What is women’s history?
History is all too often exactly that – His Story. Typically the narratives told are the stories of men, ailment with major events interpreted according to their impact on the masculine sex, allergy to the exclusion of any feminine point of view (except perhaps, ‘honourary men’ such as Queens). Nothing much changed in this respect until the 1970s, but still today women’s history comprises just a small element of the history taught in schools and colleges.
It is often assumed that women’s history is the history of women’s suffrage and the suffragettes; or perhaps it is the story of queens? Or maybe it’s uncovering the life histories of remarkable women? Yes, women’s history is all that but it’s also so much more.
Look at history from the viewpoint of women and, like a kaleidoscope, everything changes. Back in the 1970s, pioneering historian Joan Kelly famously asked ‘Did Women have a Renaissance?’ Arguably, no. Would histories of war, education, democracy, the arts, commerce, broadcasting, medicine, religion, and so on, be different if not based on the experiences of men? Arguably, yes. Look at history from a different, feminine, vantage point and even accepted historical periods and categories come into question. Things were just not the same for women….
Explore these pages to find out about particular women, both ordinary and extraordinary. You’ll find artists, scientists, philanthropists, adventurers, soldiers, revolutionaries, political activists, writers, teachers, mothers ….. often women that history has overlooked. You’ll also find information on topics related to women’s history. And get opinions on issues and campaigns in women’s history that are in contention today.