WHY MARCH 8?
On March 8, 1857,
women from the
garment and textile
industry in New York staged
a demonstration protesting
low wages, the 12-hour
workday, and increasing
workloads. They called for
conditions and equal pay for
all working women. Their
march was dispersed by the
police, some of the women
arrested, some trampled in
• Three years later, in
March of 1860. these women
formed their own union and
called again for these
demands to be met.
• On March 8. 1308.
thousands of women
from the needles- trade
for the same demands, plus
some new ones: legislation
against child labor and for
the right of women to vote.
• In 1910. the German labor
leader Clara Zetkin
proposed that March 8 be
Women's Day in memory of
those earlier struggles of
women for better lives.
• Over the next 60 years.
March 8 was celebrated
mostly in socialist countries.
By 1967, the day began to be
celebrated by some groups
in the United States.
• In 1970. owing to the
growing women's liberation
movement, events were
planned to celebrate the day
m most of the major cities of
the United States.
• In the past five years it has
become a widely celebrated
day for most women's
organizations and groups.
Rallies, forums, panels,
programs, media shows,
and school programs will all
be part of the 1983
celebration of women's
rights and their
contributions to the history
and culture of the world.
Women s Studies Program
HISTORY? HERSTORY? 0URST0RY!
Some sage has observed that those who do not know their own
history are condemned to relive it. When one thinks about
women and "history", it is clear that for millenia we have,
women and men, "relived" a history that excluded women from
consideration. More specifically, those of us who are
feminists have historical origins which we ignore at great
peril. The bibliography that follows is culled from a much
longer list I would have liked to include. Each entry is
"a good read" as well as essential to our understanding.
I suggest choosing from the early part of the list first.
Jo Ann Evansgardner
Eleanor Flexner, Century of Struggle - The Woman's Rights
Movement in the United States (Revsd edrTJ Belknap Press,
Harvard University Press Cambridge, 1975 (originally 1959)
Ellen Carol Dubois Feminism and Suffrage Cornell University
Press, Ithaca NY 1973
Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan Brownell Anthony and Mathilda
Joslyn Gage History of Woman Suffrage (6 volumes containing
speeches, letters, essays, published 1881- 1922) A good
selection from this massive work is available in a volume
edited by Mari Jo & Paul Buhle, The Concise History of Woman
Suffrage, University of Illinois Press, Urbana, 1978
Gerda Lerner Black Women in White America - A Documentary
History Vintage Book, Random House, NY 1972
Elinor Rice Hays Lucy Stone: One of America's First and
Greatest Feminists Tower Publ ications, MCMLXI (Originally
Morning Star: A Biography of Lucy Stone, 1818-1893)
Inez Haynes Irwin Up Hill With Banners Flying
the Woman's Party. Traversity Press, Penobs
(republished as The Alice Paul Story Denlinger's Publishers,
Fairfax, VA 19771
The Story of
aversity Press, Penobscot, ME 1964
Carrie Chapman Catt
and Politics. (1923
Press, Seattle, WA
& Nettie Rogers Shuler Woman Suffrage
pb edition University of Washington
Blanche Weisen Cook (Ed) Crystal Eastman - On Women &
Revolution Oxford University Press, Oxford 1978
Midge Mackenzie Shoulder to Shoulder (the TV Documentary on
the English Suffragettes, in their own words, with pictures)
A. Knopf, 1975
"Women's experience encompasses all that is human;
they share - and have always shared - the world
equally with men."
Throughout the history of our world women of all races,
ages, cultures, and religious faiths have made innumerable
contributions to the advancement and civilization of people.
Many of these efforts have gone unrecognized because history
has been recorded from a masculine perspective. This interpretation of history leaves us with only half the picture of
an experience which includes both women and men.
Women's History Week, March 6-12, has been set aside to
recognize and celebrate the accomplishments of women in
history. The idea of celebrating Women's History Week was
first initiated by members of the Sonoma County Commission
on the Status of Women (Santa Rosa, CA) in 1978. By 1981,
the week which includes International Women's Day was
proclaimed by a joint resolution of Congress an official
observance. For 1983 Rep. Barbara Mikulski (D.- MD) and
Sen. Orrin Hatch (R. - UT) introduced the following
resolution which became law.
" ... Whereas American women have played and continue
to play a critical economic, cultural, and social
role in every sphere of our nation's life by constituting a significant portion of the labor force in
and outside the home
... Whereas despite these contributions, the role
of American women in history has been consistently
overlooked and undervalued in the body of American
NOW, therefore, let it be resolved ... that the week
beginning March 6, 1983, is designated "Women's
History Week" and the President is requested to issue
a proclamation calling upon the people of the United
States to observe such week with appropriate ceremonies and activities."
On Monday through Friday during the week of March 16, 1983,
NOW at UH will participate in Women's History Week by presenting a series of lectures beginning at 12 noon at the A.
D. Bruce Religion Center at the University. The complete
list of speakers and topics will be found in our FEMINIST
CALENDAR FOR MARCH. See also the enclosed flyer.
Helen Wilma Ortiz
Gerda Lerner The Grimke Sisters from South Carolina - Rebels
Against Slavery Houghton Mifflin, Boston 1967
Mary Beth Norton Liberty's Daughters The Revolutionary
Experience of American Women, 1750 -1800) Little, Brown &
"Cot Boston, 198U
Gerda Lerner The Majority Finds its Past - Placing Women in
History. Oxford University Press, NY 1979
Jo Freeman The Politics of Women's Liberation David McKay,
Judith Hole & Ellen Levine Rebirth of Feminism Quadrangle
Books, NY 1971 (revised 1977)