Celebrating women should be everyday effort

by Samantha Festin , Contributor

San Diego State has celebrated Women’s History Month every March since it first started in 1987, according to the university library. 

This year, the Women’s Resource Center at SDSU kicked off the celebration with a meeting for the Women of Color Empowerment Group, held on Zoom, co-hosted by Counseling and Psychological Services and the SDSU Center for Intercultural Relations. The next event on Zoom was an opening keynote webinar featuring Roxane Gay, an author, editor and professor.

Women’s History Month celebrates contributions women have made to culture, history and society. Women should be appreciated every day for their accomplishments, and every month should be considered a time to value women and their roles in the workplace, at home and anywhere they make their mark. Understanding the importance of gender equality and equity helps prevent social disadvantages from causing unfair treatment toward all genders.

Nowadays, there are months dedicated to a variety of appreciations, from Pride Month and heritage months to Military Appreciation Month and Disability Awareness Month. March should not be the only month when people recognize the abilities and achievements of women but, of course, Women’s History Month should not be held every month. People just need to respect, cherish and thank women for their efforts as much as they can every day of the year. Everyone deserves praise for endeavoring to accomplish great things.

During the webinar, when asked what male members of the queer, Black or other marginalized communities can do to help better support women and nonbinary individuals, Gay gave words of advice for these communities.

“Be decent, which I would actually say is advice for everyone, regardless of gender, but men can make sure that they are not speaking over women, that they are creating opportunities for women to speak and then listening,” Gay said. “I mean, it shouldn’t have to be said, like, if you want to be a feminist, then be a feminist. Support women in whatever ways they need support to have equal space and equal say in the communities that you’re a part of.”

Gay talked about what Women’s History Month means to her during the webinar.

“I’m ambivalent about Women’s History Month in the same way that I’m ambivalent about Black History Month and Hispanic Heritage Month,” Gay said. “I think that they are necessary correctives to a stark imbalance in terms of historical representation and acknowledging the contributions that marginalized people have made to world history. I think it’s important, and I love any time that we acknowledge women’s contributions to history and to our present. I just wish that we did it year-round.”

The National Women’s History Alliance declared the theme of Women’s History Month this year as “Women Providing Healing, Promoting Hope,” which is “both a tribute to the ceaseless work of caregivers and frontline workers during this ongoing pandemic and also a recognition of the thousands of ways that women of all cultures have provided both healing and hope throughout history.” Women have changed the world in their own ways, continue to inspire others and create brighter days. Gratitude and fair treatment toward all genders throughout the year will bring the promising spirit of Women’s History Month into every month, promoting confidence and cheer.

Samantha Festin is a senior studying journalism. Follow her on Twitter @xxpeace4everxx.