Happy Women's History Month, dammit let's celebrate

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Use March to honor phenomenal women like swing dance ambassador Norma Miller.

Officially, the city of San Francisco will celebrate Women's History Month with a ceremony honoring a female representative from each district on March 19 at the Board of Supervisors' legislative chambers, followed by a reception at the Public Utilities Building at which the Mayor will proclaim a Woman of the Year. If you can stand the excitement, click here for more info. 

Let's not stop there, shall we?

Obama's proclamation of this year's WHM directed people to a carefully curated, perfectly dull websiteAre we over Women's History Month? Does the holiday -- officially created in 1987 and proclaimed by the President annually starting in 1994 -- amount to mere tokenism, as the Atlantic proclaimed today? 

We're all hanging out waiting for feminism's fourth wave at this point, and with the Republicans having been roundly shamed in the 2012 national elections, most of the activist ire in this city gravitates towards causes with more traction in 2013. (Though this may be changing. See: local author Rebecca Solnit's teaser for her upcoming book on the global pandemic of violence against women, which will at the least get the blogosphere roiling.) Call this a positive move towards intersectionality if you will. 

But I can't help but think: they gave us a goddamn month, shouldn't we use it?

It'd be great if March had as many exciting events as February did for Black History Month, which saw a film festival, library events, four-day food and drink extravaganzas in the Bay Area. Excuses to come together, explicitly, in the name of women are rare -- though I don't even think they have to have a History Month (or International Women's Day, which is March 8) on them to be amazing.

Check the newspaper on Wednesday for our complete list of recommendations on places to kick for Women's History Month, and even more XX-chromosoned culture than usually through March. I suggested printing t-shirts for your feminist gang now. For now, here's a couple cool, not necessarily Women's History Month-specific ways people are recognizing women's accomplishments this year: 

- Retroactive awesome: last week, the City and the NAACP joined forces to honor 93-year old swing dancer Norma Miller at Saint John Coltrane African Orthodox Church. She's known as the "Queen of Swing" and now travels the world speaking about her life and jazz culture. She's danced in everything from the Marx Brothers' A Day at the Races (1937) to Spike Lee's Malcolm X (1992), and shows up in the Ken Burn's jazz documentary. 

- Mirus Gallery is in the final days of “The Looking Glass: Refraction Through the Female Gaze”, in which 17 female artists interpret the female form, messing with the art world's standard depictions of woman as vessel for whatever the hell conceit the painter/illustrator/sculptor is trying to get across. Kimberly Brooks, Rachel Walker, Mercedes Helnwein, Claire Pestaille, and Casey O'Connell all have pieces in the show. 

Through Sat/2. Mirus Gallery, 540 Howard, SF. www.mirusgallery.com

- Mother and head of the SF Fire Department Joanne Hayes-White has been named grand marshall of this year's St. Patrick's Day parade. Hayes-White made tne news in 2005 when her husband called 911 after she raised lumps on his head with a pint glass, and then again in 2011 when her wages started being garnished for spousal support. Something about supporting her husband and raising her kids just didn't sit right with her #badass

- Tonight is the First Friday opening of "Titti Trifecta", an all-female group show at Moco Gallery in Oakland. Expect single mom sculptures, artisanal dildos, and a month-long program of artist talks, feminist film, and DIY sex toy workshops. 

Through March 31. Opening reception Fri/1, 7pm, free. Moco Gallery, 371 17th St., Oakl. Facebook: Moco 

- International Women's Day is March 8, but the only women's demonstration we've heard of so far will take place on March 9 at Dolores Park. Women Organized to Resist and Defend (WORD) is organizing this rally and march to bring attention to violence against women. From Ohio to India, this year's been a doozy, and past anti-violence march turnouts have indicated that people are starting to turn out for their right to be safe. (On a related note, check out this Time photo essay by Sara Naomi Lewcowicz, for which Lewcowicz embedded with a couple who before her lens became the poster children for domestic abuse.)

March 9, noon, free. Dolores Park, 19th St. and Guerrero, SF. www.defendwomensrights.org

Check Wednesday's newspaper for our full list of woman-y stuff during the month of March -- and send any event you're stoked on to caitlin@sfbg.com

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