Monday, November 30, 2009

Women in the Wild West

They were a heroic lot. (Via Joshua Snyder) To quote from an article in The American Conservative:

I love tales of heroism. They inspire me. And because they do, I am perplexed by those people who are not similarly inspired. As a student and later as a professor, I found professors, teaching assistants, and students who wanted to hear only tales of oppression, repression, and brutality—as long as the oppression, repression, and brutality was perpetrated by white males. I have watched departments of history become departments of victimology, with a kind of competition among various groups for supremacy among victims, leading to an emphasis on stories of those who had suffered and lost, rather than of those who had suffered, endured, and triumphed. The former are worth studying, but the latter are worth emulating.

In 1985, I presented a paper on violence in the Old West at a historical conference. I described how women, other than prostitutes, rarely suffered from violence, were treated with respect, and often displayed extraordinary courage. For this I was attacked by two women professors in the audience. I provided them with a wealth of statistics and dozens of anecdotes. That only made it worse. It was about then that I realized I was confronting the religion of political correctness and that one of the articles of faith was victimhood. These particular women were not delighted to hear of the derring-do and heroism of their frontier sisters. But history is full of such stories..... (Read More)

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3 comments:

Lynda @ Elegance Reclaimed said...

Oh my what accountings.
Thank you so much for sharing; your writings are pure joy to read.

elena maria vidal said...

Thank you so much, Lynda! Your blog is lovely, too!

Julygirl said...

There is a new book out called "You've Come A Long Way, Maybe" by author Leslie Sanchez Palgrave who does not consider herself part of the 'feminist agenda' and when growing up feminist struck her as zealots who had nothing to say to her. This book deals mainly with the last election when 2 women were running for the two top offices of government. She makes several rich points to ponder regarding the double standard still out there i.e. when someone shouted out to Hillary Clinton, "Iron my Shirt", people were not as appalled as they would be if someone shouted "Shine My Shoes" to GOP Chairman Michael Steele who is black, or intimating that Sarah Palin would not be able to pay sufficient attention to her children if she were V.P.