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August 3, 2014 | by  | in History That Hasn’t Happened Yet Opinion | [ssba]

History That Hasn’t Happened Yet

History is Written by the Victors: as in the man’s name Victor. It’s a pun.

If you pick up traditional histories, you’re unlikely to encounter much in the way of vaginas. Indeed, as Mrs Lintott aptly sums up in Alan Bennett’s History Boys:

Can you for a moment imagine how depressing it is to teach five centuries of masculine ineptitude? … History is a commentary on the various and continuing incapabilities of men. What is History? History is women following behind, with a bucket.

Now, this is not to say that historians haven’t made leaps and bounds when it comes to studying the history of women, nor is it to overstate the involvement of women. But as I scroll through historical examples and interesting people, as I do fortnightly for this column, I began to wonder: what if ‘history’, as we see it, was made by women?

Take, for instance, Adam and Eve. There’s no way that it was ever going to be Adam that succumbed to the wily serpent. It was always going to be the inferior woman (created out of Adam’s fucking rib!) that ate the delicious fucking apple.

What if women too were sent in droves to fight at the Somme or stumble down the cliffs of Gallipoli? Would we have a different commemoration of ANZAC Day? Would we still have the ‘manly hero’ that New Zealand still prides itself on today?

There have been more men named John in the history of British government than there have women. Would the government still have claimed legislative control over women’s bodies if it had been proportional?

If it had been soldiers, not just prostitutes tested for VD during World War One, would things have been different?


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