March is Women's History Month

By Shaina Eldredge on March 28, 2017

Most of history is dominated by the white man; from the time good ole Christopher Columbus took credit for “discovering” what eventually became the United States of America, to pretty much our current date, white men have stood in the spotlight. They are inventors, inspirers, creators, engineers, doctors, leaders, presidents, and so much more. But it’s time to take a break from recognizing men, as March is women’s history month.

Women’s history is also full of inventors, creators, leaders, and doctors, and March is a good time, as is every other month of the year, to recognize and celebrate the history of women of every race and ethnicity. In today’s time, many women are focusing on reevaluating feminism, and what it means to have gender equality. These women are making history today.

1. Malala Yousafzai

This woman, born in 1997, is a young Pakistani advocate for girls’ rights to education. She defied the Taliban, who were taking control of her hometown and began attacking girls’ schools, and her defiance eventually led to her being wrongfully shot in the head. She survived, as strong women do, and eventually earned the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014 for her active advocacy for girls’ education.

•Defied her oppressors, the Taliban, even after her attack. She is still considered a threat to the Taliban.

•The youngest receiver of the Nobel Peace Prize at age 17.

•Opened a new school for girls on her 18th birthday on July 12, 2015 (also known as Malala day).

•Blogged in defiance of the Taliban under pen name Gul Makai when she was only 11 years old.

2. Nicki Minaj

When I tell people I genuinely see Nicki Minaj as a role model for this generation, it’s usually met with eye rolls. For some reason, just because a woman twerks, is comfortable with her body enough to show some skin, and has big curves (how is that her fault????), it immediately takes her out of candidacy for being a role model. Why?

In these times, why can’t a woman with a big butt who has fun being sexy also have something of substance to say? They do, and they are just as valid and just as wise as other women in history.

•Nicki Minaj is an advocate for prioritizing education. She herself finished high school, even when her alcoholic father did things like try to set their house on fire to kill her mother.

•She is a woman of color in a male-driven industry, and she is among the most well-known, a roadblock faced by women like her in any setting, much less the male-dominated, white-dominated music industry.

•She embraces and encourages confidence in women and girls, even if it “means [she's] a b*tch.”

•She is a businesswoman; she has a brand, a fashion line, and a fragrance. It takes a smart and dedicated woman to do that.

•She, like every other woman should, embraces her sexuality and encourages her fans to do the same. Men are allowed to sing and rap about how they treat and talk to women, and women should be allowed to do the same without being shamed.

3. Emma Watson

Probably the most active, most humble activist for women’s rights in this generation is Emma Watson. As a participant in recreating my favorite childhood movie, Emma Watson spends her free time traveling to promote education for girls, advocating for increased political participation by women, and just generally spreading the word of feminism and equality around the world.

•A UN Women Goodwill Ambassador.

•Launched the HeForShe campaign, wherein men fight for gender equality.

•Believes in the true meaning of feminism, and believes that “man-hating” needs to stop.

•On course to becoming the highest earning actress of 2017, a label she already earned once in 2015.

There are so many more women we need to recognize, especially in this day and age of rediscovering the traditional means of feminism. These three women are only a few examples of some women from different races who embody some traditional and some non-traditional traits that makes a woman a positive role model for girls and women alike.

From fighting off oppressors, to simply encouraging sexuality, to actively advocating for gender equality from around the world, these three women know what it means to be who they are and to use their wisdom and their outlets to spread goodness to women and girls around the world.

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