Continued recognition for women’s struggles

March is Women’s History Month and Butler University’s Feminist Majority Leadership Alliance chapter, Demia, and the gender, women and sexuality studies program have several events planned in the coming month to celebrate.

The two groups have a variety of events planned from feminist speakers to all female rock bands, but they all have the same motive: to spread the  message that gender inequality is not just a concern of the past.

“It is a powerful reminder of the necessity for continued recognition for women’s struggles during all times and all places, including the present,” Ageeth Sluis, assistant professor of history and a gender studies faculty member said.

The purpose of Women’s History Month is to remember the enormous battles women fought in the past that give today’s women the opportunities that we have today, and it is also a call to realize the struggles we still have ahead.

The gender studies program and Demia recognized the continuous importance of Women’s History Month and have consequently planned a month full of events for its recognition and celebration.

Bethany Hughes, award-winning historian and author, will lecture on her book “Helen of Troy: Goddess, Princess, Whore, and How to Write the Biography of a Hole.” There will be a post-presentation book signing and reception.

The Vagina Monologues will also be held Friday at 7 p.m. in the Reilly Room.

Planned Parenthood of Indiana is hosting a rally at the Indiana Statehouse on Sunday. The rally will go from 10:30 a.m. to noon, with registration beginning at 9:30 a.m. The rally aims to generate support for Planned Parenthood services that are at risk for losing federal funding.

“Planned Parenthood and women’s health are under attack this legislative session,” Brooke Campbell, assistant professor of gender studies, said. “Seventeen bills limiting access to reproductive health care have been introduced in Indiana.”

Caitlin Jackson, co-president of Demia, said a student s also working to coordinate a women’s art festival.

Sluis said people sometimes overlook how new the study of women’s history is, and how much things have changed because of it.

“I think it is important for all of us to remember that the study of women’s history is a young discipline, dating back to the 1960s and 1970s,” Sluis said. “It is certainly one of the larger academic accomplishments of second-wave feminism.”

She said all of these events are put into place to celebrate the importance of women’s history, and for the continuous recognition of their accomplishments.

“It is difficult to imagine for us that, before the inception of women’s history, history deemed worthy of studying and teaching was that of ‘great,’ upper-class, white men,” Sluis said. “A rather narrow view of the past, right?”

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