Women and Geography Study Group, 'Why Study Feminist Geography?' (1984)
Looking through a representative selection of geography books on a library or bookshop shelf, it appears as if most geography is concerned with ‘man’. We are confronted by ‘man and his physical environment’, ‘man and culture’ or simply ‘man and environment’. The authors of such texts may not intend to portray humanity as being entirely male. Nevertheless, it is this image which is created in the mind of the reader and which persists when the subject matter of the books is consulted. We are presented, for example, with man as the agent of change in agricultural landscapes, men digging for coal (or being made redundant by the closure of coal-mines), and the results of surveys in which men, as heads of households, have been asked for their opinions on recreation resources, transport needs or housing. We might, in fact, be for given for thinking that women simply do not exist in the spatial world.