By Le’Shawn Turner (Follow us on LinkedIn)
From the minds of women came innovations, inventions, creations, and advancement. From the hearts of women came love, acceptance, bravery, and sincerity. From the acts of women came charity, education, movement, suffrage, and opportunities.
In 1981, Women’s History Week was enacted by the 97th Congress. Congress designated the week beginning March 7, 1982 as Women’s History Week. (Women’s History Week, 97 P.L. 28, 95 Stat. 148 (1981)). The Joint Resolution is a powerful statement acknowledging the powers of women. It speaks to the essence of the struggle women have endured to merely exist in this world.
“Whereas American women of every race, class, and ethnic background helped found the Nation in countless recorded and unrecorded ways as servants, slaves, nurses, nuns, homemakers, industrial workers, teachers, reformers, soldiers, and pioneers;” (Id.). Every type of woman has made a vital contribution to this country. A country that denied women the right to vote until the passing of the 19th Amendment (passed in 1919 and ratified in 1920) and treated us as second class citizens. We could not own property, but we could work the land. We could not have our own money or our own voice but we could give birth to the ones who could speak for us (men). All women are pioneers in their own way.
As a mother with daughters, my job is to teach them that while their gender will be counted against them, it doesn’t count them out. I have to show them and teach them that because she was a woman, Madame C.J. Walker capitalized on the need for hair care products and cosmetics for melanin infused women, not despite the fact that she was a woman. I have to teach them and show them that it’s okay to let your emotions lead you and to act with your heart sometimes. It does not make you less of a person nor does it make you less competent or worthy. I have to teach them that anyone who tries to make them feel like the only thing they are good for is lying on their back and procreating is the very definition of good for nothing. It’s a tough job, but I’m honored to do it!
Women’s History Month is not a dig against men nor is it designed to make men feel inferior. But humans designed the world to celebrate men on a daily basis. “Whereas despite these contributions, the role of American women in history has been consistently overlooked and undervalued in the body of American history”. (Id.). March is a time to reflect and remember that progress (financial, political, emotional, physical, and spiritual) was not made by man alone.
Hug the women in your life, even if you are the only one. Be grateful for the good women in your life that have taught you lessons. Be a good woman in someone’s life so that they are exposed to a fraction of the awesomeness of being a woman. Pray for the women in your life, that we all may be strong, resilient, loving, smart, and unique.
Women’s History Week, 97 P.L. 28, 95 Stat. 148 (1981)
Notes Between Us (NBU) is a blog about conversations and topics of interest to the writers. The writers are expressing their personal opinions solely. The essays represent their personal beliefs and not that of their workplaces or any organization they are associated with.