In recognition of Women’s History Month, The Mercury set out to celebrate the best way its staff knows how: by telling stories. Throughout the issue, readers will find narratives highlighting the trials and triumphs of womanhood, especially the women on our campus.
As with many annual observances, there’s a certain, anticipated objection: Why isn’t there an equally recognized Men’s History Month?
It’s a matter of representation and perspective. Similar to Black History Month, I think March’s spotlight on women is meant to expunge the systemic erasure that women experience in their personal lives, the media and society at large.
As a man, I cannot speak on the experiences of women, but as a gay person of color, I can appreciate the importance of representation and understand how underrepresentation can hurt groups of people.
Even in 2015, we are still unaccustomed to seeing or hearing our experiences being told truthfully by people who are like us.
In books, on television and in the news, there is a clear focus on the man’s experience, and men oftentimes control the narratives of women’s lives. That’s the way things have been for a very long time. In a bit of unintentional irony, even this very issue was made under the direction of two male editors, but rather than writing the stories ourselves, we reached out to the students, veterans, athletes, artists, administrators and scientists that call UTD home, and let their words guide us.
Throughout history, women have always matched men in their ambition, their achievements and their victories. The stories here aren’t necessarily special, but they have worth. Equal representation isn’t about fighting for more screen time. It’s about recognizing the worth of an individual’s experience. It shouldn’t take an annual observance to acknowledge that.
– Miguel Perez, Editor-in-Chief