Herstory

Emily Dickinson lived and wrote in a society that cordoned women into one very traditional role, that of housewife, mother and helpmate to her husband. She rebelled against this tradition by simply doing her own thing and using her words to exercise her will. The majority of those words would go unpublished until after her death, when she would posthumously be recognized as one of the world’s greatest poets. She would not live to see white women be given the right to vote in 1920, but she did live through the years during which the suffrage movement developed and the NWSA, National Women’s Suffrage Movement was formed by Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony in 1869,when they formally requested that women be granted suffrage and the right to be heard on the floor of Congress. Although not a voice for political change within her lifetime, scholars have noted that her words included many nods to feminism, along with the fact that her own life and the style in which she wrote was a rebellion against the status-quo of her times.

Slate.com answered the question, “Is History written by men about men?”, in their 2015 study of 614 History trade books published during that year. The answer was yes. 75.7 percent of the books they surveyed were written by males and 71.7 percent of the biographies were about male subjects. Only during my own lifetime have the contributions of women begun to be recognized and long overdue credit given. So yes, we have more female voices being heard today and we even have the first female Vice President, but when 172 Republican members of our Congressional House voted against reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act on Wednesday, we know that there is still much work to be done in the area of equality. There are still many battles to be fought, many women’s previously and currently silenced voices to be heard, and many new chapters to be penned in the Herstory of our country and our world.

My Carol and Emily poem is a plea for us all to read, learn and teach the next generation both the Herstory and the History of our world and to rally against injustice in any form.

References

Letter to Congress from Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony and Others in Support of Women’s Suffrage | DocsTeach

“Feminism of Emily Dickinson.” ukessays.com. 11 2018. UKEssays. 03 2021 https://www.ukessays.com/essays/english-literature/feminism-of-emily-dickinson.php?vref=1.

House votes to reauthorize landmark Violenace Against Women Act – The Washington Post

emilydickinsonmuseum.org

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