Breaking News! The Month of March has been designated WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH — Since 1987 by Congressional Proclamation
Every March I wait to see how the mainstream media circus will honor Women’s History Month…and every March I am thoroughly disappointed. Some years we get a brief mention on the 6 o’clock news; some years nothing. Why doesn’t the concept of women’s contributions to American history grab the attention of the media circus?
Since 1976, when President Gerald Ford sat in the Oval Office, February has been recognized as Black History Month by the US government. Over time, the media has embraced this designation, even, occasionally, running educational segments that have helped reintegrate the contributions of Black Americans into the annals of American History. At least, almost every American knows that February is Black History Month.
Granted Women’s History Month was not established nationally until 1987, but the media has had thirty years to recognize this designation and celebrate the historic accomplishment of women, yet today, in 2017– thirty years later–most people in this country remain unaware that March is Women’s History Month or even that there is a Women’s History Month. Tragic but true– most women remain unaware that the month of March has been set aside to celebrate their accomplishments and contributions toward the building of this nation. To quote President Trump:
But why, why do women and their issues always get swept under the rug? Most men don’t seem to care about women’s issues or women’s contributions to our nation’s history–they seem to equate women’s issues with PMS and daycare–not of much interest to most men. Also, women’s contributions to history are not generally accompanied by cannons, troop movement and massacres– the stuff that really grabs the headlines.
But what about women? Why are the women in this country so unaware of Women’s History Month? Because deep down, I believe, most women see other women–not themselves of course– as not quite as important and capable as men. Women have done the bidding of men, built their lives around the acquisition and satisfaction of men for so many millennia, we are totally acclimated to our own “lesser-ness.” We have become accustomed to our servitude, yet we vehemently resent being reminded of it. Here’s a stat for the resenters to chew on:
According to US Department of Labor, on an average day, 22 percent of men do housework, compared with 50 percent of women. (1) Given that as of 2010, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, women made up 47% of the US work force–almost half–ask yourself, what is wrong with this picture? (2)
Oh, I can just hear the objections: ” I’m not a servant,” I’m not lesser,” I’m not insignificant.” We women all feel that we are individually exceptional. But as a group, because we have no loyalty to our own causes, to our own kind, we truly fall short. Until we face our own lack of gender esteem, we will remain the second class citizens we still are; until we learn to vote as women first and foremost, women and their issues will continue to be swept under the rug.
That is the reason we could not elect a woman as president. We, as a group, allowed ourselves to be hornswaggled by a right-wing propaganda machine bent on vilifying our candidate and deifying a tough-talking, pussy-grabbing real estate magnate promising great change. Whether we stayed home, whining about how disheartened we were, or pulled the lever for Trump, we, as a group, turned our backs on a qualified, serious female candidate and once again threw our skirts up over our heads and ran squealing into the arms of Big Daddy.
Too harsh? Too bad.
What to do? How can I, an ordinary American, with minimal social media presence, effect a change in the national appreciation of women by women, by society at large? To start, how can I raise awareness of Women’s History Month?
I pledge that for the Month of March, I will focus the Maddaniels Blog (maddaniels.wordpress.com) on the cause of women’s equality and to bringing Women’s History Month into prominence. I also pledge to call my local media outlets, women’s groups and politicians– including the White House–and ask them how they intend to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Women’s History Month.
Hopefully by taking these first steps, I can move the needle just a little.
WHAT WILL YOU PLEDGE?
- Economic News Release; U.S. Department of Labor,Bureau of Statistics, June 24, 2016: https://www.bls.gov/news.release/atus.nr0.htm
- TED: The Economics Daily; U.S. Dept. of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics: May 1, 2012: https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2012/ted_20120501.htm