Women's History Month
In March we commemorate Women’s History Month. Each year, The National Women’s History Alliance – one of the organizations that spearheaded the establishment of Women’s History Month - decides upon a theme and this year they’ve selected “Celebrating Women Who Tell Our Stories”. We join them in celebrating women – past and present – who have told stories through literature, newspapers, radio, television, stage, screen, and podcasts.
What would become Women’s History Month began in 1981, when Congress passed a public law authorizing the proclamation of the week of March 7 as Women’s History Week. In 1987, after lobbying by the National Women’s History Alliance and others, Congress designated the month of March Women’s History Month.
In past years, Women’s History Month themes have reflected the times: “Women Providing Healing, Promoting Hope” in 2022 as the pandemic continued to rage; “Valiant Women of the Vote “to mark the centennial of the 19th Amendment in 2020; and “Nevertheless, She Persisted” in 2018, after Sen. Mitch McConnell intervened to attempt to silence Sen. Elizabeth Warren on the Senate floor, creating a viral meme and hashtag celebrating women’s refusal to be silenced.
It's fitting then, in this era of book banning and incidents of ageism and sexism targeting women journalists and performers, that this year’s theme celebrates women who persist to tell our stories.
“Women have long been instrumental in passing on our heritage in word and print to communicate the lessons of those who came before us,” representatives from the National Women’s History Alliance write. “Women’s stories, and the larger human story, expand our understanding and strengthen our connections with each other.
Listed below are some of our favorite stories by and about women. We’ve included a variety of books in our library collection, several streaming media selections, and a variety of our favorite podcasts.
- Black Women Writers of Louisiana: Telling Their Stories, edited by Ann B. Dobie, Daren Tucker, and Phebe A. Hayes
- Catching the Light by Joy Harjo
- Frankly Feminist: Short Stories by Jewish Women from Lilith Magazine, edited by Susan Weidman Schneider and Yona Zeldis McDonough
- Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body by Roxane Gay
- Modern HERStory: Stories of Women and Nonbinary People Rewriting History by Blair Imana with a forward by Tegan and Sara and illustration by Monique Le
- Tejanland: A Writing Life in Four Acts by Teresa Palomo Acosta
- Iron Jawed Angels - This HBO production is a dramatized version of the story of Alice Paul and Lucy Burns, leaders of the suffragist women who fought for the passage of the 19th Amendment.
- Not Done: Women Remaking America – This PBS feature was produced in the wake of the Women’s March, the #MeToo movement and B
- Syrian Diaries – This documentary follows a group of Syrian women who, over the period of seven months, created video diaries to depict the lives of women living under Bashar al-Assad’s rule.
- What’s Her Name – This podcast is hosted by sisters (and academics) Katie Nelson and Olivia Meikle. The show tells the stories of the amazing women world history left out. Every episode features one woman, centered on an interview with a guest historian, writer, or scholar.
- Womanica – This podcast features short shows (just 5-10 minutes) about women its producers believe you may not know – but should.
- The Other Half: The History of Women Through the Ages - Women make up half of the world's population, and yet history books often consign them to the sidelines. They are dismissed as merely the wives of powerful men; babymakers and nothing more. Yet women have been the driving force behind history for millennia, from female Pharaohs, warrior princesses and pirates, to the revolutionaries who sought to topple the male-dominated political systems of their day.
- The History Chicks – This long-running show introduces listeners to female characters in history – both factual and fictional. The first episode featured Marie Antoinette and premiered in January of 2011. Since then, co-hosts Beckett Graham and Susan Vollenweider have produced more than 200 episodes.