sentence — which examines the stigma around menstruation in India — to your watchlist. You’ll also love films like On The Basis of Sex, He Named Me Malala, I Am Greta, She Resisted, and Hidden Figures, all of which celebrate women’s passion and resilience.

SWAP YOUR CLASS TEXTBOOKs FOR A WOMEN-FOCUSED READing list.

Uplifting women writers and celebrating their work is can be a fun and meaningful way to celebrate Women’s History Month. If you’re a library lover who can’t imagine life without #BookTok, ditch the boring history textbook and replace it with something new, like #Girlboss by Sophia Amuroso, Huddle: How Women Unlock Their Collective Power by former CNN news anchor Brooke Baldwin, Know My Name by Chanel Miller, We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, or The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank. Of course, these are just a few of the countless books by female authors that you can support this month and beyond — and they’re way more interesting than your class textbooks. I promise.

BOND WITH WOMEN IN YOUR FAMILY.

You can learn a lot from your ancestors’ experiences, and Women’s History Month is the perfect time to hear about the amazing women in your own family. There’s something about speaking with grandparents or other older relatives that makes history come to life; plus, picking up the phone and talking to grandma (even with your busy class schedule) will make her day.Personally, I’ve learned so much from speaking with my family members and hearing about the past. It never fails to amaze me that my great-grandmother grew up in the aftermath of The Great Depression or that maternity leave didn’t exist when my grammy was pregnant with my dad in the 1970s. This month, devote some time to intergenerational conversations and you’ll be surprised at what you can learn. Outside of your biological family, you can also talk to family friends or women in your social circles who you admire — the more diverse perspectives, the better!

EXPLORE ONLINE RESOURCES.

If you want to continue staying informed this Women’s History Month and beyond, take advantage of online resources. The official Women’s History Month website provides an entire calendar of virtual events, plus you can browse through online art exhibits and gain access to free audio and video recordings. The National Women’s History Museum is another great resource, and you can also research International Women’s Day, which is celebrated on March 8. FYI: The 2022 theme, #BreakTheBias, encourages people worldwide to imagine a gender-equal world free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination.No matter which activity you choose to make part of your routine this month, it’s important to celebrate all of the strong, powerful women in our lives — not only during March but throughout the rest of the year, too. Honoring women from the past and the milestones they’ve achieved can only create more excitement and inspiration for making future progress. Happy Women’s History Month!
Payton Breidinger is a recent Penn State grad (class of '21!) who majored in Public Relations and minored in Communication Arts & Sciences. On campus, she was a member of the student-run advertising and PR agency, Happy Valley Communications, and volunteered with the university's year-long fundraising efforts benefitting THON: Penn State's annual dance marathon for childhood cancer. When not writing for Her Campus, she enjoys updating and creating content for her personal blog, The P Word. Some of her other passions include all things food, music, and fitness!
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