Including Women in History

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“DC Women’s March” by GencoSidlePhotos is marked with CC0 1.0

Claire Beaman, Writer

Many women in history are left unnamed due to being overshadowed by men. March was International Women’s History Month, where we honor women for their contributions to society. 

Women have contributed and continue to contribute to all aspects of culture, history and society,” Melissa Feilmeier-Marzen, social studies teacher at Kennedy High School said.  

We do still learn about women in our curriculum. To purposefully exclude them would be discriminating and undermine their success in our history. However, we should still make a conscious decision to include women in our history conversations both in and outside of class. 

“Learn about and include women in history, read and write about women’s experiences in Language Arts, acknowledge the contributions of women in math and science. Produce female lead plays, musicals and productions, sing or play songs composed by women. Make sure women’s voices and experiences are shared,” Marzen said.

It’s important to remember women in history and what they’ve done for society, but we should also learn about the women in our personal lives. What have the women in our lives had to endure to live in a man’s world?

“One of the family secrets I discovered was my great-grandfather had my great-grandmother admitted to a mental institution in 1915. She was not “insane,” he just wanted a divorce, which was not common in the early 1900s unless someone’s wife was declared mentally unstable,” Marzen said.

The hospitalization only caused difficulty for Marzen’s great-grandmother.

 “When her husband admitted her into the hospital, she had no rights or agency because she was a woman and the law stripped her of her rights,” Marzen said. “In order to be released from the hospital, she had to call on another male family member. This story makes me appreciate my right to vote and include more female voices in laws and legislation that empower women, not silence them.”