When we throw a House Party, we, of course, love company. This time, we really love the company we're in, because this month particular attention is paid to celebrating women. Among countless other organizations and institutions throughout the US, we're happy to join the Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art and the Smithsonian and US Holocaust Memorial Museums to honor the commitments women have made through time and through the world as they have always and continue to exemplify the love, commitment and activism needed to make this a better world. Whew. Inspiring is an understatement. Every year that we celebrate "Women in History" is as unique as all the wonderful women we have in our world. We remember the remarkable contributions many women have made such as Jane Addams, Mother Teresa, Rosa Parks, Eleanor Roosevelt, Harriet Tubman and Indira Gandhi, to name a few. Since 1987, the country has set aside a month to explore, to honor and to celebrate all of the individuals who have played critical roles as activists, environmentalists, scientists, historians, groundbreakers, doctors, lawyers, teachers and - at the most basic - most often the glue that cements relationships, families, communities and society at large.
Here are some interesting films and books I'd recommend to learn more about these great accomplishments:
Iron Jawed Angels is a 2004 film starring Hilary Swank which tells the story of Alice Paul and Lucy Burns, two political activists who fought, peacefully, to grant women the right to vote in the early 1900s.
Around the World in 72 Days is a movie about Nellie Bly, a journalist, who faked insanity and checked herself into a mental institution to expose the horrific conditions.
A classic, The Diary of Anne Frank, is a book about a young girl who's hiding from the Nazi Occupation during the Holocaust.
A Room of One's Own is an extended essay by English writer, Virginia Woolf. She examines women's struggles through classic literary pieces.
Lastly, as most of you may be familiar with from the recent House Party, MAKERS: Women Who Make America is a documentary about the women who have continued to shape American history into the present time. If you haven't had a chance to see it yet, check it out.
In almost every country worldwide, the life expectancy for women is higher than men. That might be because women are accustomed to dreaming for a better future. And they need us around to keep those dreams alive. As John Lennon once said, "As usual, there is a great woman behind every idiot."
Which woman inspires you in your life?
About the author: Shana is a friend of House Party. She enjoys hiking, traveling, and concerts. Her party tip: Dessert, specifically chocolate.