Why have a Women’s Week? - The Echo News
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Why have a Women’s Week?

Women’s Week was March 12–16

By: Tiless Turnquest & Stephanie Mithika | Contributors

Women’s Week began as a vision of the For Audre Book Club, which is a discussion-based group centered around gender, sexuality and identity development. Through collaboration with Global Engagement, Women’s Week came into fruition from March 1216. We held various programming around campus, including two events: WomaniTea, a night to honor the narratives of women through art and poetry as well as “‘Why Feminism?:’ Questioning a Woman’s Place,” a roundtable discussion to examine feminism and its misconceptions. Throughout the month we sent out daily announcements with a “Woman of the Day” and her contributions to history. Additionally, we created a display, in the library galleria, of various honorable women along with literary pieces and artworks related to womanhood.

Women’s Week was held to celebrate and honor the lives and work of various women that have made contributions to history and contemporary society. Moreover, it was held to bring awareness to women’s rights and the injustices against women, as well as elevate the voices of all women, particularly women of color.

It is important to center the narratives and history of all women, especially those who have been overlooked historically. As a result of patriarchy, history and narratives have always been male-centered. Centering the narratives on women empowers women, provides representation and dares girls to dream of futures that include them in all spaces.

As part of our display wall in the library galleria, we had images of various women with relevant quotations from them, in honor of International Women’s Day. We intentionally chose a collection of pieces that highlighted and celebrated women of all backgrounds — different ethnicities, religions and nationalities. To our dismay, barely twelve hours after we put up the display, we found that one of the posters was ripped off the wall and thrown in the trash bin. The poster was of Linda Sarsour, an American Muslim woman that co-chaired the Women’s March of 2017.

In response to this incident, Act Six Program Specialist Bria Howard said, “It really is a shame that we cannot be mature enough as a community to acknowledge and honor the incredible work that women who may not identify as Christian have done for our society. . . . Do better Taylor.”

This incident is telling of the prejudice and bigotry that exists on this campus. There are people on this campus with hostile attitudes toward people with certain identities and ideologies. It is appalling that someone would see a display created in celebration of women, and not be able to see beyond the hijab worn by one of the women. Furthermore, this act of vandalization and destruction of property is symbolic of the attitudes toward women of color in today’s society.

“I think the point here is not that we agree with these women on every point, and in every way, but that these women have made significant strides in the equality of women. . . . Take the truth of what they say and leave the rest behind,” Director of Intercultural Programs Felicia Case said.

As disheartening as this incident was to us, we see that it reflects a wider attitude held on this campus and beyond. This is precisely what we intended to address this Women’s Week. We want to stress the importance of honoring people of all backgrounds and identities, regardless of our personal convictions. As Christians, we have a direct calling to love and honor people who are different from us. Therefore, this Women’s History Month and beyond, we urge you to honor and care for all women, regardless of differences between us.

 

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