Women honored in events throughout the month

By Lindsey Salvatelli

DeKALB — The Center for the Study of Women, Gender and Sexuality kicked off Women’s History Month on Wednesday with “This is What a Feminist Looks Like” Sticker Day.

Rebekah Kohli, program coordinator for the CSWGS, said that for the past 13 years, the Center has used Sticker Day to bring awareness to Women’s History Month. Throughout the day, students were invited to stop at the Center’s office to pick up a sticker to show their support and join the celebration of Women’s History Month.

“Feminism is for everyone, and there are many kinds of feminism,” said Kristen Myers, CSWGS director. “It’s much more complicated than people think, and all [feminists] are pro-people. At its heart, it just means that you want equal opportunities for all people regardless of their gender, race, class, whatever it is.”

Myers said people who do not understand what feminism is may mistake it with other words that carry negative connotations

“If they don’t know what this terms means, then they think of ‘sexism,’ which sounds bad, and they think of ‘racism,’ which sounds bad,” Myers said. “Then you have ‘feminism,’ and it sounds like one of these other categories, so that’s confusing [to others].”

While there has been progress made for women’s rights, Myers said it’s important for people to continue having conversations that keep the momentum going.

“This is what we do everyday: [trying] to have these conversations in ways that are safe but also hard,” Myers said. “We’re not just here to make everyone feel good about themselves. Sometimes moving forward means recognizing that maybe we’ve been wrong … It’s hard work, and it never stops.”

Kohli said the Center used to hold many events throughout the month of March, but it has since made some changes. Now, the program hosts hands-on workshops, lectures and events throughout the year.

“One of the things I like most is actually working with our students if they have an idea for an event [and] helping them to make it happen,” Kohli said.

Freshman art major Gabby Ibanez said this was the first year she took part in Women’s History Month and was very excited when she learned about the event.

“People should be open-minded,” Ibanez said. “We live in a world right now where it’s so divided, so we should try and welcome one another.”