Updated: Mar 18
by Ashleigh Owens, Assistant Editor-in-Chief
Happy Women’s History Month Jags! After the year we’ve all had, now is an especially important time to celebrate the amazing women in our lives.
Ms. Thomas, an English teacher and founder of Diversity Club at Bradley, had some excellent insight on Women’s History Month. She explained that “historically, we’ve seen minorities of all kinds face discrimination. In terms of woman, we’re always stopped by that ‘glass ceiling’. Until we know for sure that women can move up the corporate ladder and achieve their dreams, we have to continue working. Until we know they can achieve their dreams without worrying ‘I’m a woman’, we have to address these things.” But some women face harder circumstances than others. Ms. Thomas shared that an important new development in women’s rights, and the rights of minorities in general, The Equality Act. “One of the things [she’d] like to point out is the passing of the Equality Act, at least on the federal level, because this gives us a chance to validate trans women as women. This is a huge step towards progress in the United States.” When talking about making Women’s History Month more inclusive, Ms. Thomas said “obviously yes, [she] think[s] it should be more inclusive. That centers on the idea that trans women are women, and celebrating them. [She] think[s] we need to have more conversations today about what women face, and that women’s rights didn’t just end with suffrage.” Ms. Thomas had some great thoughts on Women’s History Month and is a great example for students at Bradley. We are so lucky to have her!
We’re also fortunate to have some amazing students as well. Rosie Cornell (12) had a lot of great points on Women’s History Month. She shared that “[she] think[s] it is important to celebrate women’s history month because women have gone through so much, and we still aren’t equal. If someone said it’s not necessary, [she] would explain to them that women have fought to be equal, and we still haven’t reached that mark. [She’d] also say that women are just as influential as men!”. Piper Bril (10) added her insight on Women’s History Month by saying “Women's history month is genuinely so important, because the rights women have currently, weren't always in place... and the rights that women have still are not equal to those of a man. To those who believe it's not necessary, [she] challenge[s] you to think of every woman in your life you have met and respected. Is it fair for them to be treated any less than equal? Are you privileged to have not fought for equal rights in the past? Does having a month dedicated to those who have paved the way and continue to pave the way towards equality not honorable and respectable?” Piper also shared some current issues, explaining “Recently [she] believe[s] that society has advanced to feel more comfortable about advocating for equality that women deserve. [She] think[s] people are ending the silence and fighting to rectify the inequalities that are present in everyday life. One example [she] think[s] of would be the USWNT (US Women's National Team (Soccer) ) and their fight for "equal play, equal pay". This wave of advocacy and lawsuit is still happening today, but the group of athletes including Megan Rapinoe, Alex Morgan, and more have had many small victories towards equality.” Rosie had a different take, sharing “In regards to any advancements in women’s rights, [she hasn’t] seen much. [She] still think[s] women are viewed differently in a workplace, and [she doesn't] think many advancements have been made.” It can definitely be challenging to have change not occurring at the pace we’d like. Rosie explained that “[she] would definitely try to make women’s history month a more widespread issue across the globe. [She] feel[s] as though America celebrates it, but many other countries don’t know about it. [She] would add it to the phone calendar, so everyone has access to see it, and [she] would add more television specials to make women’s history month more available to all people.” Piper suggested to “truly just make it more open to inclusivity. Women's month has the opportunity to cover a very wide topic. Let's honor and respect every woman and the communities within that deserve awareness. [She] think[s] that spreading the true meaning of feminism is also very important during this month. It doesn't mean that a woman is better than a man, only that they are EQUAL. Then, take the initiative to guide the conversation to talk about the waves of feminism, and WHO STARTED THEM and why!!!” These are all great points, and I can’t wait to see the amazing things these two powerful women do in the future!
To end, I had every woman I interviewed share an influential woman in their life. Ms. Thomas shared that “[her] mom would definitely be a woman [she] think[s] of as a role model for [her]. Throughout [her] entire life she’s been an example of what a strong woman is, what a professional woman is, what a friend is, what an amazing mother is and [she] strive[s] daily to be her. There are many women like [her] sisters, coworkers and more, but if [she] had to choose one [she] would say [her] mom!” Rosie said “A woman that [she] find[s] to be an influential role model is Billie Eilish. She is always honest, and she speaks her mind. She urges people to be kind to one another, and that is very important, especially during the pandemic. She truly cares about human rights, and making America a better place for everyone. She is a woman who doesn’t dress for other people, she dresses for herself. A lot of people think a woman needs to dress up to impress men, and she changes that stigma”. Piper told me “One role model [she has] would be Megan Rapinoe, who is involved in Equal Play Equal Pay. She is not afraid to stand up for what she believes in regarding human rights. She is a force to be reckoned with and continues to fight for equality everyday, all whilst killing it on the soccer pitch.” She added that “As for a role model in [her] personal life, [she] look[s] up to [her] older sister, Audrey. Audrey is never afraid to advocate for herself as well as those she loves. [Audrey] has the biggest heart of anyone [she has] ever met, and her kindness is contagious... but she knows when and how to be strict when needed. [Audrey] is so incredibly strong and [she] hope[s] to become half the woman [Audrey] is one day.”
Take this month to express your love and gratitude for all the women in your life. Continue to push for progress in not only women's rights, but the rights and wellbeing of all minorities. Happy Women’s History Month and a special shout-out to all the strong, amazing women who make Hilliard Bradley what it is! As G.D. Anderson once said, “Feminism isn’t about making women stronger. Women are already strong. It’s about changing the way the world perceives that strength.”