In the brief span of five years in which American historians have begun to develop women’s history as an independent field, they have sought to find a conceptual framework and a methodology appropriate to the task. The first level at which historians, trained in traditional history, approach women’s history is by writing the history of “women worthies” or “compensatory history.” Who are the women missing from history? Who are the women of achievement and what did they achieve? The resulting history of “notable women” does not tell us much about those activities in which most women engaged, nor does it tell us about the significance of women’s activities to society as a whole.
Source: The Majority Finds its Past (1981)
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