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March offers great opportunity for students to expand knowledge

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It is time for students to embrace women’s history month! For too long students like myself have made little to no effort in learning and appreciating the role of women throughout history.

I will bring you through an embarrassing encounter that I had with one of my professors that really opened my eyes to the importance and severity of her words and to appreciate the month’s dedication.

My professor walked into my class and asked us to name one great woman who has done amazing things to advance women’s rights and is still alive.

Now I will embarrassingly admit that I myself was at a loss for a name.

Of course everyone could think of Alice Paul or some of the other women’s suffrage leaders but when it came to more modern activists most us were clueless.

It wasn’t until she explained that this was a question she asked her first year students every semester and got the same blank stare we gave her.

It was, however, not expected to have the same result. That’s when she talked about Shirley Chisholm or Betty Friedan…Maybe one or two students even nodded their heads as if those names were familiar.

I have no excuse for my lack of knowledge and I won’t try to make one, but what I learned is that there is much more to history if we can listen to “Herstory”.

If you were to ask me even as early as a week ago, I would have said I was a major history buff. I could recite the achievements and facts from the Roman Republic to the more modern events of the world, however what I could not do was recognize or recite the grandiose achievements of the women of our time and the battles they have fought for equality.

That is why I encourage everyone to go and attend the Westfield State’s, “Women’s Herstory Month” events that are being put on by the department of diversity and inclusion along with a wide variety of distinguished guests and panelists.

These events should be used at the very least as the beginning of the education of women achievement and the struggle for equality and respect in all parts of the world, even our own.

If anything at all can be done, we should take this time to reflect and appreciate women like Shirley Chisholm and Gloria Steinem and expand our knowledge to those fighting outside of our country as well.

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