Celebrating International Women’s Day with Blue House Books
Women in Business - A Focus for International Women's Day
The year is 2020, we are celebrating 100 years of the suffragist movement, and here we are, still making strides for gender equality.
We are headed in the right direction–pay gaps are closing and more women are getting management positions than ever before–but we still have a ways to go.
Blue House Books is working to bring awareness of equality and women of influence with our annual event celebrating International Women’s Day. On Saturday, March 7, we are hosting a networking event with a panel discussion, live music, and of course, a book sale. This year’s international theme is Each for Equal. Throughout the night, we will discuss how we can each make changes in our daily lives to promote gender equality.
In partnership with Kenosha Creative Space, Blue House Books invites the community to the 624 Gallery located at 624 57th St. in Downtown Kenosha. We will start at 6 p.m. with time for networking, followed by the panel discussion at 8 p.m., and a performance by Violet Wilder at 9 p.m. A cash bar is available.
Members of the panel include:
Michele Hancock, Professor of Practice in Education; Director, Accelerated Certification in Teaching, Carthage College
Lesley H. Walker, Professor and Dean of the College of Arts and Humanities, University of Wisconsin Parkside
Ebony Lewis, Author and Youth Warrior
Kimberly Hetelle, Melissa Hardtke, and Jayna Rouse, members of the local band Violet Wilder
Samantha Jacquest, Owner of Blue House Books
Gender inequality is an issue that affects women from all walks of life. Here’s some quick statistics to put the issue into perspective: the publishing industry is made of 85% women, however the pay gap between men and women was estimated at $20,000 differential annually in 2019, according to a survey conducted by Publishers Weekly–and that’s actually down from $27,000 in 2018.
The pay gap is only one of many discriminatory acts women and girls face on a daily basis. We are constantly called “sweetheart” and “little girl” in professional settings; we are catcalled and expected to simply accept the harassment; we are criticized both for working too much and being away from our families, not working enough, focused enough while juggling families and personal life, and not contributing equally financially. I am not over-exaggerating, all of these situations occurred to either me or a good friend in the last week.
So how do we make a change? We start small.
Just as this year’s IWD theme suggests, we can make changes in our daily routines and habits that promote gender equality and bring awareness to those around us. It can be as simple as correcting someone’s nouns: if you hear male nouns being used to describe someone successful or a certain professional role, point out that it should be “he or she” or simply say “a woman could perform that role as well.”
Teaching our youth to treat everyone equally is another way to eliminate gender discrimination on a daily basis: make sure the young girls in your life understand how to vocalize feeling uncomfortable in a situation so they are no longer passive when something bad or unfair is occurring. And please, for the love of all that is good, stop telling girls that boys pick on them because they have a crush.
During my graduate degree, I learned that using books as a training tool for children is a great way to teach about and normalize differences. This is a great way to teach boys how to become feminists and strive for gender equality. Reading books about girls, children of different races and with different abilities, as well as LGBTQ+ books are a great way to promote understanding in children. When customers come into Blue House Books looking for a children’s book, I make sure to suggest using this opportunity to purchase a title that does not directly reflect the child in order to teach them about diversity.
What are some other ways we can promote gender equality in our everyday lives? Please join us on Saturday, March 7 to start a dialogue and make a commitment to promote gender equality. Let’s start small in the present to create a big change in the future.