Women’s History Month: Feminism, Revisited


It’s women’s history month and while I am busy concocting an unbelievable original piece that will knock your nylons down, I’m recycling a piece I wrote for GreatHistory.com a couple of years ago. (Hey, at least I’m up front about it.)

Stay tuned for my masterpiece, but in the meantime, why not read up on the F word?

Female Pirates in History Terrorized the High Seas

Let’s face it. Pirates are cool. And historical women are cool.

So female pirates from history are the coolest, like icy cool. My next installment for the folks over at HistoryNet.com features three women, from ancient time to the Elizabethan Era, whose nautical prowess brought them infamy.

Without eye patches, even.

Read about these historical female pirates.

Alexander Street Opens up Its Digital Vault

Maybe it’s just the places I frequent, but the collaborators in getting the word out about Women’s History Month is doing the viral thing on the interwebs.

The folks over at Alexander Street, who maintain a scholarly database of all things female and social movements from the years 1600-2000 are tossing their hat in by offering free access to the likes of you and me.

If you’re doing a school project or are just plain interested, they’ve got archives, documents, biographies, and for the visual learners, graphics and tables. And lessons for teachers! Yay!

Check out Alexander Street

Women’s History Month


To commemorate Women’s History Month I wrote a mini-series for the connoisseurs of history over at HistoryNet.com.

You can find all articles on Women’s History under Magazines/All history topics, then scroll down to Topics Sorted by Subject Matter. Click on Women’s History and poof! there the miniseries be.

Today’s installment includes the resume, as I imagined it, of Eleanor of Aquitaine, Queen of France, and then, when it suited her, Queen of England.

Read the entire Women’s History series.

Read about Heroines of Women’s History, including my beloved Eleanor.

Women’s History Month, An Introduction

A couple of days in March are famous: the Ides of March (thanks for the warning, Teiresias!) and St. Patrick’s Day (the Irish snake guy).

But the entire month of March is devoted to celebrating the women in history who made in impact – whether on their country, their cause, or maybe even just their family. The National Women’s History Project’s theme this year for Women’s History Month is Writing Women Back Into History.

I attempt to do just that for the fine folks over there at HistoryNet.com. Please, go check me out and if you feel inclined, leave a comment.

Martha Gellhorn Swims

As I wind down the last day of surfing in Baja Norte, I think of one of my heroines, Martha Gellhorn, who, in her travels as a war correspondent for over 50 years, swam as around the world. Not in a circumnagivating sense, but in a “I’m here, where I can swim?” kind of way.

For this and many other reasons, I chose to celebrate the life of Martha Gellhorn in the best way I know how.

Surfing and road trip pix to follow. Promise.

Genghis Khan’s Ball and Chain

The Denver Museum of Nature and Science has more than just dioramas of cavemen of the pre-GEICO era. Its special exhibits are world class.

From October 16, 2009 to February 7, 2010, Genghis Khan invades the museum, and like everything else he ever invaded (except for Afghanistan), he conquered well.

For me it brought up the question of what it’s like to be married to the most famous barbarian, the most successful conqueror of all of Asia and beyond.  I gleaned much about Borte, the famous first lady, from the exhibit.

What Do These Two Things Have in Common?

The 80s television show The Wonder Years and a mob of ancient, angry Christians?

Find out.

Emily Dickinson and the Nature of Language

Grad school did me some good. Sure, it gave me more than a few grey hairs and an identity crisis that forced me to reinvent myself, but it gave me the gift of critical thinking. Maybe I would have become this critical thinker regardless of the thousands I handed over in tuition, but I’ll take the catalyst.

When I tell people I studied English literature on the graduate level, they are surprised that I’m not a social moron only interested in explicating the infamous Molly Bloom chapter at the end of Joyce’s Ulysses. I didn’t go to grad school to wrap myself in a critical theory cocoon; I went to enjoy literature on a deeper level and to get smarter. Definitely accomplished #1. The jury is still out on #2.

The best part of having this kind of knowledge is sharing it with those who would otherwise be more interested in watching NASCAR or riding bicycles or clipping their toenails. And the other best part is making literature from centuries past relevant, fun, and cool. Again.

I tried to do that with my personal favorite crazy lady in attic, Emily Dickinson. The pudding is over at Great History.

The Scientists at Los Alamos May Have Had Sweetteeth

Or, they may have just enjoyed sitting by the river, enjoying sunny New Mexico days and dry nights within the comfort of a local’s home.

That local was Edith Warner, and once again, as a woman of history, she did not lead armies into battle or change public policy. She became a part of history by doing what women in the 1940s did everyday: making a comfortable home, homemade and to-die for chocolate cake.

Dudes like Oppenheimer, Bohrs, and Fermi would spend many hours at Warner’s cozy adobe home, trying to forget the days’ research. They were thankful for her undemanding company and her abilities in the kitchen.

Check out the article at GreatHistory.com.