Today is the start of Women’s History month.
We have one month of the year to celebrate and acknowledge the achievement of women, past and present, and to try and maintain a media focus on women’s issues.
Making history does not always have to involve grand, earth shattering changes. It can also be the kind of low level, consistent work undertaken by women in order to make the world around us better for women. We are all making history in our own ways. Sometimes it’s a big difference, but more often it’s a small difference that we don’t always know we’ve done.
Much of feminism is focused on smashing patriarchy; dismantling the structure of society that defines women as ‘lesser,’ and maintains us in a position of unequal power.
Regardless of your own methods of doing this, there are millions of women out there, taking patriarchy down bit by bit.
They do it by demonstrating against injustice, campaigning for equality & parity in education, employment, starting petitions to force governments to listen, actively pushing and shouting for change. They are making history.
There are women who work in sectors where they support women directly. Challenging the patriarchy by encouraging and empowering women to say ‘No.’ To say, ‘I want more.’ Supporting women in the community, through mental health services, through social care, through education programmes. They are making history.
There are women out there who work on helplines, in women’s centres, rape crisis centres, counselling, coaching, listening.
Women who dedicate their lives to other women.
The women who are burnt out and exhausted, but still carry on because if they don’t, who will? They keep going because women need other women. Women need to know there is someone out there to listen and believe them. They are making history.
There are women who write blogs about the issues facing feminism. The domestic abuse, the victim blaming, pro-choice, anti-rape campaigns.
Women raising awareness of objectification, sexualisation, sexuality.
The women who are writing about politics, the disproportionate number of women affected by the welfare reforms, the impact of austerity on women and children, the issues facing working class women, women of colour, intersectionality and the lack of representation in the media. They are making history.
The women who write poetry for women, books for women, music for women.
The women who are mothers, raising the next generation to do better.
All making history.
One day, years – maybe centuries – from now, women will read about us, learn about us, be inspired by us. We are making history right now. So let’s celebrate us, because we are all those women working to make the future better for the next generation.
Thank you for all you do to make your corner of the world a better place for the women of today and tomorrow.
NB: Thanks to @FabFitzy for the inspiration!
Opinionated Planet: a radical feminist blog by women for women on male violence, women-only spaces and sports