Letter From the Editor: A Different Audience for WHM

Olivia Silvey ’25

Editor-in-Chief

During Women’s Herstory Month, it seems like we tend to think about the big picture, like our country’s lack of a female president or our College’s fairly recent (a little more than 50 years ago) move to become coeducational. Women’s Herstory Month forces us to confront where women are, and are not, in our society, and hopefully encourages us to assess why this is so. How does it reflect on our world that we are only now, in this decade, experiencing Trinity’s first Black female president? On the other hand, why are there still some professors that barely include any material by women, as our lovely managing editor Savannah pointed out in her last opinion piece? These are important questions that March should bring to the surface. 

However, I am going to go a different route with this editorial. As we all (hopefully) grapple with these big picture questions, I want to encourage another kind of interrogation with ourselves. Instead of focusing on the broad societal implications, like my sociology major tends me towards, I want to look at the details. How is your everyday, minute to minute experience shaped by the women in your daily life? Do you have women in your daily life? 

Personally, I am lucky enough that my life is saturated by a female presence. I grew up with my mother and grandmother as constant figures in my childhood and young adult life, along with my now-carbon-copy younger sister. Since their wedding in 2018, I have been proud to say I have two moms. My best friend and absolute anchor to this world is one of the most amazing women you could ever meet. My life has been primarily shaped by these women; every month is Women’s Herstory Month in my house. 

I know many people do not have a remotely similar experience, some by choice and some most definitely not. There are those of you that have no mother, much less two, whether by death or estrangement or something else. Plenty of you have no sisters or female cousins – or, even worse, you are an only child. And then there are some people – many, unfortunately – who have women in their life, but see them as secondary. You know, those teenage boys that curse their moms out or the Leo DiCaprios of the world that only lust after women under the age of 25. 

See, this is who this editorial is really for – the coddled teenage sons and the entitled divorced men. I originally wanted this editorial to be by a woman, for other women. I thought it would be good to lift each other up, to celebrate our wins and even continue reminding ourselves that there is always more to fight for. However, as I put pen to paper (finger to keyboard?) I realized who this was actually directed towards: men. 

I found myself tired of saying the same things to my fellow girls: let’s all come together! Women are important! You’ll never experience anything more impactful than your female friendships in your 20s! Yes, all of those things are true, but we’ve heard it already. I don’t want to regurgitate ideas just because I need to fill words. Instead, here’s a message for the boys this Women’s Herstory Month:

Notice who does the labor around your house – who cooks, does the laundry, figures out groceries, picks kids up from school. Notice, then help out. Let women speak in class, listen and treat their ideas with the same respect as if your white male professor said it. Turn on women’s basketball (although the numbers show that y’all are already doing that). Pay attention to what names and books are on your syllabi, and ask your professor why there aren’t women on there. (A syllabus full of white women doesn’t count either.) Reflect on what your TikTok and Instagram algorithm shows you – who do you scroll past, versus who do you ogle doing sexy dances for the camera? Have a conversation with your mother, grandmother, sister or aunt that isn’t asking for something (physically or emotionally). Oh, here’s a big one: hang out with women you aren’t attracted to. 

As I’m writing, I wonder if men will even read this. If you are a man, first of all, I’m glad you made it this far. Second of all, are you uncomfortable? I don’t think anything I’ve said in this editorial is especially radical, but I also know that you truly don’t know what you don’t know. And – not speaking for all women here, just myself – I want you to chew on what you didn’t previously know. I want you to be uncomfortable, understand and change. 

-OPS

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  1. 1
    D class of '90

    “I don’t think anything I’ve said in this editorial is especially radical” – you got that freaking right. Good grief.

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