March is Women’s History Month and today, March 8, is International Women’s Day. VH1 and Logo are marking both occasions by airing the “VH1 Trailblazer Honors” tonight at 9. (The awards ceremony was held Feb. 20 at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre in Los Angeles.)
The honorees included House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, saluted by Cher, Oscar-nominated filmmaker Ava DuVernay, “The Handmaid’s Tale” author Margaret Atwood and #MeToo founder Tarana Burke.
Besides Cher, actors Mindy Kaling, Samira Wiley and Alyssa Milano and attorney/academic/activist Anita Hill were among the presenters. Rita Ora was singled out for her performance of her hit “Soul Survivor” and Elle King sang her hit “Baby Outlaw.”
The spotlight on women and the women’s movement is not merely the result of #MeToo, the Pussyhat Project and the record number of women now serving in Congress. This year and next we celebrate two milestone centenaries. It was 100 years ago this May 21 that Congress passed the 19thAmendment, giving women the right to vote. (It was ratified by the necessary number of states – 36 – the following year, although some states would not ratify it until the second half of the 20thcentury.)
But the vote reflected decades of setbacks, ridicule and even violence. As Carrie Chapman Catt, president of the National American Woman Suffrage Association, put it, “To get the word ‘male’ in effect out of the Constitution cost the women of the country 52 years of pauseless campaign.”
That courageous, ceaseless fight is the subject of “From Corsets to Suffrage: Victorian Women Trailblazers,” opening at Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum in Norwalk May 16. Recently, Connecticut Humanities awarded the Second Empire-style house museum a $3,998 Quick Grant to support the exhibit.
Said LMMM executive director Susan Gilgore: “The board of trustees and I are truly grateful to Connecticut Humanities for this generous grant, which will help us launch a timely and exciting exploration on women’s voting rights as we celebrate the centennial of the 19thAmendment.”
– Georgette Gouveia