March is Women’s History Month. The commemoration of women began in 1978 as “Women’s History Week” in Sonoma County, California. It was championed by Gerda Lerner and the National Women’s History Alliance to be recognized as a national week (1980) and then month (1987) in the United States, spreading internationally after that (Wikipedia).
This was an important move because society relies on women, and it is important that their contributions be acknowledged.
One of the reasons that women have not been valued is connected with the patriarchal nature of western society. Actually, it may have started even further back, since biblical Eve has been blamed for the sins of mankind because she convinced Adam to partake of the apple that the serpent gave her. Women have been bearing the brunt of that transgression ever since.
Another reason given for the devaluation of women is that the role of breadwinner has been traditionally seen as a man’s job and, in society, money is king. Even though women have been the major element that has held families together, this has not been as valued as it should have been because it is not MONEY.
In the Black community, women have been very, very valuable. Ever since Black people were subjected to slavery, women have had the burden of helping to protect their families, including protecting Black men. From Harriet Tubman and countless others, Black women have had to maneuver in order to survive.
When looking at it in another light, it’s ironic that women have been devalued considering the fact that, in Christianity, the mother of the savior known as Jesus Christ was a woman, Mary. And it is becoming a thing whispered in halls that Mary Magdalene was not a “prostitute” as commonly charged. It is being said that she was a disciple, and a favorite one at that.
Today, this devaluing of women is changing. More and more people are waking to an understanding of the tremendous value that women represent. But it is not happening fast enough. Ironically, it is not only certain men who have devalued women, it is common that women join in with men to devalue women.
If this point is disputed, all you have to do is listen to rap music. Women will call each other b*tches and hoes in a heartbeat. When called out on this, some women have been known to say “well they are b*tches and hoes!” In other words, some women have taken it upon themselves to be oppressors of women.
This is why there is an alleged epidemic of abuse in some homes where adult females don’t adequately protect young women and girls who reside in them. Too frequently young women and girls who say they have been molested are disbelieved.
The underlying truth in the relationship between women and society is that women are valuable. The community cannot operate without them. They represent exactly one half of the life dynamic. It takes both a man AND a woman to produce offspring. It takes both a woman AND a man to ensure the successful working of society.
In nature, females represent the love principle; and love is the glue that holds things together. It is no secret that men have been under fire in America. They are considered to be the greatest threat to white hegemony and are therefore targeted for this reason.
The Black community is being threatened. Think for a moment, where would the community be if women abandoned their families – it is said that over 70 percent of children are being raised in single female-headed households.
Suppose those women decided to give up? What if Black women refused to step up and take care of business? We’d be up a creek without the proverbial paddle. But no worries, this won’t likely happen in large numbers because women have traditionally sought to hold families together.
So, as we experience Women’s History Month 2021, let’s refocus on the power of women. Not often given the credit that is due, they have nevertheless been the backbone of the community and have taken a lot of flak while doing it. And finally, there would be no people without women; they are absolutely necessary for the continuation of the human family. Let’s remember this and give appreciation for what they contribute. A Luta Continua.