Celebrate Women’s History Month

Written by Anna Furney, Reporter

 March is Women’s History Month 一 a month taken to reflect upon all that women have done throughout the past when they were otherwise ignored. March is dedicated as this celebratory month because multiple events related to women’s rights occurred in March, including the founding of the National Woman’s Party. Women had to fight tirelessly for the rights they now have in the United States, including voting rights and more job opportunities. Without looking to the past, women cannot fully appreciate the present or plan for the future.

  Two centuries ago, women were not seen as citizens. They could not vote, own or inherit property or work most jobs. If a man died, his firstborn son was counted as next of kin instead of his wife. Largely, women were seen as objects and nothing more. Their purpose was to satisfy men by cleaning the house, cooking food and producing heirs. While exceptions to this did exist, most women’s lives were limited to this system. 

  One century ago, women were fighting harder for suffrage than ever before. They had some more opportunities to work and own property, but these were still limited. The Women’s Suffrage Movement became the first large-scale movement for women’s rights, and they worked slowly for years, until Alice Paul, an activist, led the confrontational National Woman’s Party in the 1910s. Protesters were jailed and faced less than humane conditions, including force-feeding and being tied up in uncomfortable positions. Nevertheless, the vote to allow women’s suffrage passed, by one vote, and all their work achieved the long sought-after results. 

  Women have been fighting for equal rights for all. Before women had rights of their own, they were fighting for others. Women made up the majority of the Temperance Movement, which was the movement for prohibition, and the anti-slavery movement in New England. The Temperance Movement sought to take fathers out of bars after work and bring them back home with their families because drunkenness and alcoholism were rampant in the 1800s. The anti-slavery movement would never have grown to the extent it did without the influence of strong, sympathetic women. 

  Today, women enjoy the most freedoms in all of their history in the United States. They can vote, work any job they want, own property and most importantly, they don’t always need a man’s permission to do these things. Women have come a long way since the founding of this nation and will continue to thrive as the strong, independent women they are while remembering the histories of the strong women who have come before them.