I am one of those rare individuals who celebrates Women’s History Month.
This year I will be dedicating every Sunday Lifestyles in March to the fabulousness of females.
I hope to make this collection of articles enjoyable for as many readers as possible. That isn’t as easy as it sounds.
Contrary to popular belief, all women are not alike.
We don’t dress the same, cook the same (if we do cook), enjoy the same books or TV shows, have the same hobbies or marry the same kind of men.
We are wives and swinging singles. We are professionals and stay-at-home moms. We are conservative, liberal and apolitical.
To paraphrase Walt Whitman, we contradict ourselves because we contain multitudes.
Unfortunately, too often we let our differences divide us. If we saw each other as sisters instead of rivals, we could make the world a better place for women everywhere.
I didn’t understand the importance of a sisterhood until I lost mine.
I’ve gotten close to several really cool chicks while working at the Daily Mountain Eagle.
Elane Jones is full of wisdom and wisecracks, which are often the same thing. She took my wedding photos and came to the hospital the night my son was born.
Mary Bailey is my Native American friend, although the particular tribe she is descended from has always been a bit sketchy. Mary and I had a lot of fun times together when she was working here.
Then, of course, there is Jennifer Williams Smith. Crazy things happen if we are in the same space for too long. She is a one-woman hurricane and I am the reporter who covers her.
Shortly after I returned from my maternity leave, my relationship with all of them changed.
Elane left the paper to spend time with her daughter, who has cancer. Mary moved back home, and Jennifer had some health issues that forced her to take some time off from work as well.
I suddenly found myself keeping up with my friends via text messages.
I looked around the newsroom and saw only male faces staring back at me. I was surprised at how lonely that made me feel.
I don’t know how many nights I came home and told Zac, “I hate boys.”
Work wasn’t fun anymore without having Mary and Elane to joke with or a story to write that involved Jennifer Smith.
At first, I was mad that I let myself get too attached to them.
Then I realized that I should be thankful for the memories we made and the fact that we still keep in touch.
Of course, they all have a lot bigger problems than not being able to hang out with me anymore. I think they know I’m still here when they need me and vice versa.
I’m sure that I never would have developed the bond that I did with them if they had been men.
As much as I pride myself on being able to hang in there with the best of the boys, I also recognize that there is something special about being a girl.
For one, we get our own month.
A lot of people won’t see why that is necessary. Here are five reasons why it is — Loula Friend Dunn, Dixie Bibb Graves, Marie Bankhead Owen, Carrie Tuggle and Julia Strudwick Tutwiler.
At the risk of being labeled a feminist (which I don’t consider an insult), I believe that these women might have been mentioned more frequently in my study of Alabama history if they had been men.
I read about them in “They Also Served: Twenty-five Remarkable Alabama Women” by Mildred Griffin Yelverton.
I wish I could highlight more stories of the dozens of others who have also been inducted into the Alabama Women’s Hall of Fame.
That’s what next year’s Women’s History Month is for.