March is Women’s History Month and its purpose is to empower women of the future. At Missouri Western, for the entire month of March, Dr. Melinda Kovács is helping lead events that are bringing awareness to the importance of women empowerment.
Not only is Kovács involved with discussions at the March events, but Western students are getting involved as well. With events like the #MeToo poetry open mic, self-defense lessons, films and more, men and women on Western campus have many options to get involved.
Women’s History Month started with a “Modalities of Violence” lecture.
Junior Rebecca Mitchell, student in Kovatch’s political science class, enjoyed the lecture.
“It’s just a great way to kick off women’s history month, and with a professor like Kovács doing the talking, I knew it was going to be really good,” Mitchell said. “It was an eye-opening and informing presentation.”
After the event, freshman DeLorom Coburn shared her thoughts of the event.
“There was a lot of really good statistics I was very unaware of. I didn’t realize how many different kinds of violence there was,” Coburn said. “It’s very important to have events like this just because people need to be aware of what’s going on around them. I think knowledge of your world is very important.”
As another Western student in Kovács’s class and member of Women of the Future — an RSO dedicated to women’s rights — senior Jordan Shellenberger thinks it is important to have events like this.
“I think helping the public become more informed, especially on topics that we as a society don’t really ‘like’ talking about…I think it’s really important both to keep us educated and to help work towards change,” Shellenberger said.
Shellenberger also went on to explain the importance of women’s history month overall.
“Especially as an American society, we very much have a patriarchal view of history,” Shellenberger said. “We talk about what men did all the time, and so learning about the fact that women have very much held a part of history and what they’ve done is really important. Since feminism is really getting a rise right now, I think it’s very important to stay informed.”
WTF faculty sponsor and Western professor of political science, Melinda Kovatch, is most involved with this March’s “madness.”
“I think it’s pretty important to remind ourselves that most of history, social science, and even natural science is done with the perspective that assumes that the default human is a male,”Kovács said. “I think what Women’s History Month has been doing is call attention to the fact that that’s not the only perspective that there is, and that’s not the only take on life that exists.”
Kovács went on to explain that the importance of this awareness also goes back to the morals the United States were built upon.
“I think that if we are ever going to get to putting into practice some of the ideals that the United States was founded on, and I specifically mean equality and liberty, then we can’t get to that without pointing out that the dominant perspective only includes certain lived experiences and it only correspond to life as they go though it for some people and not others,” Kovács said.
To accomplish such a practice, Kovács described what it takes from each and every person who wants such a practice accomplished.
“You have to be transformed. You have to be willing to change, and that’s a challenge that I’m giving to myself also,” Kovács said.
Kovács also hoped that people who didn’t attend any of the events will experience a change.
“I am hoping that people who show up benefit, but I am also willing to think that there is a possibility for it to ripple outward,” Kovács said. “I am hoping that it’s not just benefitting those who sit in the room, but possibly the one’s that they talk to and hang out with.”
Also hoping for people to gain something during this month’s events is Western freshman Lydia Boatwright. Boatwright explained her outlook on the lecture and on what it could produce.
“People don’t really want to talk about the fact there is violence happening. People don’t want to admit that there is a problem, and I think that by holding events like this, it makes it easier for people to come and learn and work towards solutions for the problems,” Boatwright said. “I think it’s awesome that we have a women’s history month, and I think that it’s awesome that the campus is so involved and supportive of it.”
Women of the Future meets ever Thursday at 6:30 p.m. in Popplewell 301.
“I think everyone should do their best to learn and be supportive,” said Boatwright.