Who Shapes How We See Our History?
history change, Personal experience
Mar - 10:15 pm
Group: Discussion Leaders
Member No.: 4
Joined: 21-February 03
around at International Women's Day activities
on Monday, it struck me that even in the
process of celebrating women and women's
history, we are modifying the historical
record. The process of interpretation and
explanation changes our official memory of
an event, and certainly changes the information
available about an event. Sometimes this
change can be really positive - hence the
need to celebrate International Women's Day
- but more often issues are more complex
I was wondering, if any of you have any personal experience of
participating in something, and then watching the politics as
it took the event over, or the post-event reporting change the
event from what you remembered being part of to quite a different
creature. If you have, I would really love to see some of this
posted (your experience of the evnet *and* how you saw it change)
so that we can get insights into how the memory of women's history
Mar - 02:08 am
Member No.: 66
Joined: 27-February 04
gets me to something that I was thinking
about: reclaiming our records (archives,
history etc) so that it is ours and not some
sort of censored nice version of things.
Clearly the media report things in a certain way and so the reports
i saw on some of the events that I went to were nicely packaged
to be palatable to the wider public. Or what is seen as palatable.
In talking to a friend today: we were wondering why a particular
event (that used to be quite big, got funding from the local
government, and then got defunded) was small this year in its
first year back. My feeling is that over the last decade of defunding
of women's organisations, and the general backlash and regression
of women's rights, that we have forgotten how to celebrate women.
We have got out of the habit of being involved because there
has been little to be involved in, and it has often been corporatised.
So, we need to be reclaiming our day and reclaiming the types
of events that are held. I must say WHM is doing this nicely
so thats a big start, but we need to make sure that funding is
there, that we actually attend the events, and that we talk about
Taking along women who would not normally attend is a big contribution
that we can all make. I invited a friend to the launch of WHM
the other day and she was pleased to come, took the program and
might even show up here at some point. I hope so.
So, are we out of practice because we've been hiding or pushed
aside for the last decade? Is that what we are now tackling -
resuming our previous activity level and confidence?
some speculative brainstorming!
Mar - 05:45 pm
Member No.: 65
Joined: 27-February 04
poses an interesting question - have we been
pushed aside or forgotten how to celebrate?
I think there may be a third option - we've
forgotten how to make time to be involved.
As someone who considered themselves an activist and who is generally
pretty involved in a wide range of things, I didn't do one thing
this year to celebrate IWD A whole bunch of factors meant that
I didn't have the time. I know that there was a rally planned
on the Saturday, that I couldn't attend because I was involved
in someting else. However, I sent my daughter and partner along,
to an event that didn't happen because not enough people turned
up - clearly I'm not the only busy woman!!
But this has been a pretty full on year for activist women across
a number of campaigns. I know that the War in Iraq, Australia's
treatment of refugees and the US/Aust free trade Agreement have
been taking up a lot of my time. Add that to study, work and
kids and I'm grateful to have a weekend to spend with my family.
I think that the challenge of recording women's history and of
IWD is to incorporate all those women who are active in areas
that don't necessarily lend themselves to archives or media reporting,
and who work in grass roots, activist or community groups that
rarely make that front page and aren't necessarily the first
thing we think of when we think of women's history or IWD.
Though this could just be the ramblings of a fatigued mind!!