|Now is the time to set the stage for going
to your town or city's council to request that March 2001 and every March
thereafter be declared as your city's Women's History month.
Congress and the President have proclaimed March as
National History Month since 1987, thanks to the hard work of Gerda Lerner
and so many more.
It's a very, very simple procedure since most politicians
are eager to court the "gender gap" vote. Always approach women
on your council first, or lacking any, contact the representative from
your district. Enclose the proclamation form below with your letter (make
WHEREAS, women have
contributed in a fundamental way to the history and heritage of these United
WHEREAS, the celebration
of women's accomplishments dates back to the first International Women's
day on March 8, 1911, which led to a Congressional resolutions beginning
in 1981 proclaiming National women's History Week, which became National
Women's History Month in 1987; and
WHEREAS, the purpose
of the celebration is to educate all people in the study of the contributions
of women to government, business, industry, science, health, education,
social work, and the cultural arts; and
WHEREAS, it is the
purpose thereof to preserve, celebrate and teach about the contributions
of women to our history and further to promote month-long activities to
dramatize and demonstrate the historical role of women; now therefore,
be it RESOLVED, that March is hereby proclaimed as Women's History Month
(in your city).
You may also send a request to the governor of
your state to remind her/him.
In her famous speech to her troops at Tilbury
in 1558, Queen Elizabeth I told them: "I
know I have the body but of a weak and feeble woman; but I have the heart
and stomach of a king, and of a King of England too, and think foul scorn
that Parma or Spain or any prince of Europe should dare to invade the borders
of my realm, to which, rather than any dishonor should grow by me, I myself
will take up arms; I myself will be your general, judge, and rewarder of
every one of your virtues in the field."
About 1600 years earlier, the Celtic Queen Boadicea
of Iceni addressed her troops from a site only a few miles from where
Elizabeth I spoke, saying "This is what
I, as a woman, plan to do: Let the men live in slavery if they will."
When her King-husband died, Boadicea (Boudicea, Boudicca,
Boudica ) was flogged by the Romans who had invaded the British Isles and
enslaved the population. The she and her two daughters were raped. Rape
is the time-honored method of soldiers and statesmen to emphasize the subordinate
status of women and the uselessness of resistance. It is supposedy a strike
against the husband/father/son of the woman but if that were so, the male
would be raped, not the woman.
Boadicea then led an Iceni-Celtic revolt that conquered
two cities including London before her army was defeated.
Boadica committed suicide on the battlefield rather
than fall into the hands of the Romans again.
"All of this ruin
was brought upon (Rome) by a woman, a fact which in itself caused them
the greatest shame." Historian Dio described
her as "huge of frame, terrifying of
aspect ... (with) a great mass of red hair."
"It will not be
the first time, Britons, that you have been victorious under the conduct
of your queen. For my part, I come not here as one descended of royal blood,
not to fight for empire or riches, but as one of the common people, to
avenge the loss of their liberty, the wrong of myself and children."
-- Boadicea (c 60 BC as quoted
in Biography of Distinguished Women by Sarah Josepha Hale).
The complete text of Elizabeth
I's speech (and the hardly ever mentioned fact that she made it at
great peril to her life) is in the Women's
Library section of this site.