Celebrate Women’s History Month


By Hayley Devitt

Normally for Women’s History Month, or at least in the past couple of years, I would have compiled a mix CD featuring all female musicians to distribute to my friends and loved ones.

However, I am unhappy to report that this year I somewhat slacked off in celebrating Women’s History. I had been looking forward to hearing NIU’s Women’s Studies Program lecture on the 50th Anniversary of The Feminine Mystique, but it was canceled because of a snow storm.

Although it is very important for us ladies to reflect on our history and progress in this country, the month probably goes unnoticed by much of the student body. So I asked another student if she observed Women’s History Month.

“No,” said Donna Wilcox, sophomore visual communications major. “I didn’t realize that it was. I kind of did but I didn’t think much of it.”

Although there is no rule stating one must participate in celebratory awareness months–as I call them–I would like my classmates to know female empowerment does not have to stop Monday. As March draws to a close, I would still like to divulge on resources of and available to women in our community all year round.

On Lincoln Highway there is a large house with a lovely wraparound porch that is NIU’s Women’s Resource Center. The center is open to all students for support and access to academic assistance, internships and employment, counseling, pregnancy, disability and domestic violence services, as well as many other great resources.

The building itself has a computer lab, kitchen, lounge area, lactation space and a library/resource area. The books available for checkout are on many subjects, including health, feminism and gender identity.

The DeKalb Area Women’s Center is a non-profit organization that serves all of DeKalb County. Entirely volunteer-run, the center puts on various events every year that promote women’s health and wellness as well as encourage and women’s culture and empowerment.

For example, it holds a yearly Domestic Violence Awareness Vigil, and this past Sunday it partnered with our Women’s Studies Program for a Women’s History Month “Herstorical” Tea.

Annie Glidden was a member of the DeKalb Women’s Club, which is still in operation today. The club exists for cultural, philanthropic and literacy projects.

When I researched famous women from DeKalb, the results were slim. As we all know, model Cindy Crawford was born and raised here, but so were two actresses I was not familiar with: porn actress T.J. Hart and Barbara Hale, an award-winning star on the television program “Perry Mason.”

However interesting, I do not think a town needs local celebrities to make an impact. The real stars here are the ones who run our local non-profits and campus resource centers. On a more personal level, so are all the women in our lives, be they friends, instructors or relatives, who are there to support us every day.