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Museum of Motherhood

There’s a Herstory to Women’s History Month!

Women’s History Month ~ Joy Rose says, “Isn’t it about time we had a HERstory, instead of a HIStory?” The Museum Of Motherhood is the first and only museum documenting the herstory of Mothers. Join us in registering a mother today ~ Her name will live in perpetuity at M.O.M…. You can hear more on ‘Don’t Tell Me To Shut Up’ Radio at NewYorkTalkRadio.net with Joy Rose, the ‘MediaMom™.com

Article by Borgna Brunner. More info can be found here:

Before 1970, women’s history was rarely the subject of serious study. As historian Mary Beth Norton recalls, “only one or two scholars would have identified themselves as women’s historians, and no formal doctoral training in the subject was available anywhere in the country.” Since then, however, the field has undergone a metamorphosis. Today almost every college offers women’s history courses and most major graduate programs offer doctoral degrees in the field.

The Women’s Movement

Two significant factors contributed to the emergence of women’s history. The women’s movement of the sixties caused women to question their invisibility in traditional American history texts. The movement also raised the aspirations as well as the opportunities of women, and produced a growing number of female historians. Carroll Smith-Rosenberg, one of the early women’s historians, has remarked that “without question, our first inspiration was political. Aroused by feminist charges of economic and political discrimination . . . we turned to our history to trace the origins of women’s second-class status.”

New Social History

Women’s history was also part of a larger movement that transformed the study of history in the United States. “History” had traditionally meant political history—a chronicle of the key political events and of the leaders, primarily men, who influenced them. But by the 1970s “the new social history” began replacing the older style. Emphasis shifted to a broader spectrum of American life, including such topics as the history of urban life, public health, ethnicity, the media, and poverty.

The Personal Is Political

Since women rarely held leadership positions and until recently had only a marginal influence on politics, the new history, with its emphasis on the sociological and the ordinary, was an ideal vehicle for presenting women’s history. It has covered such subjects as the history of women’s education, birth control, housework, marriage, sexuality, and child rearing. As the field has grown, women’s historians realized that their definition of history needed to expand as well—it focused primarily on white middle-class experience and neglected the full racial and socio-economic spectrum of women.

Women’s History Month

The public celebration of women’s history in this country began in 1978 as “Women’s History Week” in Sonoma County, California. The week including March 8, International Women’s Day, was selected. In 1981, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Rep. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) co-sponsored a joint Congressional resolution proclaiming a national Women’s History Week. In 1987, Congress expanded the celebration to a month, and March was declared Women’s History Month.

When I started working on women’s history about thirty years ago, the field did not exist. People didn’t think that women had a history worth knowing.

—Gerda Lerner, Women and History (1986; 1993)

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About M. Joy Rose

Woman, Mother, Human, Rocker, Educator, Activist Director; Museum of Motherhood President and Founder; MaMaPaLooZa Inc. a company by Women, Promoting (M)others for social, cultural and economic benefit. Dedicated to a more educated, more peaceful, more musical planet.

Discussion

One thought on “There’s a Herstory to Women’s History Month!

  1. I agree, there is MOST certainly HERstory with history – I have used the term HERstory myself for at least 10 years, although several female collegues (sp?) poked fun at me when I did.

    This is a great blog – very much related to mine. Although my site is titled Victorian America in the Age of Sail – it’s about the numerous brave wives who lived at sea with their captain-husbands. Yes, they really did go to sea and many had children on board their husband’s ships with no doctor and no midwife. My blog is http;//karleeaturner.wordpress.com.

    If you decide to check it out, I hope you find it worth your time.

    Posted by Karlee A. Turner | August 18, 2010, 01:28

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