Strolling in to University today, innocently and determined to retrieve some library books in which I have had on hold for at least two weeks, my march beginning to create an outspoken thud among the hustle and bussle of the students in the hallway, and I almost walk straight past something that catches my eye.
Now I was aware that it was International Women’s Day today, however, due to another important dwelling in my mind I cast it backwards into the unimportant, but Univeristy brought to life the important image it beholds. Not that long ago did women named Suffragettes fight, risk their lives, and some unlucky ones actually lose their lives, in the war against a patriarchal society which wavered that women were unable to vote. In a world where women can now vote, gain successful jobs, and furthermore remain almost equal to the male species, it is easy to forget, or even take advantage of what these inspirational women fought so hard for the future generation of females. Its in the name; they Suffered for our rights.
The wall was filled with placards containing cases of many different inspirational women that have inspired and upheld the fight for women’s rights, from Rosa Parks; A woman who, when Black communities were to remain separate from White communities, refused to stand up for a white passenger on a bus in Alabama in 1955. Parks is known as the ‘mother of the freedom movement’ and a highly valued member of the Civil Rights Movement, kept in great company with people such as Martin Luther King, Jr. Like the Suffragettes Parks refused to conform to her inferior stereotypical role, and stood up for the minority in a brave act of heroism in the defense of the Black community.
Joining such women on the wall are some more recent names, for example Lady Gaga for her individuality, and the belief that people should just accept her as she is, an ever morphing female who is empowered by her sexuality. Ellen Degeneres, who is not only proud of her being lesbian, but she also became the first comedienne to be invited for a chat after her performance on the Tonight Show with Jonny Carson.
The main point of this article is to remind everyone, that University not only accepts ALL holidays and causes, but celebrates them too. This wall I have described to you has also provided its students with information on Black History month, LBGT, and many more. Even if these holidays are not celebrated by yourself, it is a great way to celebrate it for people who do, and a fantastic way to relish in all our amazing differences. For example, I am straight, however looking at the posters containing information and facts about LBGT enabled me to gain more of an understanding of people who do struggle with such problems of sexuality and gender. I could not be any more proud of being part of a University that does this for its students.
Written by Charlotte Owen, Leeds Metropolitan University.