UAlbany Students Weigh in on Women’s History Month
ALBANY, N.Y. (March 28, 2023) — As Women’s History Month comes to a close, University at Albany students share their thoughts on what this month means for them personally and for women at large.
Photographer Tayana Romulus, a junior who is interning in the University’s digital media team, part of the Office of Communications and Marketing, interviewed students who are majoring or minoring in Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies and spent time taking their portraits.
Students spoke of a need to acknowledge and uplift the often-overlooked contributions of women to history and society, and emphasized the importance of doing so through an intersectional lens that takes into account the achievements of women from marginalized communities who have historically not been as celebrated.
Women's History Month is also a reminder of the work that remains to be done to achieve gender equality, and is a chance for people to examine where gaps and reforms are needed, they said.
—Photos by Tayana Romulus
“Women's History Month is important as it allows us to acknowledge and appreciate the great contributions made by women throughout history. For far too long, women's accomplishments and hardships have been neglected or devalued in popular historical narratives. Women's History Month fills in the gaps and emphasizes the significant role that women have played in shaping our world. Nonetheless, there are certain apprehensions I hold about Women's History Month. One of the primary drawbacks is that it can feel like a token gesture at times, with women's efforts being recognized just once a year. It is critical to remember that women's history should be interwoven into our understanding of history throughout the year. Another concern is that Women's History Month can sometimes focus on a restricted range of experiences and viewpoints, excluding women from underrepresented populations such as women of color, LGBTQ+ women, women with disabilities, and others. Women's History Month must be inclusive and representational of the range of women's experiences and viewpoints. Lastly, by spotlighting only women who have taken on traditionally feminine duties or who have achieved success in male-dominated sectors, Women's History Month might perpetuate gender stereotypes. Regardless of gender preconceptions, it is critical to acknowledge and appreciate women's achievements in all disciplines and businesses.”
"Women and femmes alike are forever and always etched into history, regardless of those who think otherwise. Women's History Month is just an opportunity for everyone to uplift women who have helped shaped us, who are helping us evolve, and who are also helping us lead into the future. I think that a lot of people don't recognize just how the systems of inequality affects us, regardless of our gender, regardless of our race, regardless of our sexuality just because there's the label of women being on it. The more people that are knowledgeable about this is, the more that we can have a sense of community among one another, the more that we can dismantle these sorts of systems.”
“Women's History Month is important because it highlights and celebrates the achievements of women throughout history, especially marginalized women who historically have not been recognized. Originally, I came into this university as an intended psychology major, and I wanted to be a therapist for LGBTQ+ youth. My freshman year I took an Introduction to Feminisms class, and I absolutely loved it! So, I changed my major to Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies. Even though Women’s, Gender and Sexuality studies is an emerging field in the academy, I think it's important that it remains its own discipline because the research that emerges from it is interdisciplinary and intersectional.”
“I acknowledge the importance of Women’s History Month, however it is a reminder of where society must go for gender inequality reform. In order for all of us to experience the change as a community, we need to establish the standard of everyone receiving a basic education on feminist theory and intersectionality at all institutions. Being a WGSS minor allows me to help with those efforts by giving me the tools to share knowledge.”