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Is Women's History Month a Scam?



March is Women’s History Month and the world is celebrating the contributions women have made throughout history. Ironically, we still don’t know exactly what it means to be a woman but no less, there is an entire month devoted to it. Should women have a month dedicated to celebrating their accomplishments? What accomplishments are really being celebrated? Is this really the best way to grapple with femininity in modern culture?


Today I’m exploring how the Women’s History movement has scammed women into sacrificing their identity and how the perfect solution has been staring us in the face for centuries. 




BACKGROUND

You can’t miss March’s special holiday– Women’s History Month. Since the 1980’s when President Jimmy Carter signed it into a declaration, women worldwide have taken a step back once a year, patted themselves on the back and given kudos to themselves and other women for… simply being women.


A day that was originally formed by The American Socialist Party in 1909 is now celebrated by corporate discounts, pizza parties, shoutouts and panels with Meghan Markle highlighting the progress that is still being made in gender equity (or is it now equality… or diversity and inclusion?). Heralded as a day to highlight the accomplishments of suffragettes over the last century, women like Marie Curie, Malala Yousafaza, Rosa Parks (you know the roster) are all pointed to as the beacon of change and example for women. 


Now it is important to note that feminine accomplishments should never be buried or dismissed. Rather, by highlighting the plight of “womanhood” in this way of a designated national holidy, instead of creating inclusion, it emphasizes exclusion. It’s putting womanhood’s place in a vague celebration for one part of the year, although it still doesn’t define what exactly it is that it is celebrating. “Womanhood” is touted but simultaneously rejects the definition of an adult human female.




Dylan Mulvaney's Latest Music Video Wrestles with "Girlhood"

MODERN WOMEN'S PROGRESS

We have more women in power than ever before in history. 100% of S & P 500 Boards have at least 1 female director with 3 quarters having 3 or more female directors. Women make up over a quarter of all members in US Congress– a 50% increase from 10 years ago. U.S. Women are earning more four year degrees than ever, now more than U.S. Men (I’ll break that down at some point, there is so much to that…) Women speakers in Parliament have increased to 22.7% up from 20% in 2021, and European Nordic countries have a regional ranking of 45.7% of MP’s who are women. 


Reports are that the gender pay gap is closing, now accounting for 84 cents on the dollar compared to 1963 when women made 59 cents – although factors including the percentage of stay at home moms, part time working women and women returning to the workforce isn’t considered in that analysis thus questioning the integrity of that concern overall. 



Girl Power and feminine love is stronger than ever… the Barbie movie drove women worldwide to embrace self-love and celebrate womanhood… to the tune of America Ferrera’s monologue declaring “it’s impossible to be a woman!”


And yet there isn’t a clear place for women in modern society distinct from men. At what percentage of women having a “seat at the table” in the words of Lily Singh, or women making equal or more pay than men, will the patriarchy be defeated? Will it look like BarbieLand? In fact, how are we even supposed to celebrate and uplift a group that isn’t defined, and is dying to be treated the same as everyone else?


By highlighting any objective difference in womanhood from men, that’s culturally considered sexist, close-minded and regressive. But still, their answer is simply to celebrate women– in all shapes and sizes for professing and identifying as “women”. And they are right to want to be honored… just not in the way we do. 




A CLASSICAL APPROACH

When you think of Medieval Knights and castles, what comes to mind? Perhaps knights jousting for a woman’s hand in marriage in the name of winning for selfish gain… or the modern historical perspective of slaying dragons, raping, and burning buildings? That couldn’t be further from the truth.


Medieval chivalry first developed as a code of honor that all men were expected to take part in emphasizing bravery, loyalty, generosity and self-sacrifice for Christendom. This code was woven all throughout society, permeating every part of culture and every level of aristocracy– foremost of which was their treatment towards women. 


It was an approach not taken lightly, and as recorded in works like Geoffery Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, it was a protection and defense for women, with knights actually taking an oath to “strengthen them in their rights”-- more than simply opening doors and kissing hands.




It was the life’s duty of a knight to protect the role of women and defend the values of their society. Rather than simply throwing a pizza party for everyone who says they are a woman, this society was daily dedicated to defending the honor of women. In turn, a woman supported, celebrated, and honored her man’s accomplishments and created a place for him to thrive at home and in his family.


This was seen as a bedrock for knighthood– based in a double self sacrifice, a man for a woman and a woman in return, creating a harmonious, thriving society where women were uplifted– not by fulfilling a quota but by nature of being a man or a woman. Although this era was often remembered with rose-colored glasses, the firm celebration of gender roles in their society protected women and gave purpose to men. 



Meghan Markle Interviews Gloria Steinem

A MATCH FOR EVERYONE

Feminists today reel at the idea of gender roles, but secretly… more and more feminists are realizing they actually love it. 


A recent study asked women who considered themselves high feminists to read profiles of men with or without benevolent traditional attitudes and then measure perceived warmth, attractiveness, willingness to protect, provide and commit as well as patronizing and undermining behavior. This research measured how women responded in both personal and professional relationships. In both cases, the study showed that women were attracted to benevolent men, (but it was stronger in the dating context.) Interestingly, this was true for women who rated themselves as high as well as low feminists. The Scientist behind the study concluded that, “We know from previous research that women, across cultures, prefer a mate who is able to invest by providing resources, Women also may be especially attentive to cues of willingness to invest when evaluating a man as a potential mate. Benevolent attitudes and behaviors may signal that willingness.” 




TikToks are going viral of feminists struck by the self-sacrifice and interest of chivalrous men, despite their definition of chivalry being that “women can’t look after themselves”.... They want to be taken care of. And that doesn’t mean they are unable to do things for themselves. Or that there is one box they need to be put in as a damsel in distress. 

      




A WORTHY WOMAN: FINAL THOUGHTS

 We simply just need each other. In fact, chivalrous men bring out elegant women and allow for them to thrive in their calling and lean into their strengths. True elegance is found when a woman is rooted in her calling, values, and tradition. By finding a man that will lay his life down for you, and you for him, you will go so much further than striving to go alone


But women must be the kind of women deserving of such chivalry… too many women love to berate men and label them “trash” and proclaim the superiority of womanhood. And certainly, there are men that are pure garbage. But simply because they have different chromosomes doesn’t make them less valuable than women. There certainly are some trashy women as well. Instead of blocking out a month to celebrate women, the very fabric of our society should honor and encourage one another, self sacrificially, for our unique strengths and talents, recognizing the difference between men and women with women striving to be worthy of that self sacrifice. 


This Women’s History Month, don’t succumb to the scam narrative that women need to be wheeled out and celebrated this month and then put back on the shelf to compete for attention from men. Let’s build a world that honors and respects women– and us, men. We can become worthy of chivalrous men (trust me, they are out there!) and call them to a place of self-sacrificing chivalry by being elegant, thoughtful, and in turn gaining those promotions, raises, and opportunities because   of our merit… not simply because we are women and corporations are trying to fill a quota. 


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Hannah Brusven founded The Swish in 2018 to combat trashy & politically biased women's media and create a  place for young women looking for a little more than more society feeds them.

 

Here we believe elegance is powerful, and the key to unlocking confidence, persuasion, and impact. Explore trends, traditions, lifestyle, and more with The Swish-- for an inspired elegant life. 

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