The month of March is dedicated to celebrating the iconic achievements of incredible women, and the strength and impact they have brought to our society. It’s an incredible time to reflect on why women are so incredibly important. However, I think it’s safe to say that this type of theme can be relevant in so many other areas that need awareness. Which is why there are several ways to make Women’s History Month intersectional this year.
First, what does intersectional mean? Intersectional means that there is understanding that there is more identities than just one that women can relate to, or men as well. It means using the themes that we celebrate in Women’s History Month - like recognizing iconic people of history and the impact of people today - for any identity out there. It is inclusive. It is welcoming. It is equal.
I also think making Women’s History Month intersectional helps us to recognize the differences. It helps us to see what other women are facing, and that everyone’s oppression is different. To say we are the same is naive, because people experience oppression and injustice differently based on who they are and where they are from. So yes, it can be inclusive, but in that we also need to be aware that we are all different people with different life stories, and we need to recognize that.
Knowing all of that, here is a few ways you can make Women’s History Month intersectional this year.
Listen To Others
I think this is the most important thing you can do that will help to make this month intersectional. Be silent, and really listen to stories from both your friends and from people you don't know. They only way anyone can truly understand that everyone has different experiences in the world is to listen and learn.
Learn About And Respect Other Cultures
Learn about different cultures and beliefs than your own. Read books, watch documentaries, and, again, listen.
Learn About The History Of Women's History Month
On top of that, since it’s Women’s History Month, take some time to learn about women’s history. Go to a museum and learn about the women that made an impact right at home, or look through old history textbooks and learn about the women that made a difference around the world.
Create A Welcoming Environment
You can make a huge difference by just creating a safe space for people. Take time this month to create an environment within your own home that will make all of your friends feel completely and totally safe to share whatever they'd like.
Now that you have a space, swap stories. And yes, that means being a bit vulnerable and sharing your story as well. Because now that you’ve created the space, and have people who are there to be open, they can welcome you with open arms.
Talk To Someone Who Feels Differently About Issues Than You
Also, I think it’s important to have some difficult discussions. These types of discussions challenge us and grow us into being more loving, more caring, and more willing to be open to what people believe. I know this can be a hot topic, but I would encourage you to sit down with someone you disagree with and just hear about their life. Learn about why they feel the way they do. And then, they will get to hear about your story. You can even agree to disagree at the beginning of the coffee date, and walk away still disagreeing but have a better understanding for each other.
Fight For Your Friends All Year Round
This is really important — our efforts can’t just end on Mar. 31. We need to keep fighting for our friends that experience different types of oppression. Fight for Black Lives Matter. Fight for immigrants. Fight for women. Fight for LGBTQIAPK+. Fight for any of your people experiencing different types of injustice.