March marks the celebration of Women’s History Month, or as some call it, Herstory month. This time is meant to reflect on all of the challenges and experiences women have faced in the past and still face today. Every year, Women’s History Month has a theme to unify the festivities and conversations to be had that year, with 2021’s theme being “Valiant Women of the Vote: Refusing to Be Silenced.”
What is Women’s History Month?
Women’s History Month has been celebrated in the United States during the month of March since 1987, celebrating female voices and highlighting major milestones of women’s history. This month addresses the value of women in society, acknowledges the power of female leaders, and pursues the fight towards gender equity. With International Women’s Day falling on March 8th, countries around the world celebrate this holiday together and empower women.
This month is an opportunity for women to feel heard and uplifted in a time where women are breaking glass ceilings and asserting their place in office. This year marks many milestones for women around the world, and with this year’s celebrations, we aim to remind ourselves to uplift one another. On the other hand, this month also provides a space to reflect and remember the many women who have paved our herstory, like Sojourner Truth, Rosa Parks, Frida Kahlo, Betty Friedan, Angela Davis, and the list goes on…
How to Address Intersectionality
An important topic of discussion during Women’s History month is the idea that not all women have been fought for and included in some of these important milestones. Even though this month celebrates the accomplishments of all women, it’s important to note how this affects all of women’s identities differently. Intersectionality is the idea that we all have multiple identities, meaning our gender, race, religion, ability, sexual orientation, etc. All of our identities intermingle to affect who we are and how we experience life.
Going back to the theme for this year, the Women’s Suffrage Movement, which led to the passage of the 19th Amendment that grants women the right to vote, did not actually allow all women to vote. Even through this powerful and monumental movement, unifying women with various racial identities, the movement shifted to prioritize white women’s suffrage instead of all women. It was not until 1965 that all citizens were granted the right to vote.
Although these might not be the conversations we want to be having, they are what we should be discussing throughout this month. So, during this March, in 2021, let’s take some time to call ourselves in and educate ourselves about our herstory, and what that means for all women.
How to Celebrate Women’s History Month Virtually
This year, our Women’s History Month celebrations may have to look a bit different— but still hold the same impact. There are tons of virtual events happening throughout March, and the Ms. Guide has it all! This month we can also prioritize buying from female-owned businesses, consume media that amplifies female creators and artists, remember to educate one another about women’s herstory, and empower the women around us and make them feel heard.
With all of these ideas in mind, this month is a time to commemorate and encourage the women in our lives, and appreciate the central role of women in our society today, tomorrow, and yesterday.