“Nevertheless, she persisted” is the theme for 2018 Women’s History Month. It is an expression adopted by many women, it became popular in 2017 after the United States Senate voted to silence Senator Elizabeth Warren’s objections to confirmation of Senator Jeff Sessions as U.S. Attorney General. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell uttered this sentence, “She had appeared to violate the rule. She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted.” during comments following the vote in an effort to defend the Senate’s actions and blame Warren.
The expression went viral, as many posted it with hashtag references to other women. Its meaning expanded to refer to women’s persistence in breaking down barriers, despite being silenced or ignored. Three little words that women can draw on for decades to come, when something needs to be said. The 2018 theme embodies women working together with strength, tenacity and courage to overcome obstacles and achieve joyful accomplishments.
However, the new millennium has witnessed a significant change and attitudinal shift in both women’s and society’s thoughts about women’s equality and emancipation. Many from a younger generation feel that ‘all the battles have been won for women’ while many women from the 1970’s know only too well the longevity and ingrained complexity of patriarchy. With more women in the boardroom, greater equality in legislative rights, and an increased critical mass of women’s visibility as impressive role models in every aspect of life, one could think that women have gained true equality.
Unfortunately, the facts are that women are still not paid equally to that of their male counterparts. Women still are not present in equal numbers in business or politics, and globally women’s education, health and the violence against them is worse than that of men. Through this theme we celebrate women fighting not only against sexism, but also against the many intersecting forms of discrimination faced by American women including discrimination based on race and ethnicity, class, disability, sexual orientation, veteran status, and many other categories.
Mother Teresa said, “I alone can’t change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create ripples.”
What can and I you do? First, I encourage everyone to celebrate and shine a light on the forgotten and unacknowledged contributions of women who lead the way and helped achieve greater freedoms. For this we are grateful and celebrate the proud legacy of these women.
We have the opportunity to continue to fulfill our heritage, by shaping the future so that every citizen can achieve the American dream. Continue to persist by contributing your time, energy, your voice, and your prayers to ensure that the future for girls is bright, equal, safe and rewarding. for today’s girls and women, who can now dream bigger and achieve more than ever.
Personally, I am / we are women everyday and we should always be respected, celebrated and loved everyday. (Just sayin’.) Remember to celebrate Her-Story everyday.
I Am; She Is; We Are