VIDEO: Why It’s Important to Celebrate Women in History
Full text: I’m showing up today in my RBG shirt, how and sweaty because I just got back from Capitol Hill, marching with tons of teen girls and women who are marching for their rights to be heard and believed. It was really awesome! I am just going to roll with being sweaty and gross because this is what showing up and standing up for yourself looks like today.
I wanted to talk about why it’s important to celebrate girls and women in history. There’s a great and powerful quote I found from Myra Sadker. “Each time a girl opens a book and finds a womanless history, she learns she is worth less.”
It’s pretty heavy! Many have heard my story, if you follow me/MissHeard. In elementary, middle, and high school, I only met a few key players in US history that were women, like Martha Washington and Rosa parks. I took AP US History classes, so in theory, I should have met more women. I did not meet many others until GRADUATE school in history. I had to study history through high school, college, and two years of graduate school. Which means many young people don’t get introduced to these figures at all.
That means young people- especially girls- miss out on meeting hundreds (or more) of their foremothers. They missing out on crucial pieces of women’s history, black history, LGBT history, Latinx American History: American history, AND they miss out of being inspired by the thousands of trailblazing, changemaking, incredible women in our nation’s history.
Why do we know Paul Revere for his famous ride? It is said that 16 year old Sybil Ludington rode twice the distance of any man to warn militiamen that the British were coming.
In a society that often feels hostile and/or dismissive of women and girls, it can be so inspiring and reassuring to hear the stories of girls and women who broke barriers, shattered expectations and did incredible things in their own time, in societies unwelcoming and unbelieving of them.
These stories show that girls don’t HAVE to be on the front lines, making discoveries- although they can do those things too- but that the ordinary things that make us who we are can impact history.
After all, if she can see it, she can be it. To know that Mae Jemison, the first black female astronaut, thrived in spite of racism and sexism, gives other little girls- black and white- the knowledge that they too could one day be amongst the stars. Before she flew to space, Mae was a little girl from Georgia who loved space and dinosaurs. We know her name because she did incredible things- and at the same time, she could be any little girl who dreams of exploring our galaxy. Mae’s story inspires girls like Havana Edwards and Taylor Richardson- both of whom are black- to know that their dreams are possible and that JUST MAYBE they will face one less obstacle.
To show- as many books, movies, etc., do- a history that is mainly made by wealthy, white men, leaves out entire populations. It is an inaccurate and incomplete history. To only focus on a small, extremely powerful subset of the population leaves many, many stories untold and does not show us the full picture.
Even if Sybil’s story as we know it is not 100% accurate, there are HUNDREDS of other real-life young women today making change. We repeat the parable of George Washington and the cherry tree in school, but Sybil’s story is written off? Our history is not complete without our female heroes, just as we have our male heros. To minimize ignore the young women of today making a difference is a tragedy.
If you’d like to meet dozens of amazing girls and women under 25 who made US history, head over to our shopify store and grab the 2019 girl powered planner. Not only will you meet courageous young women from the past and present, but we’ve also included tons of self care tips and other bonuses to help young women excel.
Meet American heroes that aren’t in your textbook and see how much you really are worth.