March 2023 Letter From the Editor
I Am Woman (Watch Me Grow)
Written by Cara Robbins
That’s right folks, it’s that time of the year again — Women’s History Month.
Despite the fact that I am a woman (descended from a very long line of women, might I add), that certainly doesn’t give me the authority to speak on behalf of all women. And honestly, I think that’s the point — trying to apply a definition to womanhood is hypocritical. The patriarchal constructs of society build their foundations upon trying to define what women are or should be — a Madonna or a whore, a bitch, a trophy wife and gold-digger, a feminazi or a bimbo.
Maybe that’s the charm of Women’s History Month. It’s all about the stories and moments from history that feature women existing (and thriving) outside of these labels. Women like Bessie Coleman, Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Malala Yousefzai and more are etched into history because they so dynamically changed the game for how women around the world could identify themselves.
At the end of the day, womanhood is about choosing your own identity. Some women take societal expectations meant to weaken them and turn them into foundations of personality, creativity and identity — take makeup and women’s fashion for example. Other women find more strength in personally rejecting the expectations the patriarchy encourages. Similarly, plenty of women have found profound and fulfilling exploration of their gender through the process of motherhood, while a great deal of women find that they are far happier applying their skills and energy to projects and causes equally important to them.
In this issue, there are plenty of stellar articles exploring the wide world of women. In returning contributor Celeste Zirm’s “12 Underrated Female Characters in Television in Film," she explores why some of your not-so-favorite characters from recent hit franchises might need to be bumped up further on your list. If you’re looking for some good book recommendations to celebrate the month, take a look at Features Editor Emma Smallwood’s “Up-and-Coming Female Authors." Culture Editor Cael Shaw celebrates the amazing Cleveland State women who help ensure a safer campus in the aftermath of Alec Popivker’s harassment towards students.
If I might add my own small bit of advice on womanhood, based on my limited experience: you are the only person who can tell yourself if you are or aren’t a woman. Find what it means to you through self-exploration, trial and error, and pushing boundaries. Wear heels if you find it adds confidence to your stride, and take them off when your feet start to hurt.
Happy reading, and cheers to all the women that helped you get to where you are today.