We’re coming to the end of Women’s History Month. Here on the Margins it’s been a month of fascinating interviews with people doing exciting things in the field.*
The fact is, I could interview someone about this work every day of the week and not run out of people to talk to.** People are doing wonderful work researching and writing about women who are forgotten, erased, or shoved to the side in the historical record: novelists and journalists and artists and musicians and labor organizers and scientists and activists and business owners and general shin-kickers. Historians are looking at the networks between women, the institutions they formed, and the ways in which they navigated cultural restrictions. Public historians are adding women to museum exhibitions and historical site interpretations. At this point, I can’t keep up with the new and exciting books that are coming out. Not to mention the podcasts. (Are there women’s history tiktoks? Do I dare go down that rabbit hole?)
It would be nice to reach the point where we don’t need Women’s History Month, or Black History Month, or any of the other history months and heritage months that mark our calendars. A point at which history as we learn it would include people who were not at the center of power as a matter of course. I don’t have an answer about how we do that, but I don’t think it happens by relegating women to a sidebar, a chapter, or a special section on women in history taught once a year during Women’s History Month.
Rant over. For the moment.
* I take no credit for this. I invite people. I ask them questions. And then I get out of the way.
**This is not going to happen. I would run out of energy long before I ran out of people to interview. And my book would never get finished. I do, however, already have three names on the list for next year.