FIGHT ERASUREPosted: 13 June 2012
Unknown Women are Unknown Heroines. FIGHT ERASURE is a blog project to bring to light and attention the many erased and ignored women re[sisters] from around the world and from the past. Its purpose is to prevent the erasure of their thoughts and great deeds from our history and understanding of ourselves as women resisting patriarchy.
To add a woman to the project [and/or to history…], copy and paste the above text, title the post FIGHT ERASURE and provide some introductory informantion, links, pictures, articles, film, recording or quotes about her.
If you have more information about any of the women featured in the project, please add what you know in the comments, and pass it on…
In 1982 Australian feminist Dale Spender wrote a book called ‘Women of Ideas [And What Men Have Done To Them]’. She is writing at the time of what we now call ‘The Second Wave’, and the book is an intensely researched series of fastinating biographies of women resisters from ‘The First Wave’ and beyond, as far back into history as Spender can go.
She writes of the feminist resistance that spiraled out of 1970’s consciousness raising groups and how they began to investigate the women who came before:
”Many of us began to ask whether we were the first generation of women to have felt this way. […] But when it began to appear that there had been many women who had been saying in centuries past what we were saying in the 1970’s, that they had been representative of their sex, and that they had disappeared, the problem assumed very different proportions.
For years I had not thought to challenge the received wisdom of my own history tutors who had- in the only fragment of knowledge about angry women I was ever endowed with- informed me that early in the twentieth century, a few unbalanced and foolish women had chained themselves to railings in the attempt to obtain the vote. When I learnt, however, thant in 1911 there had been twenty-one regular feminist periodicals in Britain, that there was a feminist book shop, a woman’s press, and a women’s bank run by and for women, I could no longer accept that the reason I knew almost nothing about women of the past was because there were so few of them, and they had done so little. I began to acknowledge not only that the women’s movement of the early twentieth century was bigger, stronger and more influential than I had ever suspected, but that it might not have been the only such movement. It was in this context that I began to wonder whether the disappearance of the women of the past was an accident.
Why didn’t we know about these women? Was it possible that we were not meant to? And if women who raised their voices against male power became but a transitory entry in the historical records, what was to be the fate of the present women’s movement?”
In the 1990’s, my history teacher- in the only fragment of knowledge about angry women I was ever endowed with- informed me that back in the 70’s a few unbalanced and foolish women had burned their bras in an attempt to get equal pay. Not only has nobody heard of Dale Spender’s book, which contains precious information about our erased foremothers, nobody has heard of Dale Spender.