Mar 21, 2012

HERstory - Not HIStory

Posted by Tonia at Wednesday, March 21, 2012
By Tonia
"Well-behaved women rarely make history." - Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

I’m not a man-hater. (Really. I appreciate men naked in my bed as discussion partners.) But it is true that they still dominate – in the family, in law, in politics, in business, in government .... and in history. Women’s history month (March) is our opportunity to recognize women in history and to celebrate smart, gutsy and out-spoken women from the past.

When history is only told by the testosteronely-maranated half of the human race, the other side of the story is lost and the record is skewed. For example, Joan of Arc was not burned at the stake for heresy; she was burned because she wore men’s clothing. And Florence Nightengale was not known as the Lady with the Lamp; she was known as the Lady with the Hammer because she broke into supply rooms for medicines for her patients. And did you know that the owner of the Round Table was not Arthur but Guenevere? Duh. If Arthur had furnished the table he would have sat at the head and it would have been held together with duct tape.

Our current male version of prehistory gives credit to men for providing food to the tribe since they were the hunters. Hunting may have been a fun way to hang out with the guys but it was not efficient. Meat from a hunt came irregularly and could not be stored. It was women’s gathering (not men’s hunting) that sustained the tribe.

In honor of Women’s History Month, Estrofests celebrates women in history – especially the unruly, unmanageable ones - the ones who claimed their own bodies and who could not be silenced. Here are a few of our favs:

Princess Khutulun was described by Marco Polo as the greatest warrior in Kubla Khan's army. She announced that she would marry any man who could beat her at wrestling. However, if they lost they would have to give her 100 horses. She died unmarried with 10,000 horses.
Lady Godiva appealed to her husband, Earl Leofric of Mercia, over and over again to reduce his oppressive taxes on the people of Coventry. Weary of her nagging, he agreed - if she would ride naked through the streets (perv). When she did indeed ride naked, he removed all oppressive taxes.

Mae West, actress, playwright, producer, director, and sex goddess, never allowed her critics or her censors to sway her from being herself and maintaining strong artistic control over her work. When her apartment manager refused to let her African-American boyfriend enter her apartment, Mae simply bought the entire building.

So get your girlfriends together, dress up as unruly women in history, and inspire one another with the stories of smart, gutsy and out-spoken heroines! And to further inspire you, click HERE for a music video paying homage to Alice Paul and the generations of courageous women who fought to pass the 19th Amendment, women's right to vote. And tell us which women YOU admire from HERstory!

3 comments:

Brenda Lee on March 21, 2012 at 9:48 AM said...

LMAO This is awesome! :)

Leslie B. on March 23, 2012 at 5:46 PM said...

How about Tallulah Bankhead! Spirited, Talented Actor, Liberal, and just plain outrageously awesome!

MsCheeVS on April 2, 2012 at 2:10 AM said...

I think i'de dress up as TONIA... the writer of this blog! Hahahaha!

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