Women’s history month reminds us to keep fighting

Megan Lee | The Chronicle

When I think of women, I think of beauty. 

I think of strength, determination and most importantly love. I think of a woman scorned, and those who have been broken by the world that strived so hard to change. I think of Jane Austen, and how she wrote her way to success in a time period where women had to fight to have anything. 

Women were given the month of March. Women’s History Month. The month when the earth begins to come alive again, the month when the trees gain their leaves and the flowers begin to bloom. It is the transition between winter and spring, between dark nights and sunshine. March is beautiful. That’s why we were given it, because when we think of women we think of beauty. Right? 

No. Women were given the month of March because of the years of toxic masculinity that prevented our ancestors from having their own identities. Up until the 1850s, married women were defined as the property of the men they are tied to. The men that they could not divorce. The men they didn’t choose to marry. The men who still have control over our bodies. 

I praise the women who came before me, the ones who fought through their entire life for the rights I now have. The women who have given me the right to marry for love and work for anything I want in life. I feel for the women who still face gender inequality in their work, social standing or home. The women who have been forced to bear a child they did not want. Society preaches that we are equal, yet women have to fight every day for their right to an abortion, to choose what to do with their own bodies. 

International Women’s Day is celebrated on March 8 of each year, beginning in New York City in 1857, when female textile workers marched in protest of the unfair labor laws and conditions within their workplace. Ever since, the day of March 8 has been a prominent day in the eyes of women around the world. 

But one day or one month will not replace the hundreds of years of discrimination against women. It will not bring peace to the women who have lost their lives because they were not granted an abortion. We continue to chip away at the disparities between men and women but no matter how hard we try, we will never be truly equal. We need to remember to respect the women in our lives and continue to strive for equality in all aspects of our society. While I appreciate having a month dedicated to the women who have sacrificed before me, the respect should not end when April begins. 

I want to continue to spread the wisdom of the women who came before me and the ones who lost their lives fighting for their own identity, and I encourage others around me to do the same.