You can see why we have the need for Women’s History Month if you stop for a moment and look at the word history. History or His story is often taught to us through a male lens. We learn about male presidents, male soldiers, male businessman, etc. in our textbooks, but often leave out women from this conversation. Moreover, if women are discussed, they are often one of these few select women: Susan B. Anthony, Eleanor Roosevelt, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Sojourner Truth, Harriet Tubman, Mary Wollstonecraft, etc. The problem with this is that these women make up only a small proportion of the notable women in our history. Imagine only knowing eight or so important men in our history… it’d be an entirely different story.
So, in an effort to help us see what we were missing, one of my professors handed out a women’s history quiz to the class. She told us that she’d be happy if we even got a 25% on this quiz and many of us scoffed, thinking we’d know more than a mere 4 or 5 questions. After all, we’ve taken history classes and watched our share of Jeopardy programs. Boy, we were wrong. I got 4 out of 18 questions right. Below, I’ve included a few of the questions so you also can test your knowledge:
1) Who was the first Black female to serve in the House of Representatives and run for the presidential ticket of the Democratic Party?
2) What is the current percentage of women in the U.S. Congress?
3) What is the U.S. ranked percentage-wise for women’s political leadership?
4) What percentage of women in the Senate self-define as women of color?
5) Who was the first woman to serve as the U.S. secretary of state?
6) Who was the first woman to sit on the Supreme Court as a justice?
If you’re thinking these questions are hard, you’re not alone. But, it’s important to remember why they are hard. They are hard because we’ve never been taught these facts. We leave out the fact that despite all of America’s freedoms and advancements, women still rank 72nd worldwide in political leadership (question 3).
Please take some time this month to learn about the women you’ve missed learning about.
Oh, and the answers to those questions: Shirley Chiselm, 17.2 %, 72nd, 0 %, Madeline Albright, Sandra Day O’Connor.
LeadHer™ Intern, Campus Calm™
Learn more about Julie here.