I’m excited to announce to all four of my readers that something very cool will be happening right here on this blog next month. March is Women’s History Month, and to celebrate, I’m launching a new project: Women You Missed in History Class. Every day during the month of March, I’ll be highlighting notable women whose important contributions history has overlooked or forgotten. Here’s your chance to learn about 31 inspiring female heroes from the fields of STEM, arts, politics, law, sports, journalism, and more! If that doesn’t sound like the coolest thing ever, then what are you doing reading a blog called Feminist Killjoy?
I love Women’s History Month. I mean, they literally took two of my absolute favorite things in the entire world–women and history–and dedicated an entire month to them. I think every month should be Women’s History Month. Every day should be dedicated to celebrating the accomplishments of women and girls throughout history. As the world’s biggest history nerd, the prospect of researching and writing about 31 different women over the course of one month truly is my idea of a good time. I imagine this is how normal people feel about, I don’t know, parties or video games. And because I am just that big of a nerd, 31 women wasn’t enough Women’s History Month research for me. Let’s take a look at some of the things I learned about the history of Women’s History Month itself, shall we?
In 1980, Jimmy Carter issued the first presidential proclamation making the week of March 8th (International Women’s Day) National Women’s History Week, thanks to a lobbying campaign by Gerda Lerner and the National Women’s History Project. That same year, Congress began drafting a bipartisan resolution for National Women’s History Week 1981. Fun fact: Maryland’s own Barbara Mikulski co-sponsored the resolution, so that’s just one more reason to love her. The resolution had widespread support on both sides of the aisle. Can you imagine Republicans supporting any sort of recognition of women today? But in 1980, they apparently did. By 1986, 14 states had expanded National Women’s History Week to a whole month, and 1987 was the first time the whole country observed Women’s History Month. Since 1988, every president has issued a proclamation designating March as National Women’s History Month. Can’t wait to see how Donald Trump screws this one up. Here’s something I bet you didn’t know about Women’s History Month: In the US, UK, and Australia, Women’s History Month is celebrated in March, to coincide with International Women’s Day, but in Canada, Women’s History Month is celebrated in October, to coincide with Persons Day on October 18th.
If you don’t like that kind of history nerd, fun fact stuff, you might want to stay away from my blog until April. And possibly forever, because I think that stuff’s really cool. But if you are into that kind of thing, I’m really excited to share this with you, and I hope we both learn a lot. I’m going to be doing a lot of research and writing over the next month. Like, a LOT of it–possibly more than I ever did when I was in college. Am I up to the challenge of doing all that research and publishing a blog post every day for a month? Probably not. But it’ll be fun to see how far I get, right? So tell your friends, and stay tuned for a month of historical fun facts and inspiring women!