Give yourself a pep-chalk: Whittier College celebrates International Women’s Day

Addison Crane 


In honor of Women’s History Month, there are a series of events being held on campus. The Women’s Leadership Association (WLA) is hosting two of these events. There was a zine-making workshop March 13, and they are teaming up with the Thalian Society  for a panel about “Femme leaders of today and tomorrow” Thursday, March 14. 

The paired courses “Women in Leadership” taught by Political Science Professor Sara Angevine and “Work and Occupations” taught by Sociology Professor Julie Collins-Drogul hosted an activity held on International Women’s Day, Friday March 8 from 12:30 — 2:30 p.m. This event was called “Painting Empowerment,” and invited students to create empowering messages and art out of chalk on the sidewalk in the lower quad. Students also made power flowers, a craft where you make a flower and write something good about yourself on each petal.

Empowerment is a huge buzz word, with phrases like “empowered women empower women” representing the movement, but it generally means gaining confidence and control over one’s own life. Feeling empowered, especially when part of a marginalized community, is extremely important. At the event second-year Sarah Morgan said ,“I feel empowered when I see myself represented and when my opinion is heard and valued in discussions.” Empowering women allows us to see the good inside ourselves and realize that we are strong, intelligent human beings who matter and are more than capable of achieving greatness. The power flower craft helped remind people of this. Being empowered is not arrogance or pride; but rather, confidence in one’s own strength and abilities. 

The empowering chalk art included designs like a sun with the words “you are valid you are strong;” the phrase “empowered women empower women;” and the women’s power symbol(the venus symbol with a raised fist inside) and the expression “¡Tiembla Patriarcado!” meaning “tremble patriarchy.” These messages promote feminism. Second-year Sumitra Bernardo, who is part of the paired course said, “With feminism, we are able to advocate and fight for social and political issues. Being an intersectional feminist allows for me to acknowledge the intersections that I am made of, my privileges, and [my] oppressions but use my privilege to be an ally for others.” Intersectional feminism is about representing more than just one type of woman. It is about representing women of all races, queer women, transwomen, disabled women, etc. Intersectional feminism celebrates all women, which is what Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day are all about. 

This was a delightful event that brought many people together for the purpose of uplifting both others and themselves. Bernardo mentioned that WLA would also be hosting events everyday between March 12 — 14. “Each event comes with the goal to empower each other to succeed and be open to having important conversations about our political and social climate as well as our [identities],” said Bernado.

Happy Women’s History Month, Poets! Remember that focusing on empowerment and feminism is important every single month.