Women’s History Month: Read, Listen, Watch, Reflect

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Immediately, March 8, is Worldwide Girls’s Day (IWD 2022). The vacation is put aside to honor girls’s achievements throughout classes together with tradition, science, politics, and economics. It’s additionally a day to deal with work that also must be accomplished within the areas of gender equality, reproductive rights, and violence in opposition to girls. Though the primary celebration, again in 1911, was tied to the ladies’s motion of the Russian Revolution, at present’s vacation belongs to all girls no matter nationality or location.

This 12 months, the theme for Worldwide Girls’s Day is #BreakTheBias. Bias is one thing that I’ve written about loads at Girls’s Voices for Change, particularly the bias that has stored Hollywood’s girls from attaining the identical alternatives as Hollywood’s males, and I share IWD 2022’s imaginative and prescient:

Think about a gender equal world.
A world freed from bias, stereotypes, and discrimination.
A world that’s numerous, equitable, and inclusive.
A world the place distinction is valued and celebrated.
Collectively we will forge girls’s equality.
Collectively we will all #BreakTheBias.

Worldwide Girls’s Day is just the start. All the month of March is put aside as Girls’s Historical past Month, acknowledged by the United Nations in 1970 and by Congress in 1987. In fact, supporting girls is an exercise we ought to be participating in year-round — whether or not that’s by teaching and mentoring youthful girls, creating alternatives for girls to advance, purchasing at women-owned companies, donating to women-centric nonprofits, or searching for out works by girls artists, writers, and filmmakers. There are numerous methods to chip away on the biases that at the moment exist.

This 12 months, the Library of Congress, Nationwide Archives and Data Administration, Nationwide Endowment for the Humanities, Nationwide Gallery of Artwork, Nationwide Park Service, Smithsonian Establishment, and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum have joined forces to commemorate and encourage the research, observance, and celebration of the oft-forgotten function of girls in American historical past.

Pulling from greater than a dozen of its collections, the Library of Congress gives guides and assets that span girls’s participation in all elements of U.S. historical past. Along with a wealth of content material, official paperwork, and memorabilia, there’s a librarian accessible by chat on weekdays from midday to 4 pm EST.

Should you choose listening to studying, there are a lot of (in all probability numerous) podcasts to select from. One among my favorites, now in its 11th season, is The History Chicks. Hosts Beckett Graham and Susan Vollenweider are fast to warn that, “This isn’t your conventional historical past lesson.” Along with recording their energetic discussions on feminine characters in historical past, “factual or fictional,” they put up present notes and recommendations for additional research. A fast have a look at their full episodes checklist (they’re about to hit 200) and also you’ll discover an eclectic mixture of feminine trailblazers, from Hattie McDaniel to Lucille Ball, Catherine the Nice to Jackie Onassis, Jane Austen to Maya Angelou, and Alice in Wonderland to Mrs. Claus. 

In case your pursuits lie in additional up to date tales of notable girls, subscribe to 9 to 5ish, an interview-based podcast by the cofounders of TheSkimm, Danielle Weisenberg and Carly Zakin. They produce a weekly sequence that guarantees “the work recommendation you want, from girls who’ve been there.” Their most up-to-date visitor was Laurie Segall, who started as a journalist, reimagined CNN’s expertise protection, and finally based Dot Dot Dot, a media platform that examines new expertise by means of “a human lens.”

Good for these of us who by no means appear to have sufficient time, Womanica (initially — and cleverly — titled Encyclopedia Womanica) gives tales of iconic girls in environment friendly however participating five-to-10-minute bites. This month, Womanica is specializing in innovators, with fast episodes devoted to mathematician Ada Lovelace, pc designer Evelyn Berezin, espresso filter inventor Melitta Bentz, and physicist Katharine Burr Blodgett. A particular bonus episode previews a brand new podcast referred to as Getting Even with Anita Hill.

Lastly, for those who’d choose to observe tv applications for, by, and about girls, you’ll discover specifically curated selections on all the subscription streaming providers. However top-of-the-line locations to show, for a few of the very best quality applications, is PBS.

The Vote is obtainable as a part of public tv’s acclaimed American Expertise sequence. Produced two years in the past for the centennial of the 19th Modification, The Vote tells the story of girls’s campaign to earn suffrage in America. In two elements, and a complete of 4 hours, this transformative chapter of American historical past is examined by means of firsthand accounts, historian commentary, pictures, and historic paperwork. Though it covers 75 years of devoted and heroic activism, a lot of the focus is on the motion’s final decade. It ought to be required viewing for any girl (or man) who takes voting as a right.

For Our Girls is a brief (eleven-minute) movie that focuses on the distinctive challenges, deep ache, and nice love Black girls expertise elevating daughters. From coping with racist bullying to hypersexualization to diminishing self value, the movie explores how parenting Black women is totally different from parenting white women. The tales and experiences shared are significantly shifting within the aftermath of the deaths of Sandra Bland and Breonna Taylor.

One other nice quick movie, Without a Whisper, explores the function Indigenous girls performed in America’s suffrage motion. The hidden however vital affect of the ladies of the Haudenosaunee (renamed Iroquois by English settlers) Nation is rigorously taught by Professor Sally Roesch Wagner and Mohawk Clan Mom Louise Herne. Whereas we might consider the suffrage motion as the beginning of girls’s equality, in reality, indigenous girls within the U.S. had energy lengthy earlier than European girls did.

Lastly, later this month, PBS will air the Oscar-nominated documentary Writing With Fire as a part of its Impartial Lens sequence. The film chronicles the work of the decided girls who run Khabar Lahariya (translated as “Information Wave”) in India, reporting on nationwide and native information from a feminist perspective, and defying the percentages within the face of deep-rooted discrimination.

As President Biden states in his 2022 proclamation on Girls’s Historical past Month, a White Home custom that goes again to President Carter and what was then Girls’s Historical past Week:

This Girls’s Historical past Month, as we mirror on the achievements of girls and women throughout the centuries and pay tribute to the pioneers who paved the best way, allow us to recommit to the combat and assist understand the deeply American imaginative and prescient of a extra equal society the place each individual has a shot at pursuing the American dream.  In doing so, we are going to advance financial development, our well being and security, and the safety of our Nation and the world.

Writing With Hearth will premiere on PBS March 28. Different PBS titles talked about can be found on-line.

 

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