Want a week? Pass a kidney stone

Tim Paluch

There are some things I greatly enjoy but wish weren’t necessary.

One is Black History Month, where for one month out of the year,

people of all ethnicities enrich themselves with the African

American culture. It’s a great time to be on campus – guest

speakers flood the Memorial Union, there are events for students,

and the African American community gets plenty of coverage in the


Then March 1 comes around, and all is back to normal.

Do we really need to take a month out of the year to celebrate the

accomplishments of African Americans? Yes.

Should we be at the point where those accomplishments are so

ingrained in our minds that the month wouldn’t be necessary?

Yes. But unfortunately, America isn’t there yet.

Those same questions come up again as we get set to kick off

Women’s Week 2001, “Changing the Climate.”

Do we really need a week set aside to focus on issues that deal

with women? Yes.

But just like with Black History Month, Hispanic Heritage Month

and all other such cultural celebrations, a women’s week

celebration wouldn’t be needed if we celebrated women and their

issues year round. That would be the ideal scenario, the perfect


But perfect we are not.

Time after time in the past few days, I’ve been involved in a

conversation not unlike this:

Ignorant male: So why do we need a women’s week anyway? Men

don’t get a week.

Me: As we both know, every week is men’s week; we live in a

male-dominated society where a lot of issues of great importance

to women are overlooked.

Ignorant male: What are you, gay?

Me: No, I’m not gay. That has nothing to do with .

Ignorant male: They already have the Lifetime network. Men don’t

get their own network.

Me: Except for ESPN, ESPN 2, ESPN News, EXPN .

Ignorant male: What are you, gay?

There are more than a few things wrong with such a conversation.

First off, the Lifetime network isn’t merely a soapbox for militant

anti-male feminists to decry the evils of maledom. If you watch

long enough, you’ll catch an episode of “Unsolved Mysteries”

(hardly anti-male) hidden between “The Golden Girls” and your

daily made-for-TV movie where Jennie Garth gets date-raped.

I can’t comprehend the hatred some have for the Lifetime network.

God forbid women have an outlet to advocate all of their petty and

trivial issues, like domestic abuse and breast cancer


Pish-posh. Give us a Maxim and “The Man Show.”

Another problem with these conversations is the idea that there

needs to be a week to celebrate all that is male.

When men start making 70 cents to every dollar women make for

the same job, we’ll talk.

And don’t even get me started on childbirth. I know I will never

experience such pain, and I’m quite all right with that.

That process alone should get women at least a month.

I feel I have no business complaining about the lack of a men’s

week until I start passing kidney stones the size of tennis balls.

And then breast feed them.

Women didn’t get the right to vote until June 4, 1919. Let me

repeat that.

Women didn’t get the right to vote until June 4, 1919.

Their genitalia may be a bit different, but women, believe it or not,

are flesh and blood just like everyone else. And they’ve only been

voting for 82 years.

And there are plenty of other issues we could be working on to

tackle inequality and under-representation. There’s abortion

rights, domestic abuse, workplace equality, sexual stereotyping,

and many others. It’s not a short list.

Which is why women get that week, and will continue to until

people no longer walk past the Sloss House muttering something

to the likes of “That’s where the lesbians hang out.”

Or until we as a society get to the point where those women’s

issues garner the national mainstream attention they rightfully


Tim Paluch is a junior in journalism and mass

communication from Orland Park, Ill. He is opinion editor of the