Women’s History Month: The modern-day woman

The ‘97%’ statistic circulated throughout social media around this time last year. Story reposts spreading awareness and caution flooded Instagram. Stories of women and sexual harassment- both survivors and those to remember- blew up in everyone’s FYP. Women’s History Month has gained a distinct momentum throughout last year. While notable women receive recognition year round, March especially commemorates their accomplishments and divulges the ongoing women’s rights movements.

Women’s History Month is no longer solely dependent on active campaigns or boycotts. Through the digital world, activism roots itself at our fingertips, employing an open platform for all people to utilize.

“Since a lot of people go on [social media], you don’t really expect to see things like [activism]. But there are people that are oblivious to Women’s History Month, so I feel like it’s a good way to get the message out to people,” sophomore Ovia Sundar said.

Sundar, like many students, utilizes social media on a frequent basis and has gained a broader perspective on social issues. Though Women’s History Month has been recognized for the past thirty years, its attention grows in tandem with the digital realm.

“A lot of the time in movies and stuff, it seems like a lot of the female characters were written by people who are male. There also aren’t a lot of female directors who have such a good position in the media,” Sundar said.

Female participation and recognition are yet to be on par with the predominantly male involvement in media. Even with female roles, as Sundar has mentioned, underlying hints of patriarchy are still everpresent. Furthermore, recognition and privilege have been tailored to each gender.

“Just the amount of sexism that you can find at our school; I was at the weight lifting room and these guys were talking about how girls couldn’t bench press or even lift a dumbbell- and I was right there,” sophomore Isabella Benton said.

Benton is not alone in the face of misogyny. Deconstructing the gender framework requires active engagement and attention to the social issue itself and Women’s History Month spotlights the influx of feminism through recognition and commemoration. But despite a month of appreciation, women’s history is yet to be empowered throughout the education system.

“I’ve only really had one teacher who had talked about [Women’s History Month] and no other teachers of mine have really addressed it. Other than social media, I feel like our school didn’t do much about it,” Benton said.

Despite the growing presence in the media, Women’s History Month still has gaps and obstacles. Gender wage gaps, reproductive rights, and gender equality are still modern issues that root from the base of our society. But by educating and validating the stories and statistics, we swallow the pill when it comes to female empowerment.

From bouquets of specially arranged flowers in Italy to 24-hour gender wage strikes in Spain, the ephemeral 31 days are filled with both remembrance and pride for the women who have shaped the world we celebrate today. Celebrate the integrity and memorialize the many achievements of the women who continue to inspire us in our lives.