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Christina’s Corner: March 2024

Happy March!

I have to admit, March is one of my least favorite months. Here in New Jersey, March is a fickle thing. It is prone to fits of rain and wind, but also capable of brilliant sunshine and the promise of spring as we spring our clocks forward with Daylight Savings time. 

I went on a walk with my dog this morning and I noted that the crocuses are popping up. In my backyard the daffodils are sprouting their greens, ready to display their brilliant yellow buds. It’s worth noting that I didn’t plant them: these buds are a remnant of someone else’s time and energy. To quote the musical Hamilton: “Legacy. What is a legacy? It’s planting seeds in a garden you never get to see.” 

March is Women’s History Month. I’ve seen social media posts recently reminding me of the seeds planted by women long before I came along, and the dates on these facts are really quite haunting. Before the 1970, it was difficult for women to get a divorce. (And it’s worth noting that once it was legalized, the rates of death by suicide for women fell 20%.)  Before 1974, women couldn’t open their own bank accounts or apply for credit cards solo. And it wasn’t until 1988 – the year before I was born, reader! – that women could get a business loan in their own name. For crying out loud!

Gardens were planted for us – all of us, men, women, and beyond the binary alike – by women whose names we may not know. Those bulbs that we enjoy now were set in the ground as a result of hard work and strife – in particular, the injustices were borne by non-white, non-cis-gendered, disabled, queer women. 

And while there are so many strides left to make, particularly in bodily autonomy, we can still honor the seeds that were planted. As the theme song to The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt goes, “females are strong as hell.” 

Here are some things to do this month to honor those who have blazed trails for us. 

Eat: Make yourself some chocolate chip cookies and celebrate the ingenious mind of Ruth Wakefield. She ran the Toll House restaurant with her husband and created the most undeniable comfort food of all time in the 1930s. I prefer mine soft, with walnuts, though there a million different varieties. Make them gluten-free, vegan, crisp, chewy, but most of all: make them. Enjoy them warm, maybe with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Thank me later.

See: Take the time to watch some incredible female-driven film and television projects. I recommend 2021’s Coda, directed by Siân Heder, Women Talking directed by Sarah Polley, A League of Their Own directed by Penny Marshall or Gone with the Wind, which earned Hattie McDaniels the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress. In television, you can’t go wrong with The Golden Girls, featuring four women over 50 talking about dating, sex, grief… and cheesecake. If you missed Fleabag, written by and starring Phoebe Waller-Bridge, now’s your chance to see what all the fuss about the hot priest is about. It’s also worth mentioning Unorthodox, the first Netflix miniseries to be primarily in Yiddish, which is based on a true story. While you’re on Netflix, watch anything from Ava Duvernay, including When They See Us, about the Central Park Five, who were wrongly convicted of rape and assault.

Do: How well do you know women-owned businesses in your neighborhood? Voting with your dollar is one of the most important things you can do. The Council for Professional Recognition states, “women tend to prioritize social responsibility, community involvement, and diversity in their businesses, which can lead to a more equitable and sustainable future for all.” Not sure where to go? Check out this list of 10 Women-Owned Business Directories. 

Have a chocolatey, female-envisioned, prosperous month,