Some might argue against a Women’s History Month—or a Black History Month, for that matter—because all genders and races should be celebrated all 12 months in the year. Right?
But when Chris Brown is given center stage at the Grammys after beating the living crap out of Rihanna, and when an all-male congressional panel is allowed to deliberate on contraception, it’s obvious we’re still waiting for that celebration to happen.
In 1978, a group in Sonoma County felt the same way, thus initiating a “Women’s History Week” to coincide with International Women’s Day on March 8. Word spread, and in 1987 Congress officially declared March Women’s History Month.
The Sonoma County Commission on the Status of Women continues to honor that local imperative. This year’s honorees are health advocate Elia Solar, 90-year-old National Organization for Women member Mary West and Women’s Cancer Awareness Group founder Lydia Zipp.
The Women’s History Luncheon and Scholarship Fundraiser honors Sen. Pat Wiggins and National Women’s History Project cofounder Molly Murphy MacGregor on Sunday, March 11 at Sally Tomatoes restaurant in Rohnert Park; Roller Girls, 17-plus women artists, DJs and live music round out a KWTF International Women’s Day celebration on Saturday, March 10 at the Arlene Francis Center in Santa Rosa.
Sonoma State University honors Women’s History Month with a performance by Jessica Lynn Johnson (above) of Oblivious to Everyone, Johnson’s solo show about stereotypes and pressures in American media, on March 19, followed later in the week by Miss Representation, Jennifer Siebel-Newsom’s documentary on media portrayals of women and girls (Wednesday, March 21; Ives Hall; 7pm).