What about Women’s History and Studies anyway?

1-wst-homemakers-390.jpgEver since I attended women studies classes in the 1990’s, I have advocated for women’s studies, but especially for women’s history. I felt fortunate and knew that many people would never get to attend women studies. In the decades that followed, I have rarely, if ever, seen highly informed women studies educators represented on television.

 

They don’t exist in media.
The topic never arises.

No matter how much women as a group are discussed apparently everyone knows all they need to know about women and never have to learn anything in formal education.

This is, however, not the case for most all other topics in our society.

It’s an interesting phenomenon that there are some topics that seem beyond the interest or ability for our people to respond rationally about and get beyond past taboos.

Let it be known that there is no doubt that learning the truth about women’s lives, women’s bodies and women’s history was a taboo historically and the remnants still play out.

And in legal circles, the information was considered obscene.

Rape, murder and just about anything men want to do to women in their sexual fantasies was never obscene.

But the truth, well, the truth about women, sexuality, marriage, and so forth with facts, is opening up a hornet’s nest.

In fact, after I graduated with my women studies degree, I left the academics circles behind and I saw from a distance online that, once again, women studies was not seen as important and all of it was dwindling with the George W Bush claim to strengthen ‘traditional’ American history and studies that excluded women. I understand he even shut down Governmental Departments that had been established back in the 1920’s.

Often the word woman is now replaced with something called ‘gender’ studies.

To be fair?

I don’t know.

The only time I heard women studies mentioned on television is by two men on separate occasions who were stating that they felt the classes were of no importance and wanted to dismantle the departments.

Many men have no problem making laws, stating fiction about what happens to women’s bodies and how they work. They feel free to be part of mass production of such things, but still we hear that women as a group claiming intellectual space should be stopped as unfair.

Let me point out that these are men who consistently have opinions and rules for women, do not even have any idea that it might be important to learn about them. Traditionally, men, with their social power, had no need, motivation or desire to be concerned with women. Only if women caused some disturbance or annoyance were they paid attention to. But often that lead to more rounds of fiction about women and more ‘female’ punishments, law constructions and reorganizing of men’s power to ‘put women back in their place’ OR another way to exploit them.

It is so common to have male authorities speak about and for women while having no formal education of women, let alone experience, as a woman that it is not noticed as something very problematic.

It’s time we hold men accountable for their mistakes in assuming authority over women by gender/body part social organization. This type of social organization by body part is a faux authority. There are many problems when someone is in a position of authority because of a body part despite having no knowledge, experience or education. Often authorities with the entitlements without the credentials cause massive social conflicts and problems. Harm.  Let me say it again. There is no basis for an authority entitled to a position of authority based on body part, conforming of dress and manner.  A suit and tie and short hair does not equal to education, respect, lawful abiding citizens. That is a stereotype and fallacy that causes many wrong assumptions.

It’s time that women (who actually have authority in some areas that men will never have) be allowed to have that authority honorably and respectfully and use it for the betterment of the world.

The following is what I wrote after my study about women.

women studies gives us in-depth knowledge
of the other half of our world
that traditionally was seen as unimportant…
it is information that was lacking
within traditional subjects
and also the study of entirely
new academic subjects
it is the recovery of women’s achievements
a truer perspective of women’s involvement
it is not just simply the study of women
it is placing women’s experiences in the center of the process;
properly situated aligned with reality,
it is describing the world from a different view
mostly, women studies
transforms the way we see our world,
because without it, we are
only seeing half confused as the whole.
We are simply taught to ignore and devalue half of what is real
in every individual life.
For example, the very core of our world
is our homes and all that lies within.
Traditional thinking would question the
validity, value and worth of studying the home
for it has been trained to believe
that politics and war are credible historical
important things to study –
activities of men
this leads to a nation that is lopsided towards war and politics
in an imbalance for meeting human needs.
Without proper study of our core world,
we live in distortion of the rest of it.
The myths are removed with women’s history;
obviously the myth that there is no history
making women invisible,
making men’s experiences = all experiences,
the myth that women have nothing to contribute
and don’t do anything important,
thinking social events only involve men’s valued activities
Truths include women were excluded
from Capital H History (institutional canon of men’s intellectual work),
excluded from creating symbols
– that is, words and images,
and all disciplines of education and knowledge creation
that women continually struggled against this condition,
and have had successes;
that they do and have taken action;
the misconceptions about humans in general
as a result of a large amount of missing information.
Women’s relationship to history is different as a result of all the above.
This relationship effects the psychology of both women and men.
and mostly during childhood public educaiton wish
contributes to misunderstanding and conflicts among the sexes.
We don’t know what is missing if we never had it.
With women’s history, we can learn women’s historical patterns
and change the future.

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