There’s this idea that because we live in an age where women have more rights than they once did, that it means we no longer have to think about the age when women were treated as second-class citizens. However, the fact of the matter is, that time wasn’t so long ago. There are some that even argue that time isn’t even over now. So, when I hear people say they don’t understand why we need a Women’s History Month, you can probably imagine my shock to such a statement.
We need to remember the sacrifices of Susan B. Anthony, Alice Paul, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucy Stone, and Ida B. Wells who fought for a woman’s right to vote amongst their many other social activist causes. Ida B. Wells for example also had also fought to accurately report lynchings to bring awareness and rally people to outlaw such a heinous crime.
We need to remember Emily Davies, Barbara Bodichon, Judith Sargent Murray, and Ruby Jane Bolin. These women pioneered and fought for women, both caucasian and women of color, to pursue a college education.
We need to remember Deborah Sampson, Edith Nourse Rogers, Mary A. Hallaren, and the women who served in the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps who pioneered and fought for a woman’s right to join the military as a soldier and not just as a nurse.
We need to remember Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Josephine Lowell, Leonora O’Reilly, Lucy Parsons, and Ella Reeve. These were the women who fought for a woman’s right to go to work and contribute an income to the home, rather than remain only a housewife.
We need to remember Jeannette Rankin, Rebecca Latimer Felton, Hattie Caraway, Sandra Day O’Connor, and Nancy Pelosi who were a few of the first women to hold an official political office. These offices include first woman senators, the first woman Supreme Court Justice, and of course the first woman to be the speaker of the House of Representatives.
We need to remember Elizabeth Birch, Audre Lorde, Roma Guy, June Chan, Danielle Egnew, Marsha P. Johnson, Laverne Cox, and Ellen DeGeneres. These were a few of many, many brave women both passed and alive fighting for LGBTQ+ rights, so that men, women, and everyone else has the freedom to be who they are and love who they love.
We need to remember all these women, and so many more, because if it weren’t for them, then women today wouldn’t have the privileges we do. Our rights were fought for by our great-grandmothers, grandmothers, and so on. We as a country have come so far, and yet at the same time have so far to go.
We need to remember these women because there are still men living today that wishes we could return to the time when women were only obedient housewives and mothers, and laugh at the idea of women being as capable as they are of anything. This month doesn’t exist to serve some political agenda, it’s to keep everyone educated and to remember that we can’t let the fight for these rights be in vain. We, as a society, need to remember how far women have come so that we can continue to rise up. Happy women’s history month, everyone, and for all my fellow women, I am excited to see what we’ll accomplish next.