Written by Cynthia O- Published by VIP Magazine- March 2022
Women’s history month is celebrated throughout March to salute the works of women who have made notable contributions and positive impacts. Women have made history by claiming statuses of being the first woman to hold certain offices or positions. We’re still living in a world of “first” for women. These stories of notable women are engraved in history, but truly what is HERSTORY? Her story paved the way for our story.
HERSTORY goes beyond the visible pair of stilettoes, feminine tone, and the best home-cooked meal. Her story stands tall in strength, echoes past the ears in her present view, and consists of blended measurements of tenacity. Her story goes past the ink pens in the Wheatley’s home, noting the deepest thoughts of a silent author. Her story soared beyond Earnhart’s Lockheed 10E Electra, which provided wings of freedom and courage to soar.
Wearing stilettoes takes courage and practice. You practice at home first, then learn to publicly glide like a Clydesdale. Women’s history month embodies hundreds of women who dared to expand on the thought placed in their minds and the desires that encircled her heart. She believed she could take her first step in the direction that would not only change her life but shift the trajectory of history. The truth behind HERstory is that she doubted herself and toiled with the “what if” scenarios in her mind. She wondered what others would say and pondered how many other women would back her in the same just stand. She glared at her reflection to see if she met the physical demands of the task ahead. Her silent tears watered seeds of hope that lay dormant in her life. She secretively practiced her speech in her mind and prepared for both possibilities and barriers. History showed her shining at the peak of her fame and highlighting all the good that she presented. Behind every notable work was the purest level of the woman within.
We can note thousands of women throughout the world who fit this description. She stood through tough times. Whether with stilettoes, flats, boots, or flip flops, she learned to stride in her unique way. She learned to hold her head high, yet low enough to see where she was going. To all women standing tall and walking in her destiny, we salute you.
In 1978, educators in California voiced the desire to celebrate women in history, the contributions made by women, and their distinctive qualities. It was that traction that captured the attention of others and secured women’s history week. The news caught the attention of President Jimmy Carter in 1980, who sealed women’s history week, and congress seven years later who proclaimed the month of March to be a month-long national celebration of the contribution of women.
By whisper, shouts, and echoes, women have been saying I am a woman, I have rights, and I have a voice. Her story includes the women who desired to read and write and paved the way for others to learn the same trade. Even before learning the art of literacy, it was her voice that set the pace for change. No vision is complete without speaking it first.
Her story includes the women who consistently shoveled through the grit and grim to pave the way. She drew out the plan in her mind, but when she spoke it, something powerful happened. She shifted life at the lowest level of existence with her voice. She recognized that speaking travels through cells, connects with the atmosphere, and collides with destiny. Behind the public proclamation and expressions was a woman who initially failed to see that she had a voice of change. She wondered if her tone was assertive yet passionate enough to make an impact. Her voice cracked in moments of fear. Her voice was surrounded by men with the skill to muffle her voice with a whisper of superiority. She spoke anyway. Her voice became louder, and she locked her seat in history. Collectively we speak the name of every woman with a voice that spoke the change we enjoy today. She planted the trees that provide the shade we enjoy today. We salute her.
Measures of a Woman
As a child, I remember our meals starting as a pot of boiling water and magically appearing as a spread of tasteful meals prepared by my mother. I also remember watching my grandmother cook without measuring and tuning in to the deepest part of her instincts to pour in the right amount of ingredients and spices to create a blend of exquisite masterpieces. I’ve since acquired my own magical pot of boiling water and tuned in to the secret measuring intuition of my grandmother and earlier ancestors.
The history of women includes countless women who've had to tactfully measure and take action. Her actions were guided by the limitations or freedom allowed by her role. It is our culture that defines the role of a woman. However, throughout time some defining roles have changed. Women began to demand measures of equality and fair treatment.
Some initially connect Women’s history month with the suffrage march in 1913, led by thousands of women advocating for equality. Her story extends beyond that powerful march. Her story extends past the corridors of the white house. Her wit exceeds the speed of Flo-Jo’s run. Her voice echoes beyond Ginsburg’s gavel. Her connections extend further than Tubman’s masterpiece. Ostrom’s patience proved that delay did not mean denial and Angelou proved that she could soar beyond the prisons of her past and leave a permanent legacy that will carry her name forever.
Women seamlessly learn to balance both personal and professional lives, while balancing other duties. She measures space for her family. She steals quiet times. She sharpens her skills and operates in career aspirations, while also exploring additional talents. She bonds with other women for a cohesive strength of sisterhood. She takes the time to rest, reflect, and refill. She juggles the world and makes all things possible. Yet, behind the balancing scales, she’s weary. Worry rest in her eyes when her children struggle. She prays for endurance and strength. She nurtures the world with her compassion. She secretly desires to dissipate the trends and just simply be an existing woman embraced in time. To all women balancing and measuring the challenges of life, we salute you.
Look past Herstory that is engraved in history. See the women for who there were and who they are today. She's still standing. She's still speaking, and she's still holding it together.