March is Women’s History Month, and in honour of that, Oxford University Press has put up a quiz on their blog about women’s history. The thing is, it is hard. I consider myself a feminist, and one who is responsible for writing or editing articles about women’s history, and couldn’t even answer the first question! Granted, this is British history, but I took a lot of British history in university, and I still can’t do it! Basically, this quiz makes you (me) feel like a terrible feminist, when it asks me questions like: Jacqueline Cochran was a pioneer aviator and business executive but in which industry did she launch her business venture? Who is that!? I have no idea! She’s even an American!
Or is it our education system that’s letting me down here? In most of the history courses I’ve taken, very little time was spent on women’s rights movements (if there were any). It’s presented as a tiny, tiny facet of the whole. Even during Women’s History Month, which has been around since 1981 in the United States (it’s technically in October here in Canada, which I also did not know, even though it was instituted in 1992). During my school years, we never did anything special to celebrate Women’s History Month at all, so what is the point of it exactly? It’s meant to make a difference, but this makes me feel like Women’s History Month is nothing more than lip service if I can’t even do a quiz on the internet.
Megan Patterson is the Science and Technology Editor at Paper Droids and currently a Toronto Standard intern. She has also written for WORN Fashion Journal, Elevate, and Salon Magazines. She also tweets more than is healthy or wise.