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Julia Borger Blog Post for 9/21

I thought this chapter, “The Intimately Oppressed” was fascinating for many reasons. I knew it was going to be about women during early history, however I also knew that this specific book would tell the history in a very unique way, which it most certainly did. The first sentence, “It is possible, reading standard histories, to forget half the population of the country” had me contemplating the enormity of that concept and eager to keep reading the chapter.

I definitely learned more about women in early history from this chapter than all of my history classes combined. Never before has there been this much writing devoted to just women in a single history textbook, usually it is just a few paragraphs here and there, not wanting to distract the reader too much from the more important battles and significant dates. I couldn’t believe that I was learning about some of these concepts for the first time, such as the counterpart to the Boston Tea party, the “coffee party”. But it does make sense why I only knew a little about certain women and feminist groups, because tying back to the idea of history being written about the victors, the victors were their husbands, so only the women with famous husbands had their names recorded in history. Therefore this in-depth take on the unsung heroes no one has really heard about was quite refreshing and appreciated.

I also really enjoyed how the author implemented excerpts from not only the less appreciated women during this time to get their perspectives, but also from books and novels written by men, to condemn and criticize their astonishing writings. One such writing that stuck out to me was by Edmund Burke in his Reflections of the Revolution in France, who said “a woman is but an animal, and an animal not of the highest order”(111).


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  1. Mia Slaunwhite Mia Slaunwhite

    In a way history class has taught us that women have little to nothing to do with anything. Like you said reading this chapter has also taught me more about women than any of my other history classes ever did. My questions are when will women be integrated into the history textbooks?

  2. Olivia Cranshaw Olivia Cranshaw

    This may just be because I went to an all girl’s High school but I felt that the textbooks we read covered a lot of the same women historical figures as PHUS, but just went less in-depth. For me, there were only a few new names, but a lot of new stories and writing that I was never exposed to. I particularly liked reading the poets Anne Bradstreet and Phillis Wheatley because I thought it showed a nuanced side of what is typically shown as a women’s rights leaders. Usually, the women’s rights leaders I read about are more aggressive and confrontational, but these two women used art and thoughtfully intergraded their ideas into a culture that usually wouldn’t appreciate them.

  3. Olivia Cosco Olivia Cosco

    I think the quote you picked out here is very interesting and stuck out to me as well. From these readings, it is understood that women are often forgotten throughout history, but I think this quote shows the extent to which women (half the population) are just forgotten.

  4. Kathrine Yeaw Kathrine Yeaw

    I really like the first sentence you highlighted because it’s both very interesting and true. It’s hard to imagine how half of a whole population could be forgotten about, but in reality that is what has happened. The stories we hear now are often only one sided and we only focus on the people that were believed to be “important” at the time, leaving out the majority of all other people.

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