By Erica Matz
“Not the church, not the state, women must decide their fate!”
This is the iconic chant of the NOW organization- or the National Organization for Women. The NOW organization along with the National Women’s Studies Association (NWSA) was featured during Women’s Week, which was sponsored by the Office of Campus Activities and Student Leadership Development. Women’s Week took place recently in the Montauk Point Room in the Babylon Student Center, and it celebrated its 40th anniversary of Women’s Studies among other progressive movements. Above all else, the event celebrated not only feminism but women. “Feminism and women are nurturing, it is empowering but best of all it is delicious!” Exclaimed Tricia Lin- the president of the NWSA.
Women’s Week celebrated the history or ‘Her-story’ of the progression and implementation of Women’s Studies and movements throughout the United States. Several lectures and presentations were given throughout March 4, March 6 and March 7. Womens week featured many influential figureheads who aided in the furthering development of women’s studies both at the Suffolk County Community College Campus’ and elsewhere throughout the country. The National Women’s Studies Association presented a lecture on the history and the development of finally implementing women’s studies into programs nationwide.
However women’s studies would not exist without the efforts of the feminist movements that took place earlier this century. First and second-wave feminist movements dwelled on issues such as reproductive rights, domestic violence, women’s suffrage and sexual harassment. The third wave of feminism campaigned for women to be able to hold greater political power and receive equal wages. All three of these campaigned for social and cultural equality. Because of the proximity that these movements have to our time (the third wave taking place in the early 1990’s) celebrating and acknowledging women is significant and has presence in our culture as we know it today.
Professor Goode-Elman, a women’s studies professor at the Ammerman campus states that the main message that the presentations attempt to send is “Teaching, Empowering, Resisting.” This is the slogan seen on the front of the brochure that advertised the events throughout the college. Women’s week intended to educate the participants on not only past issues but the present. Women’s week advertised pure equality and progress to its and it certainly educated those who attended.
Women’s Week: Celebrating 40 years of Women’s Studies
By Erica Matz