chapter  12
18 Pages

Towards a radical feminist historiography

WithWhitney Mannies

The approaches to women history generally taken in both mainstream culture and by feminist theorists and historians is that of amending a historical record monopolized by men. The theme for Women's History Month is usually some variation on the theme of 'Writing Women Back into History'. Women's history is meant to remedy their absence from the male-dominated history, but it is also supposed to meet other social objectives: giving girls role models and upending stereotypes and assumptions about what women can do. The potential radical approach to the editing of Female Biography is to use it as a tool to highlight difference. History can affirm the multiplicity of opportunities, interests and forms of agency that women exercised. Feminists have used a diverse repertoire of liberating strategies at different times and in different places, but, as Deborah M. Withers points out, it is the case that there are 'strategic affinities' that serve as points of connection and divergence between feminists activists.