Mason celebrates Women’s History Month


By Abigail Adcox, Staff Writer

March 1 marks the official start of Women’s History Month. Mason’s Women and Gender Studies Center will celebrate with a variety of events throughout the month.

The events began on March 1 with an ice cream social and kick off in the Patriots Lounge of SUB 1.

“It’s both educational and good for socializing, meeting folks from different walks of life,” said Associate Director Nancy Xiong. “We want to celebrate all of those identities.”

This year’s theme is, “Nevertheless, She Persisted” — a reference to Sen. Mitch McConnell’s objection to Sen. Elizabeth Warren during her 2017 reading from a letter by Coretta Scott King.

“That particular phrase is continuing to be used in women’s history and we thought it was timeless,” said David Powers, program coordinator for Mason’s Women and Gender Studies Center.

The Women and Gender Studies Office partnered with many different departments for this year’s events, including the College of Health and Human Services, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, the Office of Diversity, Inclusion and Multicultural Education, Leadership Education and Development, LGBTQ Resources, Student Involvement, and the Student Support and Advocacy Center. Several of the different departments have coordinated events. Men are strongly encouraged to come to these events as well.

“We are all inclusive,” Powers explained. “Men should be educated on women’s history. Men are feminists, too. Women need men to be good allies.”

“Feminism: The New Wave” will a discussion comparing and contrasting the experience and theories of feminist leaders, including bell hooks, Janet Mock and Gloria Steinem. The event will be hosted in the Johnson Center Gold Room on March 5, from 4:30-7:10 p.m.

The “Are There Fat People in the Movement? (Yes.)” event will be on March 6 in the HUB meeting rooms 1-2 from 12-1:30 p.m. The event will promote confidence for people of all sizes as they discuss fat shaming culture, and how victims can fight back by being loud and proud.

Delegate Danica Roem (D-Manassas) will speak about her journey from journalism to politics from 5-8 p.m. on March 29 at the SciTech Campus’ Verizon Theatre in Manassas. Roem recently made history in 2017 when she was elected as the only openly transgender person in a state legislature anywhere in America. Roem now represents Virginia’s District 13 in the House of Delegates.

Additionally, one of the annual events the Women and Gender Studies Office organizes is a Women’s History Month open mic night. Two Mason faculty, Suzanne Scott Constantine, professor of integrative studies, and Lynne Scott Constantine, associate professor of interdisciplinary arts, will perform  “There’s a Crack in Everything,” a mixed media presentation including art, poetry, music and dance. Students are encouraged to come out and share their own work. This will be in Research Hall, room 163 at 4 p.m. on March 27.

To cap off Women’s History Month, there will be a “Make Your Own Damn Sandwich” event on April 10. Students will go to different stations raising awareness about gender inequality through various topics such as the wage gap, consent and sexual violence and intersectionality. All the while making a sandwich and challenging the sexist joke that women should “go make a sandwich” or “go back to the kitchen.”

For more information, dates and locations of events for Women’s History Month, readers can check Mason’s Women and Gender Studies website.

Photo by Grant Smith