Women’s History Month inspires young women

Photo credit: Gavin Pugh

Houston junior Ilse Vielma said it wasn’t until this year when she took a women’s rhetoric in writing class that she began to recognize that there was an intentional effort to hide women’s accomplishments throughout history.

“We need Women’s History Month to recognize the amazing things women have done that were overlooked for so long,” Vielma said.

According to http://womenshistorymonth.gov/ , Women’s History Project petitioned Congress asking that March 1987 be named Women’s History Month. Congress agreed, and every year since 1988, U.S. presidents have issued proclamations naming March Women’s History Month.

“Personally, as a young minority woman in college, it is easy for me to get overwhelmed and want to quit, but having these women to look up to, especially in my field of psychology, encourages me,” Vielma said. “Women’s History Month helps me see all the women who have come before me, who have had way more obstacles to overcome than I do. Then I know I can make it through, too.”

Yankton, S.D., sophomore Johanna Lippert said coming to college allowed her to see women in a different light. That is why, as a community leader in Brooks Residential College, Lippert said she wants to teach her residents about women’s history this month.

“I want my residents to have a space where they can talk about the expectations on women-maybe expectations others have put on them or maybe expectations they’ve put on themselves,” Lippert said. “I hope I’m able to give my residents a chance to process some things they haven’t sorted out since coming to college about what it means to be a woman today.”

Lippert said she always knew she wanted to have a career and never saw herself in more traditional roles as a woman. She said she still sometimes feels bad about not wanting a family, or if she had a family, wanting to put her kids in daycare so she could continue to have a career through motherhood, Lippert said coming to Baylor and seeing female professors who manage a career and family or don’t have a family was empowering to her.

“In college, one of the biggest things I’ve learned is that I get to choose my own path,” Lippert said. “It is pretty liberating to see all of my own potential for the first time. Especially seeing powerful women in a Christian community-sometimes the way people interpret scripture makes me feel I must be a certain way as a woman, but seeing people all over the spectrum at Baylor has been amazing for my mindset.”

Lippert said she thinks people don’t really think about how recent some of the changes and advances for women are and that there are a lot of issues that haven’t been worked out yet. Lippert says she hopes to use her position as a CL to empower her residents and draw attention to Women’s History Month.