This Thursday begins Women’s History month. Admittedly, I’m not a history buff. Not even a little bit. This is horrible since both my dad and brother were/are history majors. When I try and think about important women in history, I can only come up with a short list and that’s not cool. In part this is because of my own apathy toward history, but also because the history of women is often glossed over in history books.
Very recent Oscar winner Meryl Streep has been on TV lately not only promoting her movie The Iron Lady (has anyone seen this yet?!) but promoting the need for a National Women’s History Museum. Meryl has become the face for this organization fighting for the importance of acknowledging women’s place in history.
You might be asking why this is necessary or if it is necessary at all. It is. In a world where women are glorified for less than admirable qualities and “talents,” a museum like this is crucial. A museum dedicated to sharing the stories of strong and courageous women creates more outlets for women and girls to see themselves in these women and will ultimately create a population of stronger, more educated, more awesome women.
Social media has become a really fantastic way for me to learn about the stories of other women. Through communities like #WLSalt on Twitter and ReverbBroads, I’ve connected with the trials and triumphs of other women and been supported by them as well. I’ve recognized my own struggles and been helped through difficult situations by these communities. Additionally, social media makes me realize the importance of learning more about women like Margaret Thatcher or Amelia Jenks Bloomer or women who might not have a voice so I can learn from them and share their stories, too.
My graduate institution, Loyola University Chicago, has done a really great series called Telling HERStory since 2010. If you’re in the area, I encourage you to attend a HERstory. If you aren’t, you’re in luck because they have archived each event for your viewing pleasure. I’ve had the good fortune of learning from a few of these women in weekly classes and know you will not be disappointed.
How you share your story? In what ways do you learn about the stories of other women? Why do you think it’s important?