From Persuasion by Jane Austen:
“Men have had every advantage of us in telling their own story. Education has been theirs in so much higher a degree; the pen has been in their hands. I will not allow books to prove anything.”
I was a history major in college and I cannot tell you how true this is. I’m also reading Lies My Teacher Told Me by James Loewen and the evidence is obvious. It seems the only really important people in history, according to most textbooks, are white men. Throw in a few comments about Sacajawea (of course not her whole story because we wouldn’t want to get carried away) or Helen Keller (but leave out that whole Socialism thing, gosh would that put a bad spin on things!) and you’re good to go!
And of course it’s not just women that get left out of the conversation. Other races and ethnicities weren’t allowed to tell their own story much either and are also left out of many history books today, unless it’s in that little sidebar pop-type window Ah what fun those were. They gave you an entire biography of someone in just a few short sentences (and a picture of course, we’re all very visual people). Did you know Crispus Attucks was the first casualty of the American Revolution? The end.
So, that was my quote to ponder for the day. Trust me, I could ramble on and on about this topic. How women not too long ago were not supposed to go to college. Higher education was for men. But they were expected to learn all the ways to manage a proper household and paint pretty pictures or play piano. That was how women became accomplished. Not by writing their own histories.
Darnit…I started rambling…