Sure, the US has a few days honoring those other than DWMs (Martin Luther King, Jr. day, for example). Yet, for the most part, the USA closes schools, banks, post offices, etc to honor those of the dead white male persuasion.
Seeing that this year President’s Day and Susan B. Anthony Day fall on the same day, the strikingly un-diverse practice is put into sharp relief. How many people know it is SBA Day? How many kids study her work, and the work of other important women, as much or as often as that of all the dead white dudes?
I found a 3rd/4th grade lesson plan on SBA here. Thank Aphrodite for teachers that recognize SBA deserves as much (or more!) attention than former presidents.
As Miriam at Feministing notes in her “Today in Feminist History” blog column, most recorded history is about white men:
“In just the few months that I’ve been doing this series, I’ve encountered how difficult it can be to find important feminist historical moments, particularly organized by date. Especially when I’m doing most of my research online. So much of recorded history (particularly available on sites like Wikipedia, NY Times on this day) is about white men.”
This is why the 90th birthday of the league of women voters goes relatively unnoticed (except at feminist blogs, as here) and why I couldn’t find any mega big, mainstream blog covering SBA day. Seems like with all the coverage DWMs and AWMs (alive white males) get, we could pay a tad more attention to women’s history. (Yes, I know, it’s called HIStory for a reason…)
As noted by A Funny Feminist (who posted the someecard above), having this day off school “is a total wasted opportunity for kids to learn about presidents and other government whatnot.”
Just imagine if ONE day a year were devoted entirely to learning about women’s history? Yeah, we say there is a month, but my kids experience thus far reveals that Women’s History Month usually involves putting a few women’s pictures on the wall and maybe doing one report on an important woman. If I didn’t cajole some of the teachers into letting me talk in their classrooms during the month, there would be NO mention of feminism and no coverage other than the “rockstar women” that all the kids have already heard about…
If we really did honor these “Other” months, imagine the twist people like the white male studies peeps would get their boxers/briefs in!
Happy Susan B. Anthony Day everyone.