Gimbutas argued that the “Kurgan” people introduced Indo-European languages into the lands they conquered, as well as new cultural systems based on domination of warriors and kings over the general populace and the domination of men over women. She stated that the Kurgan invasions of Europe began about 4400 BCE and lasted for several millennia.
[I]n declaring Marija Gimbutas’s Kurgan hypothesis “magnificently vindicated,” Lord Colin Renfrew, considered by many to be “the grand old man” of his field, opened the floodgates. He implicitly gave permission to other scholars to reconsider all of Gimbutas’s theories and perhaps eventually to restore her to her rightful place as one of the most–if not the most–creative, scientific, ground-breaking archaeologists of the twentieth century, “the grand old lady” of her field.
A map that tracks more than 3,000 Scots women who were accused of being witches in the 16th and 17th Century has been published for the first time.
“The tragedy is that Scotland had five times the number of executions of women. The idea of being able to plot these on a map really brings it home. These places are near everyone.
“There does seem to be a growing movement that we need to be remembering these women, remembering what happened and understanding what happened.”
As the Medusa myth is retold in a patriarchal and male-dominated society, the fact that she was a victim of rape is overshadowed by her terrifying appearance and ability to turn men into stone. This retelling sweeps the original violence against Medusa under the rug to center the violence she commits against men.
Medusa’s name derives from an ancient Greek verb that means “to protect and guard,” which may be a nod to Athena’s attempt to guard and protect Medusa from further abuse at the hands of Poseidon and other men. Athena’s curse was not a punishment for Medusa, but a punishment for the gods and men who intended to harm her. After all, Athena gave Medusa the ultimate power against men: the power to both punish and avoid the male gaze regardless of the rank or status of the man daring to look at her.
Like the other women in these myths, the Sirens have been demonized over time. The Sirens are often described as temptresses who used their song to lure sailors to their drowning deaths, but they were actually a group of girls who lost their companion, Persephone, after she was abducted and raped by Hades. . . . Retold in patriarchy, the story of the Sirens changes to fit its values—instead of illustrating loss and grief in female friendships, the story becomes a cautionary tale of the dangerous, tempting trickery of female seduction.
The queen, who was deposed by a coup led by American sugar planters, died 100 years ago, but is by no means forgotten.
In January 1893, a coup led by Sanford Dole took over the Hawaiian government and pressed the U.S. government to annex the islands. Two years later, after a failed insurrection by Liliuokalani’s supporters to return power to Hawaiian royal rule, she was charged with treason and put under house arrest. In a statement, in exchange for a pardon for her and her supporters, she “yield[ed] to the superior force of the United States of America” under protest, pointing out that John L. Stevens, U.S. Minister to Hawaii, who supported the provisional government, had already “caused United States troops to be landed at Honolulu.” She continued:
“Now, to avoid any collision of armed forces and perhaps loss of life, I do, under this protest, and impelled by said forces, yield my authority until such time as the Government of the United States shall, upon the facts being presented to it, undo the action of its representative and reinstate me in the authority which I claim as the constitutional sovereign of the Hawaiian Islands.”
In exile, Liliuokalani advocated for a free Hawaii until her death in 1917 at the age of 79.
Most works on this list are written in the past, by male British or American writers. Most of these have formed part of the school literary canon for generations. There are only two texts by women, Hinton and Lee, and no texts by Australian women, migrant Australians or Aboriginal writers.
The women who created the first fairytales were far more radical than the Brothers Grimm have led us to believe.
Performed and recited in literary salons, from 1697 the fairytales of D’Aulnoy, Comtesse Henriette-Julie de Murat, Mademoiselle L’Héritier and Madame Charlotte-Rose de la Force were gathered into collections and published.
D’Aulnoy and her peers used exaggeration, parody and references to other stories to unsettle the customs and conventions that constrained women’s freedom and agency.
The conteuses created the archetypes of our classic fairytale heroines: Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty and Rapunzel. They were bestselling writers in their day, their popularity continuing into the 18th century, circulated throughout all levels of society by publication in the Bibliothèque Bleue, a series of cheaply printed and readily affordable chapbooks.
In the 19th century, when the Brothers Grimm began their project of collecting and publishing folktales, they dismissed the conteuses as inauthentic, as not representative of the voices of the common volk. But the Grimms’ theory that fairytales had a linear relationship to folktales has been exposed by scholars as a nationalist – and masculinist, as the teller was usually an illiterate female – bias. A furphy.
A Mighty Girl’s top picks of children’s books about real-life women of science and fictional stories about girls who love science!
Dr Beatrice Faust, AO (1939-2019): Founder of the Women’s Electoral Lobby
Dr Beatrice Faust (known as Bea), feminist, political campaigner, journalist, author and academic, died on October 30 at the age of 80, after becoming ill at her home in Churchill, Gippsland.
Bea was one of the first women to campaign for civil liberties, abortion law reform and sex education. In 1966 she co-founded the Victorian Council for Civil Liberties, mainly to campaign against censorship laws. She was best known for being the founder of the Women’s Electoral Lobby (WEL) in 1972.