IU overlooks Women's History Month



Women’s History Month is being celebrated all across the country — except at IU.

There are nods to Women’s History Month scattered across campus, but these are primarily confined to film recommendations in the audiovisual libraries. There are not many on-campus events to celebrate this month, and there are few reminders posted even in high-traffic areas of student activity such as the Herman B Wells Library and the Indiana Memorial Union.

Annalinda Harbottle, a sophomore in the School of Journalism, said she had not heard of any events related to Women’s History Month and was not aware the month even existed.

“Then again, you’d think we’d have a Men’s History Month as well, but considering that men have always been ... above women and things like that, I can understand the desire for a Women’s History Month,” Harbottle said.

Sophomore anthropology student Betsy Inlow said she was aware that Women’s History Month was created to highlight women’s contributions to history but said she has not heard of any events happening on campus to recognize the national celebration.

“I haven’t heard of any,” she said. “Events that celebrate women would be good.”

Employees at the Willkie Quad Movies, Music, & More, a library for Residential, Programs and Services  residents, assembled a list of film recommendations based around the theme of Women’s History Month.

Andrew Lewis, an employee at the library, said they tried to find films with female characters who were powerful or historically significant.

Included on that list were “Jane Eyre,” an adaptation of the classic novel, and “Frida,” a biography of artist Frida Kahlo.

“Unfortunately, we don’t have enough movies about historically significant women to fill a recommendations shelf,” he said.

The Media Reserves had a similar recommendations shelf which included not only dramas and biopics but documentaries such as “The Women’s Kingdom,” a film about one of the last matriarchal societies in the world.

Harbottle said she might be interested in attending lectures or films related to women’s history, but she is equally intrigued by gender relations in general.

“Not generally women’s history but a speaker or a video show about gender equality,” she said. “I’m taking a gender studies course right now, and a lot of the stuff we learn about is pretty interesting, like women in advertising.”

Inlow said she believes recognizing women’s history is important.

“I’m a feminist myself, and, you know, there’s still a lot of misogyny and sexism going on,” she said. “Celebrating women, strong women and what women do is very important, I think.”

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