An old Chinese proverb states that “women hold up half of the world,” and it’s an idea which Assistant Professor of Sociology Lora Friedrich said has been underappreciated.
“Men have had the opportunity and the vehicle to record history and by and large that has meant the contributions of women have been largely ignored,” Friedrich said.
As Women’s History Month gets underway, Friedrich and others members of the Simpson community are excited about the events, exhibits and performances throughout the month of March.
“There’s always a debate about how many things you should do to celebrate Women’s History Month,” Professor of Theatre Jennifer Ross Nostrala said. “I really wanted to focus on a few big events we could get people to.”
The month’s events started last Tuesday with an exhibit in Farnham Galleries by Barbara Colombo titled “Over 30: Portraits of Unmarried Women.”
“This exhibit is more of a direct documentary than other shows,” Assistant Professor of Art Justin Nostrala. “The women featured in the photographs are real people who have common lifestyles, and they are ‘unmarried.'”
Singer and songwriter BeJae Fleming will perform a collection of blues and folk music in Farnham Gallery Saturday, March 5, from 10 a.m. until noon.
“She’s really very engaging,” Ross Nostrala said. “People can hang out and come in for a little while, look at some artwork and listen to a little music.”
Simpson will host a one woman show called “Love Arm’d: Aphra Behn and Her Pen” at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 10, in Pote Theatre. The show features Karen Eterovich as the seventeenth century playwright and spy.
“[Behn] is often considered the first professional female playwright,” Ross Nostrala said. “She wrote some interesting plays. She was a woman ahead of her time.”
The Annual Women in America Lecture will feature Pam Creedon, director of the school of journalism at the University of Iowa.
“[Creedon’s] going to be interesting for the campus and certainly for communications majors,” Ross Nostrala said. “I think it is a nice shift.”
Students are getting involved in planning events and exhibits as well: the Interfaith Church Council and the Women’s Issues theme house are preparing displays.
With such a variety of events planned, Friedrich believes that everyone will be able to take something away from the experience.
“This annual month-long celebration gives us, as a society, the opportunity to know more about how we have come to be who we are,” Friedrich said. “It’s about having as much knowledge as possible and about better understanding of our world and its players.”