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  • Kayla Parks

What Does Women’s History Month Mean to You? A Personal Reflection

Every March we recognize Women’s History Month and the impact women have on our world. When we think of Women’s History Month, what comes to mind?

When I think of Women’s History Month, I think of all the women who fought for the equality we see today - of the women who are still fighting for true equality right now, in 2021, and how insanely courageous women are. I think of women who marched and yelled for changes and I think of women who still do. When I think of Women’s History Month, I think of the women who placed a flower in a gun during the Flower Power Movement. I think of the women who applied lipstick in the reflection of a police shield. I think of the women who didn't show even an ounce of fear when a man was screaming in her face.

I think of every single women who have founded and created groundbreaking inventions - safer life rafts, home security systems, dishwashers, fold-out beds, feeding tubes, cataract treatment, and stem cell isolation. I remind myself that women, especially women of color, historically have fewer resources to patent their ideas and market their inventions and are often overlooked or don’t receive credit. Women’s History Month shows me how resourceful, powerful, and intelligent women are.

I’m also reminded of how despite our victories as women, the dangers we face just for being women. I think of the women whose lives have been cut short for incomprehensible reasons. I think of the 97% of women who have been sexually assaulted. I think of the survivors who don’t even realize they’re survivors because of the normalization of rape culture. I remember the threats that constantly surround women everyday. I’m reminded why we travel in pairs, why we don’t walk at night, why we walk with our keys in-between our knuckles, or why we instantly lock our car doors when we get in. But I also know that women are not delicate or fragile. We are resilient and vigorous - we fight back.

I also think of my mother. I think of how much she’s overcome and how strong she is as a person. I’m reminded how no matter how much life challenges her, she’s elastic and adapts so quickly to any situation. I think of how many lives she’s changed in her career in medicine and how many lives she’s saved - even when patients doubted her ability to because she’s a woman. She’s kind and understanding, but she doesn’t allow people to disrespect her. I think of my sisters - one is going into neuroscience but is the jack of many trades. She has a degree in culinary and another in psychology, and now she’s pursuing neurology. She’s extroverted and humorous - but isn’t afraid to say what’s on her mind. Another has already graduated with her degree in nursing and has been at the forefront of the pandemic, working up close and personal to save the lives of others. She’s reserved and quiet, but her empathy for others runs ocean’s deep. I think of my younger sister, who is majoring in communications and dreams of being a teacher. She’s gentle and generous - but she knows exactly what she wants out of life and settles for nothing less. I think of my friends who are majoring in male-dominated fields and excelling. I think of myself and how adaptable I am.

Women’s History Month is more than just a reminder of all these things, it’s a celebration of women worldwide and the victories we’ve fought so hard for. Women’s History Month is incredibly important not just for me, but for everyone. Besides, without women - we wouldn’t be here today. What does Women’s History Month mean to you?


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