February 22, 2011

When Did Women Show Up?


Statue of Woman

Part of homeschooling BabyGirl includes teaching history. We’re studying ancient history and one of the things BabyGirl is noticing is the distinct lack of women in our studies. I’ve tried to explain that we’re in the conquering part of history and women tended not to do the conquering. But she’s right, there’s not a lot of discussion about how women shaped the middle ages. There’s story after story about the significant men who shaped the world.

There had to be women making history in the early middle ages. I know we’ll get to Joan of Arc and Catherine the Great. But right now we’re in Asia and there’s no mention of women. Really? Then again, I don’t recall any women really standing out when I was learning about this time period.

I want to hurry and get through this male-dominated history and get to teaching about women. I don’t want to give short shrift to the common history but I’m thinking that I really need to find a book about kickin’ women in history. I want BabyGirl to know that women weren’t afterthoughts in history. That we did more than give birth to great men.

I know there were great women in Egypt, we learned about Cleopatra. But after her, where did the women go? And when she asks, I feel like I can’t give her a good answer about why women don’t seem to show up in history until the 1400s. There’s no way that women disappeared for thousands of years.

Modern history is dotted with amazing women. Although, even within the last 100 years, most people could rattle off a handful of men and likely only a few women. Maybe we’re just not as loud. I’m not sure what it is but I’ve never really thought about it before BabyGirl brought it up. But when that sweet 8 year-old voice says “Mommy, When Did Women Show Up?” you know the days not going to be like any other.

All I could do is assure her that women did show up and have left their mark on the world. And continue to do so every day. I want her to know that she walks in some pretty amazing shoes left by women who help shape history. Now, to find a good book. Any suggestions?



Honey February 26, 2011 at 12:30 am

Amy Puetz has some books on Women in History. You might want to check them out. Here is the link to the page in here store from 1600-1900 .



fairygirl March 1, 2011 at 4:55 am

I’m afriad I have no suggestions, but definitely questions as to when women DID show up……….To think it took an 8 yr old to get me thinking about this 🙂 I’m sure you got many women thinking this morning.


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