Another Women’s History Month has come and gone, wherein many women made history. Well, sort of. They actually made “herstory,” which is like history except way more noble and less important. Most of academia ignores and relegates it to the dustbin of history (a place where women are comfortable, because cleaning!). Anyways, here are some things women did this month that no one will remember after their actions are edited out of historical accounts in favor of a story about a man yelling:
Elizabeth Warren Called out Wall Street’s Big Banks
Elizabeth Warren took a stand against GOP efforts to weaken Dodd-Frank this month, saying, “It risks returning us to the days of… protecting Wall Street firms from important regulatory safeguards and putting ordinary citizens and the economy at risk.” Warren’s vocal efforts to prevent a financial collapse like the one in 2008 are historic in importance, but her actions will be downplayed and criticized by men like billionaire Warren Buffett, who says she would do better if she were “less angry.” This really happened. Sorry, Liz! You should work on not being so abrasive, and then maybe men still won’t listen to you, but maybe like you more.
You may find discussion of Elizabeth Warren in a women’s studies course, but good luck seeing her as more than a side note in the mainstream historical records, where you’ll instead find a photo of Ted Cruz falling off a stage!
Monica Lewinsky’s TED Talk
Monica Lewinsky gave a TED Talk this month on cyberbullying and public humiliation, adding some new perspective on the character assassination she suffered at 22 years old during the media’s 1998 feeding frenzy. Lewinsky has some interesting things to say about the scandal now that will probably be lost in the “that woman” context of the original coverage. As a woman who’s publicly known to have had sex, Lewinsky’s portrayal in pop culture histories will most likely remain about what she did almost 20 years ago. So just go ahead and forget this TED Talk ever happened. Bummer, I know!
Angelina Jolie-Pitt’s New York Times Article
Angelina Jolie Pitt penned another op-ed in the New York Times about her decision to have preventative surgery to reduce her risk for breast and ovarian cancers. Her take on the experience is deeply nuanced and sheds light on the rarely discussed topic of radical treatments for women’s cancers. Unfortunately, her brave and informative words, along with her humanitarian efforts, will be forgotten in favor of subsequent stories about her taking Brad’s last name, speculations on her weight, or some fabricated developments in the “feud” between her and Jen. Sorry Angie, you’re too pretty for History to remember as anything but pretty!
What a Women’s History Month it wasn’t! Because women’s history will not be remembered. Oh well, we’ll get ‘em next time!