Celebration of Women
Women’s history is filled with many victories, as well as struggles. The work of the suffragists from the mid 1800’s set a tone and a presence for generations of women after. They worked to obtain the right to vote, which they may not have seen in their lifetime. However, many who have come after them have been able to reap the reward of their persistent hard work. March is Women’s History Month, a time to celebrate where we have come and to reflect on the work we continue to do today. Just as figures like Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony worked to obtain the right to vote, we work tirelessly in an effort to end sexual violence.
The NSVRC library has chosen to celebrate women throughout the month of March. Within our office, we are giving away a copy of Women : A Celebration of Strength by Louise A. Gikow, Kathy Rodgers, and Lynn Hecht Schafran and published by Legal Momentum. It is an interactive book with pop-up pages and other fun things, which highlights powerful women in our culture.
At the Dark End of the Street: Black Women, Rape, and Resistence-a New History of the Civil Rights Movement from Rosa Park to the Rise of Black Power by Danielle L. McGuire is a wonderful story of women's strength and the will to fight. McGuire brings to light the 1944 rape of Recy Taylor, who was abducted after an evening of singing and praying at the Rock Hill Holiness Church in Alabama. The president of the local NAACP sent his best investogator to take on the case, whose name was Rosa Parks. With this, Parks launched a movement that exposed a history of sexual assault against black women and added fuel to the growing need for change.
Also found in the NSVRC library is A History of U.S. Feminisms by Rory Dicker which, covers the first, second and third waves of feminism. It also provides historical content surrounding the major events and people since the late nineteenth century through today. The video Makers: Women Who Make America produced by Kunhardt McGee Productions is also an excellent resource that highlights many prominent women in society who have and continue to pave a way for women. Makers brings to life the stories of those who challenged industries from coal-mining to medicine. It showcases those who lived through the turbulence of change, as well as the frustration and the triumph of a movement that forever changed the country.
Another powerful resource held in the library is Pray the Devil Back to Hell by Abigail E. Disney and Gini Reticher. This video shows an inspiring account of a group of brave women who demanded peace for Liberia. The women's historic achievement is portrayed through a narative that uses interviews, archival images, and scenes of present-day Liberia. These things together recount the experiences and memories of the women who were instrumental in bringing peace to their country.
I am, as I’m sure many are, proud of the accomplishments of the women who came before me. I am honored to be able to have the right to vote, as they would have wanted. Those women may never have seen all their hard work come to complete fruition; however, the generations that have come after have a duty to uphold what they built. I am encouraged and empowered by their strength and their sense of duty. Join with me in celebrating Women’s History Month, as we continue to fight to end sexual violence.