Gerda Learner's Contribution

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Gerda Lerner was an influential figure in the development of women’s gender history since the 1960’s. She was one of the founders of women’s history and played a key role in developing women’s history curriculum. She was a rebel and didn’t believe in following the rules or conforming to society from her teenage years. In her early career she became an author and also became a national leader in the Congress of American Women where she worked with poor black women where she began to understand the limitations of her own assumptions. She then devoted her life to women’s and African American’s history, but later realized that merely teaching women’s history would not be enough, she would have to fight to create programs and eventually created …show more content…
This appears to be a step toward a more complete portrayal of women in history, but the women’s contributions are examined through a foggy lens where women are held to men’s standards. The problem with this is that a woman could’ve played an enormous role in a social movement and helped all of these people, but some can misinterpret what the woman did because it was not done like a man. Lerner discusses how Jane Adams was a major positive influence towards women as a progressive, but when her work is held to a man’s standards, she is seen as merely housing homeless women. The benefit to “contribution history” is that one can begin to see how women’s ideals and efforts were oppressed and how women had to fight to overcome …show more content…
Studying women’s oppression reveals how they have been oppressed socially, economically, and politically. This is important because we learn how women were treated, but also how women stood up against how they were being treated. Studying the oppression of women also has its limits because it can make women seem like they reacted passively toward male pressures. I think the best thing to do, is to remember that women were not only victims and that is not the central focus of women’s history. Just as women’s oppression, women’s rights is another major aspect of women’s history, but it too shouldn’t be the central focus. It is important to know how women overcame issues such as gaining the right to vote, holding a place in office, or earning equal pay, but only studying women’s rights could limit your thinking to where you only imagine women as fighting back, which could create an elusive image of women in your

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