I have a sense of reverence about women’s history, partly because my life would be incredibly restricted if it weren’t for the sacrifices of women who have lived before me and partly because women’s history is hard won twice over. First, in the living—words spoken and bodies risked. And second, in the learning—for women’s history isn’t taught as just plain history. Consciously forgetting or omitting the names of women who shaped our world is a form of disrespect and dishonor, and a direct way in which patriarchy perpetuates itself. To undo this damage, women’s history must be sought and found—it must be devoured whole and savored slowly. It must be learned, not just by women, but by us all, so that we might know where we are, who got us here and how, and where we’re going. I am happy to have discovered a new resource for doing just that: a blog named Girls Re(write) Herstory.
The blog, created by children’s author and activist Trista Hendren, empowers girls and women to create the present by learning and sharing knowledge about their heroines, or “She-roes.” Anyone, anywhere can write an essay about a She-roe and submit it—children as young as five are welcome to participate. Trista’s goal is to collect enough essays and resources to begin publishing books about women and girls—a wonderful way to reclaim our past while creating our present. The blog already includes an interesting list of She-roes, including Ada Lovelace (who helped to develop and explain an early version of a computer and software) feminist She-roes such as Alice Paul, Fannie Lou Hamer, and Gloria Steinem, and living women who are shaping our world, such as Indian environmental activist and author Vandana Shiva.
In addition to information about She-roes, the blog includes inspirational stories, quotations from women who have shaped our culture and our understanding, and links to interesting articles and resources. I encourage you to check out this blog, share it with others, contribute an essay or help a young girl or woman write her own essay, or help in any other way you can. Girls Re(write) Herstory is creating a shared repository of knowledge that is empowering, inspiring, and comforting. In learning and sharing our own history, we place ourselves in time so that we may create our future with humility, confidence, and faith.