The Nation's Oldest Continuously Published Student Newspaper

The Simpsonian

The Nation's Oldest Continuously Published Student Newspaper

The Simpsonian

The Nation's Oldest Continuously Published Student Newspaper

The Simpsonian

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Women’s History Month: Who’s really celebrating women?

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Chloe Peck

 Although ideal, it’s unrealistic to assume women spend the entire month of March blissfully celebrating their lives as women, especially when the political sphere is consistently filled with issues pertaining to women specifically. 

On Feb. 16, the Alabama Supreme Court declared a new ruling that embryos created during in vitro fertilization can now be protected under law as minors. This will create huge roadblocks for people who depend on the procedure in order to conceive a child. 

On Feb. 26, William Anderson from Northwest Missouri State University tabled in Kent Campus Center and advocated against abortion. A few quotes from his campaign include: “Every abortion forcefully ends the life of a living, unique human person by starving, suctioning, dismembering, or poisoning them to death,” “Direct abortion is never medically necessary,” and, “The abortion industry exploits sexual assault survivors by using their stories to justify the violence of abortion.” 

When looking at Simpson specifically, I wanted to know how people felt about William Anderson’s visit to campus: 

“I didn’t see him myself, so I can’t say anything specifically about that, but I have seen/heard some distortions and misrepresentations favoring anti-abortion ideology on campus this academic year that are concerning,” Department Chair of Religion Maeve Callan said. “People often simplistically assert you can’t be religious and support reproductive autonomy, which isn’t accurate at all but rather favors a particular agenda. Pro-choice/life are simplistic distortions that misrepresent the complexity of these situations.”

It would be impossible to have a discussion celebrating women without acknowledging the political turmoil of the past few years. However, some people believe when and where we have these conversations can make all the difference.

“I admire Simpson College for fostering an environment where students and our community can engage in open dialogue and education on a wide range of issues. Personally, I found the recent visit of the individual from NWMSU and other ‘pro-life’ demonstrations on campus to be disconcerting,” Megan Marquardt, director of presidential initiatives, said. “While I deeply appreciate the importance of discussing various perspectives, spreading misinformation can impact individuals’ understanding of women’s healthcare, and it is troubling to say the least.” 

Marquardt said issues related to women’s healthcare should be approached with sensitivity and respect, and discussions related to whether women have a right to that access seem to be the part that is lost in translation.

Many students were confused about Anderson’s visit to the campus. 

Simpson student James Murray took to X, formerly known as Twitter, and said, “Extremely disappointed that Simpson College provides a platform for organizations such as Students for Life of America to provide misinformation regarding abortion services, with flippant disregard to sexual assault victims/survivors.” 

It can be easy to get caught up in the frustration that surrounds these conversations, but it’s Women’s History Month, after all. And after the difficult conversations, we’ve earned the right to celebrate. 

“With women’s rights in peril across the nation to varying degrees, it’s crucial to reflect on this history and the hard work people put in to get closer to equity, how far we still are from equity and what we can do to improve things going forward,” Callan said. “Women are so fascinating, creative and clever. It’s wonderful to celebrate them and their accomplishments in all sorts of cultural contexts.”

Junior Nadia Murobyi has strong emotional ties when it comes to celebrating and discussing women’s accomplishments around the world. 

“I always think of my mom,” she said. “She is an immigrant from Rwanda, and it takes a lot of strength and resilience to raise a family in a new place. But I think we should be celebrating women all year long, not only when it’s the ‘right’ month.”

Lainie Burkhart, a freshman on the wrestling team, said, “Although we still have room to grow, as an athlete, Title IX has done a lot for me personally. I am now able to wrestle collegiately, and that’s a big deal for me because, in high school, I could only wrestle against the boys until my sophomore year.” 

Burkhart’s teammate, freshman Adelle Patterson, resonated with this sentiment and said, “I started as a wrestling manager for the boy’s team in high school, and seeing girls on the team inspired me to join. It made it less scary to join a sport seen as mostly male knowing there would be other girls by my side.” 

In any case, it is always easier to accomplish your goals when you’re surrounded by supportive people, and despite any faults, many believe Simpson fosters a positive environment for women to grow. 

“Students of all genders: you have more power than you might think you do,” Callan said. “One of the great things about a small liberal arts college is that you can make things happen. Simpson is set up to support your success in all sorts of ways, including being agents of change if that’s what you want.” 

Marquardt echoed these sentiments, “Simpson College has shown a commitment to creating a supportive and inclusive environment where women can thrive academically, professionally, and personally. It’s essential for women to prioritize self-care, seek out mentorship and leadership opportunities, and actively engage in initiatives that promote gender equity and inclusion. 

“By standing together and supporting one another, women can continue to make meaningful contributions to Simpson College and beyond.”

So, who’s celebrating women this month? The same people who do every day of the year. It’s not enough to spend only one month of the year honoring the amazing women around the world and the hardships they face. 

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Chloe Peck
Chloe Peck, News Editor

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