Women’s History Month has been observed in the United States since 1987, as a recognition of the need to recognize women often invisible contribution to human development. Before that, in 1975, and during the introduction of the annual observation of International Women’s Day, the United Nations has established that “the guarantee of peace and social progress as well as the full enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms require the active participation, equality and development of women; and recognize their lasting contributions.
Neverthelessin order to really challenge the tradition his history and its omissions—similar to historical omissions suffered by communities of color, the poor, LGBTQ+ communities, and other underrepresented groups—one should speak not simply of a revision of history, but of an intentional his-story, in fact. Among other things, it involves what feminist scholars have defined as the critical examination of the “standards” by which traditional history or theory has been established – in other words, who and what is significant? who are our “heroes” and role models; whose invention, research and/or creative production are considered worthy or even masterpieces?
Furthermore, in order to understand and validate these contributions, it must also mean a careful analysis of the different experiences of diverse groups of women – currently, and across space and time – and diverse in terms of race, ethnicity , social class, sex and gender. identity, ability, immigration status, religion, political opinions, etc. It is also extremely important to stress that these reviews should not and cannot be carried out only by women.
In one of his many well-known volumes, Feminism is for everyone, critical theorist and feminist writer, bell hooks – a black woman from poor rural Kentucky, as she has always made a point of reminding her audiences – describes how she became a feminist, while pursuing her studies higher education, and after realizing how much of the “sexist thinking” had been part of her own familiar, cultural and social formation. Conversely, during this process of deep reflection, she also recognized that what we usually call “feminism” had to undergo a much-needed progression of understanding between feminists themselves, generally referred to as “waves of feminism”. .
As a woman of color, she criticized the limitations of the first (suffrage) and second (work and reproductive rights) of feminism, as having been designed and advanced by predominantly white heterosexual women of a certain level of economic privilege. or educational, and therefore fail to address the complexities and multiple barriers faced by poor women, women of color, LGBTQ+ women, and gender non-conforming women; and in her case, black women. Faced with these complexities, this is what was later developed by various groups of women, called the third and fourth waves of feminism, and some even speak of a fifth wave.
For brackets, feminism involves self-realization, but also, love, a term widely developed by her in much of her writing but sometimes trivialized and misunderstood by some of her detractors. For her, love is the opposite of domination, and therefore of any form of oppression. Now, love thus understood, and contrary to trivial representations, requires an active participation, similar to a movement, in the advancement the respect as lived experience and value; in other words, which is also so vital to advancing democracy. At a time when the world needs so much love, peace and democracy, Happy Women’s History Month to all!