International Women’s Day inspires reflection

Bella Alansari, Staff Writer

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International Women’s Day, which was on March 8th, not only was a day to inspire women, but was also a day for women to reflect on women in history that have helped change the views of women and women’s rights.

Kirsten Coakley, an English teacher at Hoffman Estates High School, said, women have so many wonderful qualities and have made the world a better place in so many ways, so it is nice International Women’s Day recognizes what women do for the community.

Coakley admires her female students who continue to put in work and know it will one day pay off. One very influential, inspiring woman in her life was her Godmother. She is a nurse who helps women in poverty care for themselves and their babies.

“She was always kind and helped others, but her life was not determined by what others wanted her to be,” Coakley said. “She did what she wanted and she did it well. She had a baby 30 years ago and was a single mother, but she was not afraid.”

Women in history have had to face different struggles than women today. This has caused women today to look up to women in history because they helped change views about women in general. Although stereotypes still exist, they helped eliminate some them and have even proven people wrong.

“A woman in history that had a huge impact on me was Mia Hamm,” said Ena Sabanagic, alumni of HEHS who is currently playing soccer for and attending Purdue University. “She pushed me to be where I am today because as a female I always thought I couldn’t do sports, but she proved me wrong.”

Sabanagic has noticed how society views women differently from men.

“I feel like as a woman I can do things that people don’t think I’m capable of,” said Sabanagic. “I don’t let being a woman define me.”

Sophomore Mikkaela Palmer also has noticed how societal views of women and men can differ. Palmer enjoys running and is a part of the HEHS girls’ cross-country and track and field teams.

Sometimes males “don’t see that girls can be more than just hour glass figures; [however], they can be athletes and strong individuals,” she said.

Matt Ihms, HEHS coach of girls’ cross-country, basketball, and track and field, agreed with Palmer.

“Women can be perceived as not as strong as men. The athletes I coach show up top practice every single day and give it their all,” said Ihms. “They listen, are dedicated, and are tough. They show up every day and want to get better. Boys expect things to happen. They expect to just walk out on the court and be Lebron James, but the girls realize they need to work hard to be good.”

Abraham Alansari, who is currently in 8th grade and will be attending HEHS next year, explained that he views women in one way, but he thinks society and women themselves may view them as less.

“I think a lot of them (women) feel a high pressure to be pretty or funny and they put a lot of pressure on themselves to wear makeup when they don’t need to or think they are ugly when they aren’t,” said Alansari.

Women’s rights and views on women have come a long way, but there are still stereotypes put on women that do not reflect who they are and what they can achieve. These rights and views still have ways to go, but women continue to prove that they are strong, influential people.

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