Feminist history

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Not to be confused with History of feminism.

Feminist history refers to the re-reading of history from a female perspective. It is not the same as the history of feminism, which outlines the origins and evolution of the feminist movement. It also differs from women's history, which focuses on the role of women in historical events. The goal of feminist history is to explore and illuminate the female viewpoint of history through rediscovery of female writers, artists, philosophers, etc., in order to recover and demonstrate the significance of women's voices and choices in the past.[1][2][3]

Two particular problems which feminist history attempts to address are the exclusion of women from the historical and philosophical tradition, and the negative characterization of women or the feminine therein; however, feminist history is not solely concerned with issues of gender per se, but rather with the reinterpretation of history in a more holistic and balanced manner.

"If we take feminism to be that cast of mind that insists that the differences and inequalities between the sexes are the result of historical processes and are not blindly "natural," we can understand why feminist history has always had a dual mission—on the one hand to recover the lives, experiences, and mentalities of women from the condescension and obscurity in which they have been so unnaturally placed, and on the other to reexamine and rewrite the entire historical narrative to reveal the construction and workings of gender." —Susan Pedersen[4]

The "disappearing woman" has been a focus of attention of academic feminist scholarship. Research into women's history and literature reveals a rich heritage of neglected culture.[5][6]

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References[edit]

  1. ^ Cain, William E., ed. Making Feminist History: The Literary Scholarship of Sandra M. Gilbert and Susan Gubar (Garland Publications, 1994)
  2. ^ Laslitt, Barbara, Ruth-Ellen B. Joeres, Mary Jo Maynes, Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham, and Jeanne Barker-Nunn, ed. History and Theory: Feminist Research, Debates, Contestations (University of Chicago Press, 1997)
  3. ^ Lerner, Gerda, The Majority Finds Its Past: Placing Women in History (Oxford University Press, 1981)
  4. ^ Pedersen, Susan. "The Future of Feminist History"
  5. ^ Spender, Dale. Invisible woman: The schooling scandal. Writers & Readers. London 1982
  6. ^ Spender, Dale. Women of ideas - and what men have done to them from Aphra Behn to Adrienne Rich. Routledge & Kegan Paul. London 1982

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