Friday, February 29, 2008

Is there more to history than killing each orther or looking hot?

There is certainly a wide range of topics along the grand pole of history. Likely the killing and destruction found in wars, which is not the only interest men have, is on one end while doing everything possible to be considered sexy, which is also not the only interest women have, is on the other.
But too often history about women is either found in Women’s History Departments of Universities or on what is called the “fringe” giving people the impression it isn’t very interesting or doesn’t affect their lives. Many people automatically connect the term feminism with violent beliefs about sexuality. Pro-Choice also includes having children outside the current legal boundaries and is not exclusively about exercising abortion. And all the men I know who are very much interested in equality for women, knowing full well it affects their ability to enjoy equality themselves, are turned off by the word feminism and what is available about the history of women in the main-stream market today.
I have taught private workshops on Dream Interpretation and Analysis from a Jungian perspective for a decade. Believe me, a person’s dreams are a reflection of what they believe about themselves. What we believe is based on what we are taught. A person’s well being or ill health is affected by self-esteem. We find ourselves experiencing physical pains caused by our fears until we make conscious choices. Knowing all history helps sort out our personal beliefs. Until then, women’s history continues to be thought of as “second class”.
Let’s face it, how many people are going to spend their highly limited free time reading “The Feminist Papers – Adams through Beauvoir”? Not too many, other than those required to read it when taking a course to get their college degree. Yes, there are some books that deal with the pioneering lives of women in our past. Most of it, however, continues to dwell on how women should be “super” achievers and be willing to over-achieve. The vast majority of non-fiction literature published about historical women during the past fifteen years is about the Goddess. There is certainly no problem with that—I used a great deal of it when researching my book, Infamous Eve, A History—other than it does not always attract the interest of the general reader.
Right now the history of women seems to fall into the perceived categories of: 1. Uninteresting, 2. A sales job on how women should continue to be everything to everyone, or 3. Goddess worship is the way for religion to be experienced so that everyone gets to be happy.
The biggest real problem is that most of the popular biblical history found in the main-stream is written about the men—heroes—even though those heroes were war mongers taking land belonging to others, murderers to get or keep their heart’s desires, and without a doubt control freaks. Other than the ones with a distinctly biased position, the religious histories written about women are few and far between. So much was ignored, suppressed, deleted, or plundered and re-written so that it appears to be about men instead that tenacity is required to actually write about it.
Too often exercising our free-will is still considered a bad option. Regardless of individual perspectives and beliefs about Equal Rights for Women, there is an undeniable existence of a barrier that keeps women on a level lower than men. As long as social customs and political laws bind women to men the biblical Eve will still be used to constrain women, especially regarding work, marriage, and children.
Past historical mistakes cannot be prevented from recurring over and over again when they remain unknown. When we do know what they are, the status quo, that keeps both women and men without equality, ends.


chillnhb said...

Interesting ideas and the blog is looking good. Keep it up

Tracy said...

Unfortunately, until there is more material available our choices are limited. Thank you for Infamous Eve: adding to the selections.