Mrs. Brandwood on the Importance of Women’s History

League of Women Voters Poster, 1920.

 

“Everyone has a right to choices… to have the option to do what they want to do with their lives.”- Mrs. Brandwood

Next year, Mrs. Brandwood will be offering a class focused on the history of women’s rights and their struggle for equality. The syllabus will be directed by students’ interests. Mrs. Brandwood believes that the future of female rights, and the advancement of human rights for all, is dependent on our generation. She see us as a generation of intellectuals, creators, and activists, who are already expressing a desire for change, arguably not seen since the Vietnam War. The purpose of teachers is to cultivate minds for the future, and Mrs. Brandwood plans to do this by educating members of the Blair Community about what she calls a “silenced history.”

 

“It is a forgotten area of history.”- Mrs. Brandwood

The plight of suffragists and all activists for female rights has a long history of being ignored and belittled. While many Americans learn about the Civil Rights Movement, many are unaware that activists in the movement for female rights experienced much of the same horrific treatment. In order to move forward in the fight for female equality, society must first understand its history. American women have had the right to vote for fewer than a hundred years– that means that there are women alive today who were born before women were allowed to vote. In the past century, America has made a great deal of progress. However, we are far from done.

 

Our society is sexist.”- Mrs. Brandwood

Mrs. Brandwood’s new class arrives as the discussion surrounding women’s rights is taking a pivotal turn. Discussions surrounding pay inequality, sexual harassment, and women’s reproductive health have become commonplace as society grapples with these issues. In the  past year, the press exposed the mistreatment of women across various industries. We have learned about sexual harassment and unequal pay in Hollywood, revelations about USA Gymnastics’ cover up of the molestation of girls, and many other instances of reported abuse perpetrated by many high-profile people. The country has been forced to face a discussion that we have repeatedly swept under the rug for decades.

We all must come to terms with the unequal treatment of women in our society in order to change it. Sexism detrimentally impacts everyone, regardless of sex.

 

“It’s up to you guys.”- Mrs. Brandwood

Mrs. Brandwood believes that our generation will save the world because she thinks we have the passion, drive, and unique worldview to provide a change. It is our responsibility to determine what is and isn’t acceptable. The crux of Mrs. Brandwood’s goal in teaching this class is to start a dialogue that will imbue us with the knowledge and training to fight tyranny, so our generation can move mountains.

 

(Copyright 2018 Katherine Holding, June Dinias)