This is the line that begins Jo March’s famous monologue in the 2019 movie adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s “Little Women.”
“Women, they have minds, and they have souls, as well as just hearts,” she continues. “And they've got ambition, and they've got talent, as well as just beauty.”
These complexities are also the central theme of this edition of The Echo.
For International Women’s Day on March 8, we wanted to create something that highlighted some of the accomplishments of women — in leadership, in the classroom, in history and in fairly unrecognized places.
As women, we are acutely aware of the blindspots our society has when it comes to representing women equally.
Though Taylor began as a women’s Bible college and has continued to support the endeavors of women since they opened their doors, there are also many occasions where we could do better with representation.
Which is why, on a regular basis, we as co-editors in chief try to actively observe how we’re representing our campus. Though women occupy the majority of campus, and people of color make up 16% of campus, most of the news that comes across our desks involves white men. And, while we actively budget stories to include diverse voices, there are times when we’re limited by what’s current and pressing.
Maybe you’ve never noticed this disparity, but you probably have realized how different this edition looked with so many women featured.
So, in these eight pages, you’ll hear opinions from women, learn more about the history of women in journalism, read about women behind the scenes and more.
We cannot stress enough the importance of this endeavor. Insofar as we could research in the online version of the archives, this is the first time The Echo has ever endeavored to share women’s voices in this way.
The media we consume, including stories published in The Echo, shape our world and our mindsets, and oftentimes women are entirely left out of the narrative. Not only is this inaccurate to history and current events, but it is incredibly damaging for how we see the world. These oversights become subliminal messages that shape who and what we see as valuable.
If it wasn’t clear already, it is our passion to use our platforms to amplify and celebrate women. In our lives, we are continually in awe of The Echo staff — which is made up of roughly 75% women — and the strength, hardwork and talent they exhibit on a daily basis.
We have fantastic role models in professors on campus, namely Associate Professor of Communication Donna Downs, Assistant Professor of Communication Julie Borkin and Assistant Professor of Professional Writing Linda Taylor in the Communication Department, where both our majors are housed. In our friendships and families, we are shaped by the leadership and empathy of the women who raised us.
We hope that in this special edition, you’ll pause to expand your own understanding and appreciation of yourself, the women in your life and the many women who have impacted and built our communities.
And, though just one month is marked in the calendar to celebrate the lives and voices of women, we urge you to seek out stories (like the ones published here) year round, to better understand the heart, ambition and talent, as well as beauty, that all women possess.
We promise you it’s just as worthwhile as it is important.
Many thanks to the many people involved in The Echo who made this edition possible: Kaelynn Shultz who planned and executed a “Women in Journalism” photoshoot, the writers and editors who wrote with vulnerability and passion and the women around campus who contributed to this special issue.