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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Embracing women’s evolving narrative

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Saichand Chowdary
A studen in the Women and Gender Studies department poses for a photo. Photo by Saichand Chowdary / Mass Media Staff.

As we enter Women’s History Month, it’s crucial to recognize the significant strides we’ve made. Over the past few centuries, women, along with our allies, have fought for our rights and freedoms. We’ve secured the right to vote, access credit, escape dangerous marriages, enter STEM fields and other professions, and attend higher education. 

Thinking that women deserve basic human rights used to be a radical thought, and unfortunately in current political climates, it seems like sometimes it still is. Women were historically viewed as property, while some parts of the world still think this way. This is why it’s so essential to highlight just how far we’ve come, so that we don’t fall into a feeling of hopelessness. 

The power of women is visible even here at UMass Boston. According to College Factual, women make up 58 percent of the school’s undergraduate population—a testament to our strength and intellect. [1] So many of us have multiple jobs, children, family and other duties that make coming to school harder. Yet, we persevere. 

If there’s something I know about the women I’ve seen in my life, and from the women in my own family, we will always make a way to reach our goals. We are resilient, stubborn and determined. Speaking to so many women on campus shows me how we all come from different walks of life, and yet we all share that same desire to learn more and reach a higher level for ourselves. 

This Women’s History Month, I’m committed to honoring the trailblazers who came before me. Women who I owe so much of my current freedoms to and even the teachers I’ve had growing up. Every contribution, no matter how small, contributes to our collective journey. 

Historical figures like Harriet A. Jacobs, Lucy Stone and Emily Dickinson all lived here in Massachusetts and changed the way the world looked forever. So did Phillis Wheatley Peters, the namesake of UMass Boston’s own Wheatley Hall. Each of these women were resilient in their own ways and contributed, whether directly or not, to the improvement of society for women.  

Now, as I live in these streets of Boston and see all the women at UMass Boston, I feel a profound sense of collective pride. We’ve all fought hard to reach this point, and it’s no small feat. The accomplishments of all these pioneering women are also our own. As we look at the world around us, it’s important to see how far we’ve come not just as a society, but as humankind. We’ve reached levels that were unthought of just mere centuries ago. 

We all play such a significant role in our societies, but I know that many women feel like the world tries to make us feel unwelcome in certain spaces. Whether these spaces are academic, career-related, or social, we face many struggles that, while damaging, unify our experiences. Womanhood, while far from perfect, does offer a certain solidarity that is unparalleled. The struggles and connections we share bind us together. 

Here at UMass Boston, the need for community clearly has its needs met as there’s a lot of clubs for women that can make us feel seen and understood. There’s the “Women’s Center,” “Strong Women, Strong Girls,” “My Sister’s Keeper,” plus so many more that are geared towards having safe spaces for women. Some of these clubs even help mentor the women of future generations so that we all feel supported and loved for years to come. 

These resources are so important, and I’m extremely happy that there’s something for everyone here at UMass Boston. It’s essential to meet women who align with your goals so that you all can support each other on the journey to success. Having spaces like this in higher education groups is so crucial in seeing just how far we can go. 

Now, by no means is our fight for equality over. There will often be those who disagree in the capabilities of women, and those types of people may never go away. However, the allies and sisterhood that we have become are much more vital during these battles toward freedom. We have a long way to go in our fight for women’s rights worldwide, but by looking at our progress in just the past hundred years, I know it’s attainable. 

So, happy Women’s History Month to all my sisters, mothers, aunts, mentors and neighbors. I’m so proud to be a part of this sisterhood, and I know we’re capable of so much good in this world. Let’s continue uplifting each other, striving for excellence in every aspect of life, and remaining connected and supportive. 

 

Sources: 

[1] https://www.collegefactual.com/colleges/university-of-massachusetts-boston/student-life/diversity/#gender_diversity  

About the Contributor
Mercy Moncada, Opinions Writer