AUP graduation ceremony at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris.

Women's History Month at AUP

Thursday, March 24, 2016 - 18:30

It’s Women’s History Month and AUP’s Gender and Sexuality Studies program would like to mark the occasion. In March of every year, women’s contribution to history is celebrated across the world. The purpose of this month is to remember influential women and restore them to their rightful place in the history books. We will screen a short documentary on one of these women, Georgina Beyer. Georgie Girl is about the life of former sex worker who became the first transgender woman politician to win a seat in New Zealand’s parliament. The event asks students to think of other women who have been influential and/or missing from the history books. It also pushes students to think critically about the importance of celebrating women who have changed history. Do we need a Women’s History Month in 2016? Are commemorative months like this token gestures or do they serve a significant purpose? Shouldn’t every day remember women’s history and celebrate their rights? Are there countries that do a better job than others of educating people about influential women?

Georgie Girl is a fifty-minute documentary about Georgina Beyer, former sex work turned first transwoman politician in New Zealand. Beyer found success as a cabaret performer and work as an actor, but ultimately found it unsatisfying and enrolled in a “life skills” course in a rural town where community members encouraged her to run for local office. Beyer, who is of Maori descent, went on to win the Mayor’s seat in a white majority town, and paved the way to her position in the Parliament.