Women’s History Month

Women's History Month

In honor of Women’s History Month, Big Sister Erica sat down with her Little Sister Iris to talk about what this celebration means to them. Check out their conversation…

Q:  Who is one girl/woman celebrity that you know that you look up to or want to be like? What about them do you like?

Little Sister Iris:  Lizzo.  Do you know who that is?

Big Sister Erica:  LOL. Yes, I used to work in radio.  I know who Lizzo is.

LS Iris:  I like her because she is confident.  She embraces her body and she doesn’t subscribe to society’s beauty standards.

Q:  Who is one girl/woman that you know personally that you look up to? What about them do you like?

LS Iris:  My mom.  I know her past and what she’s accomplished by owning her own business and getting her residency.  She is a really, really hard worker.  She’s also a great mom and a great friend.

Iris is 100% right about all of that.

Q:  What does it mean to be a strong girl/woman?

LS Iris:  I think being a strong woman means never letting your guard down.  Sometimes, as women, we are looked down on in society but it’s really important to always keep our heads up.

Q:  What is something girls can do that no one else can?

LS Iris:  I can’t think of anything.

BS Erica:  Really?  You can’t think of anything?  This is an easy one.  You are going to kick yourself when I tell you.

LS Iris:  I really can’t think of anything.

BS Erica:  Okay.  Then, I’m going to answer this one for you.  The one thing girls can do that no one else can is bring life into this world.  And because we bring life into the world, we are much more likely to be peacemakers which takes a lot of strength.  In fact, it often takes more effort to show restraint than it does to fight.

Q:  What does it mean to stand up for yourself? 

LS Iris:  It takes courage.  Standing up for yourself means not relying on anyone else.  I don’t know.  If people make fun of me, I don’t care too much about it, but if they make fun of someone I care about, it really makes me mad.

In the car, before we arrived at the restaurant, Iris told me that there are two girls at her school who just arrived from Ukraine.  Because Iris is bilingual, she has been trying to help these girls navigate the language even though Ukrainian and Spanish, which Iris speaks, are very different.  Because of recent events, these girls have been more of a curiosity and yesterday, Iris happened to overhear a group of boys laughing and making jokes about the girls because their homeland was in chaos.  Iris said she walked right up to them and told them to knock it off.  The boys said they were just making a joke and not hurting anyone, but didn’t back down.

BS Erica:  Standing up for yourself also means standing up for those who feel like they can’t.  Just like you stood up for those Ukrainian girls.  Every time we stand up for someone else, we also stand up for ourselves because it makes us more confident.

Q:  Who are some women that you’ve heard about making a big difference in history?

LS Iris:  Catherine Johnson, the black woman who was a mathematician for NASA.  The one in the movie, Hidden Figures.  She proved everyone wrong when she figured out all the math and equations to get a man into space.  And she did it without any help from anyone.

Q:  Who are girls/women that are making a difference today?

LS Iris:  There is an influencer named Nadya Okamoto who talks about biodegradable pads and tampons.  She makes it easier for girls to talk about their period.  She makes people feel like it is nothing to be ashamed of, that it is natural, and I think that’s really important.

Q:  Why do you think we need a special month to honor women?

LS Iris:  Some people forget how strong women are.  We need to value their hard work and remember and appreciate their accomplishments.  We need good examples for younger girls.

BS Erica:  I think we need a Women’s History Month because if you look at most of our history books, most of the people featured are men…but they aren’t the only ones who have done great things.  There have been so many women in history who have also done amazing things.  We need to remember them, too.

Q:  How do you feel or what does it mean to you being a Big Sister to your Little and the impact you can make?

BS Erica:  I didn’t become a Big Sister with the expectation of making an impact.  I had always wanted to have children of my own, but it just didn’t work out.  I became a Big Sister because I was missing having a child in my life.  One of the great joys of my life has been watching Iris grow into the woman she is meant to be.  I don’t care whether she grows up to become the President of the United States or a stay-at-home mom.  I just want her to be happy and live  up to her fullest potential.  If I had any hand in the woman she is becoming, then I feel happy about that.

But, in the context of Women’s History month, part of me has been thinking lately that my generation of women has failed.  There were so many women in the 1960’s and 1970’s (and before), who bravely fought for equal rights for women, but my generation, the generation of the 1990’s and 2000’s, took all the wonderful things those women fought for and we took them for granted.  We forgot, as women, how much the women before us had to fight and how important it is to be diligent in keeping those rights in place.  That’s why Women’s History Month is so important.  We need to remember what the women of the past have gone through to give us the lives we enjoy today.  But when I look at Iris and the future generation, I see how bold they are.  I see how inclusive they are.  I see how they have learned so quickly the lessons my generation took so long to figure out, and it gives me hope that the next generation is going to be better than we are.  

Looking to have a conversation about Women’s History month with someone close to you? Check out the source of these questions by clicking here

Related Stories