Herstory: A Woman's View of American History

Herstory: A Woman's View of American History

Herstory: A Woman's View of American History

Herstory: A Woman's View of American History

Excerpt

Herstory: A Woman's View of American History is both an ambitious and a modest effort to present the woman's side of the American past. It is ambitious because it contains, within one volume, a lot of forgotten material about half of the human beings who lived in and built the United States of America. It is modest because it imposes so many restrictions, limitations, and boundaries upon the material. Herstory does not pretend to deal with all or most of the important women and women's accomplishments any more than a book by a male historian "covers" all of male-oriented American history. It is presumptuous for any historian, male or female, to pretend comprehensiveness in any single volume.

Herstory hopes to point some new roads for future readers, researchers, and writers to travel. The future possibilities in woman's herstory are rich and endless. My discussion concentrates upon two broad areas: upon the ideology held concerning women, children, blacks, American Indians, and foreigners —that is, all non-white American males; and upon the reality of their lives. At times, Herstory sweeps across the human landscape with bold, broad strokes, and at other times it narrows the subject matter and focuses upon specific women in specific places at specific times.

Among my particular concerns in the following pages is the similar treatment that WASMs (white Anglo-Saxon males) gave to all human beings other than themselves, as well as to the environment. There are more similarities than differences between the white male attitude toward women, Indians, black slaves, forests, and wildlife than historians have realized. Thus, the . . .

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