WOMEN'S HISTORY MONTH
WHY DO WE CELEBRATE WHM?
Women's History Month was initially born out of the push for women's equal access to jobs and education. It is now a time set aside to honor women’s contributions in American history!
LET'S LEARN TOGETHER!
WHY IS THERE NO MEN'S HISTORY MONTH?
This is a question you may hear echoed about this month. Here is why we have a designated Women's History Month:
Everyday life is already full of events, names, and images that commemorate things men have done. From our currency to entertainment awards, men's achievements are often widely taught and celebrated.
The history we learn is basically “men’s history” by default, and general history lessons already overemphasize men’s accomplishments.
In the past, men have often gotten recognition and credit for women's achievements, such as the men who were credited with the discovery of DNA when in reality Rosalind Franklin was responsible for the research that determined DNA's unique double helix shape.
For centuries, men have had significantly more power than women, from legal to social power.
It is important to remember that when people complain about the lack of a "men's history month," it’s their way of ignoring the fact that inequality still exists. Recognizing that inequality is uncomfortable, so some people would rather view themselves as left out than see the larger picture of systemic injustice.
WHAT IS "WOMXN" AND WHY DO I SEE IT USED SOMETIMES?
The term "womxn" is an alternative spelling of the word "woman." The term "womxn" has been adopted by various organizations, including student university groups, who call it more inclusive of trans and nonbinary people than other alternative spellings. Conversely, the use of "womxn" as a gender-inclusive alternative to woman has also been criticized for having the transphobic implication that trans women are not women, but rather require a separate category. When we use it here at CUC, we use it to be inclusive of gender-fluid or nonbinary individuals who identify with the idea of womanhood but do not call themselves "women."
WHAT IS FEMINISM?
Feminism is the political and social movement based on the belief that people of all sexes and genders should be equal. It does not suggest that women are better than men, or deserve more rights, but rather states that everything should be equal for everyone.
HOW DOES FEMINISM HELP MEN?
Men are often harmed by women's inequality. For instance, men aren't often allowed to freely express their emotions, experience companionable touch with their friends, or be a stay-at-home father without judgement and criticism. This also stems to larger, more dangerous issues, such as the fact that men struggle to be believed when reporting sexual violence despite the fact that 1 out of every 10 rape victims are male. Feminism takes away the negative stigma from "feminine" traits and problems, allowing men to live fuller, freer lives.
DO TRANSWOMEN COUNT AS WOMEN?
Absolutely. While there are some forms of feminism that exclude transwomen (referred to as TERFs), we recognize that womanhood is an identity that anyone is welcome to share in, and that there are no benefits to gatekeeping it. Being a woman is who you are in your mind and spirit, and if your body does not align with that at birth, it is okay to make adjustments to become more of your authentic self. At CUC, we support transwomen 100%.
There are many ways that you can support the Black community this month and beyond, but here are a few ideas:
1) Shop at women-owned businesses.
We put our money where our values are, and supporting Black-owned small businesses shows both your ideological and financial support of Black individuals.
2) Support female artists and creators.
You can do this by following and sharing their social media accounts, leaving positive reviews on products, and recommending women-created products and artists to your family and friends.
3) Educate yourself on systemic issues such as intersectionality, pay inequality, sexual and domestic violence, and the Pink Tax.
There are lots of great resources out there, and it's important to use them! Rather than expecting women to teach you about their experience and issues they face, do that work on your own so that they aren't doing extra work in the fight against sexism.
WAYS TO CELEBRATE WHM
There are great events going on around the community where you can learn, engage, and celebrate!
1) Free Admission in Celebration of International Women's Day at History Colorado
On March 8th celebrate Women's History Month with a visit to the Center for Colorado Women's History. They will be offering free admission to tour their historic house to all guests. Guided tours are every half hour from 10:30 am to 3:30 pm.
Bonus: there is free general admission for kids every day at all History Colorado museums!
2) Women’s History Month Public Art Tour
This is a a self-guided tour of Denver Public Art pieces by and about women. The collection features original works by many talented sculptors, painters, muralists and designers.
3) Women's History Month at the Denver Public Library
In addition to reading any of the library's curated book lists, you can attend their fun events including Feminist Bingo and the Suffragette Tea Party!