What’s so special about Women’s History Month?

Ella Mahaney, Managing Editor

March is Women’s History Month. Although a big part of Women’s History Month is commemorating the accomplishments of women throughout history, I think it is also important that we recognize the struggles women have endured. 

I decided to look back at our very own LION Newspaper articles to see what life was like for women in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s. What I found was pretty upsetting. When some LT students were interviewed about women’s liberation, their answers displayed the warped minds of many at the time, that women were lesser than men. 

One student admitted that, “[g]uys are pushed toward college more than girls.” Another source added that “[a] girl’s place is at home being a housewife—not going to college and earning a living.” 

I can’t imagine feeling like I have to sacrifice my education to fit with society’s expectations of me, because of my gender. But my grandmother knew how this felt all too well. She was the first person, let alone woman, in her family to go to college and was ridiculed because of it. Her family wanted her to get married right out of high school and start a family of her own. Instead, she started working as a teacher, bought her first house, and even went to graduate school and earned a master’s degree. 

To me, Women’s History Month is about celebrating how older generations of women have created more opportunities for our generation. My grandma helped to normalize women going to college and that is part of the reason why there isn’t a stigma around doing so today. But not only that. This month is about recognizing, even on a small scale, how women have helped to allow more freedoms for future generations.

There was a time in our country where girls were expected to wear long skirts and dresses every single day. Can you imagine being forced to wear a dress every day? Don’t get me wrong, I like dresses, but one of my favorite things to do is run and trust me, you can’t do that in a dress; I have tried. Not to mention, participating in gym would be next to impossible if you had to wear a dress or skirt. We all should be thanking the past generations of women who have graduated from LT for guaranteeing that the school’s dress code has evolved over time. Following a protest in 1969, where girls wore trousers to protest the school dress code, students were no longer required to wear dresses or skirts to school. These women of the past who changed the dress code ensured we had the opportunity to be equal to men in the clothing we wore. They helped create options for future LT students to dress however they liked, and gave women the same opportunities as men to succeed in sports at LT.

When looking back at the accomplishments of women, it should empower our generation. If our mothers and grandmothers persevered, we can too. According to a 1970 LION article, Dr. Mildred Geiger believed “Any female today can be anything she wants to be if she has the ability, the love of what she wants to do, and dedication in the direction of her effort.”