By Vicky Nguyen
Professor Barbara Dunsheath gave a presentation on Women in U.S. History at Monterey Park Bruggemeyer Library on Sunday.
The hour-long presentation was a modified version of Dunsheath’s lecture she gives during the first day of her History 52 course, The Role of Women in U.S. History. It covered different eras of U.S History and included discussions of women in art, politics and health.
Dunsheath also covered parts of the women’s movement that were local, such as Mothers of East Los Angeles.
The presentation was a part of the National Women’s History Month program organized by the Women/Gender Studies Committee at ELAC.
Dunsheath says the program is being put on during the month and her presentation helps raise awareness about the different issues women face.
“It’s a recent kind of phenomenon, bringing women more into history. It used to be (about) adding them in or talking about the exceptions. I think what it’s moving to is re-thinking history,” Dunsheath said.
One of Dunsheath’s current students, Wu Ti, attended the presentation.
A physics student, Ti uses history courses to help improve his English. He became interested in women’s history from taking Dunsheath’s History 52 course and reading the assigned textbooks.
Ti believes that we need to teach more about women in history and that there are important stories about women we have yet to discover. He cited the slow progress of history textbooks to update while new information on women’s contributions to history are being found every year.
“They (women) contributed a lot to America, but nobody cared about them,” Ti said.
An outspoken attendee was former ELAC student Paul Perez. Perez came to the lecture because he believes it is important to speak up for women’s rights.
Perez contributed many of his thoughts during the presentation, including his personal experiences with misogyny. He recalled a once popular belief that women should be “at home making tortillas,” as well as an era where it was common for men to bar female entry into organizations and dismissed valuable contributions coming from women.
Perez expressed disappointment that more people, especially men, did not show up.
The program for Women’s History month continues with #MeToo Panel on Thursday in the G3-Auditorium Foyer.