Chabot College will be celebrating Women’s History Month with a series of speakers on Tuesday, March 4. Professor Michelle Cruz Gonzalez will be this year’s keynote speaker. Gonzalez will be speaking from 12-12:50 in the 700 south building.
Every year since 2008, Chabot College has put on an event to celebrate and educate the public about Women’s History. This year Chabot welcomes Las Positas English Professor Gonzales. She will be reading from her book “The Spitboy Rule: Tales of a Xicana in a Female Punk Band.”
Her book goes into the details of growing up in a music world that was dominated by white men as well as her disconnect from her white middle-class band members. During the 80s and 90s, she was a member of three bands, Bi*ch Fight, Spitboy, and Instant Girl.
Gonzalez earned her degrees in English and creative writing at Mills College in 2001 and 2003.
Jane Wolford, a US Women’s History professor at Chabot College, coordinates the event every year. Wolford was first told about Gonzalez by a staff member in Learnings Connection at Chabot, Gonzalez is also known in the English and Puente Community.
Wolford has yet to meet Gonzalez but is very excited, “Her book talks about owning her identity and being proud of who she is. I think she’ll be very inspirational to people.”
Wolford was hired in 1991 and helped to create the first Women’s History class at Chabot. Her class took about a year to develop and was officially offered in the early 90s.
Up until 2008, there wasn’t a solid, organized tradition. Wolford explained that there would be a faculty member speaking or some form of activity, but she felt that it was important to create a tradition. “It was a one-event thing until 2015. We did more events, we had three events that year. It began to grow.”
Diane Zuliani, an Art History professor, and Mayra De Valle, a spoken word artist, joined Wolford in 2015 speaking at this event. The following year there were six speakers. More people wanted to be a part of this event.
In 1987, March was declared as Women’s History month when Congress passed Pub. L.100-9 petitioned by the National Women’s History Project. Women’s History month first started as a week. Women’s History Week was the week of March 8 to correspond with International Women’s Day.
Something that Wolford wants women to understand is that the best way to progress in the world is to work together on their goals. She stated that women have come a tremendous way throughout the decades. Yet, there’s a significant divide between the generations of Women.
“I think young women now are so much better at knowing what they want, knowing what they won’t put up with, and demanding it,” Wolford stated. She argues that while women may be moving forward in some movements, they’re sadly falling behind in others.
Women’s history has had a number of struggles. A common issue is getting women to support other women in matters that don’t particularly concern them. “You’ll find in the Women’s movement the number one reason why we haven’t done better is that we’re judgmental and divided,” Wolford added.
There could be so much more for women if they were more united among all kinds of women. It starts with admitting that women have been excluding other women and being willing to compromise.
At this year’s Women’s History Month event, Gonzalez will tell her story, but that in no way means that people with their own stories, can’t be a part of her message. There will be some food after all the speakers have finished.
There isn’t solely one event. Throughout March, other groups on campus will be hosting Women’s History events.
March 12, from 12-1 p.m. in the Event Center, there will be a woman suffrage centennial panel where Wolford will be speaking alongside her colleagues Kay Fischer and Jessica Gallucci. (700 south building)
March 17, Latinas United N’ Academic (LUNA) will be hosting a Real Talk dedicated to human trafficking and domestic violence. A guest speaker will come from Ruby’s Place, a comprehensive wellness-based program that provides shelter and support to victims of human trafficking and domestic abuse. (500 building: 557)
March 19, from 9 — 11 a.m., a student research exhibit will also be held in the Event Center. (700 south building) The display will be dedicated to women of color.