Scott, Joan. "Women's History." New Perspectives on Historical Writing. Ed. Peter Burke. University Park, Pa.: Pennsylvania State U P, 1992. 42-66.
On Scott's analysis, of course, serious treatment of (for example) Abigail's rhetoric would have been characterized by what she calls "traditional" historians as "ideology," hence intellectually devalued. Only traditional (i.e., uninterrogated) subject matter would be, from that point of view, history properly so called: "The label 'ideological' attaches to dissenting views a notion of unacceptability and gives prevailing views the status of unassailable law or 'truth'" (52). Scott adds that such attitudes are an index of "unequal power relation within the discipline" and explains that, in consequence, she and other advocates of professionalizing and legitimating women's history as a discipline sought during the 1970s to disengage it from the ideological features of a feminist political agenda while collapsing it into what was being called social history.
onsidering implications for the integrity of the republic of ignoring the female voice as seriously as the implications of acquiescing in the institution of Negro slavery.
Scott's bias is in favor of poststructuralism and the "pluralizing" effects of women's experience and of women's history since the cultural impact of the modern women's movement was first felt in the 1960s. She acknowledges that, as a method, poststructuralism has limitations and presents problems, including "how to acknowledge the partiality of one's story (indeed of all stories) and still tell it with authority and conviction" (60). However, her response is not to dismiss that method because it may present problems but rather to exploit its features with a view toward keeping alive the discourse of method and of the difficulties that adding to the load of historical issue fronts the feminist social critique has caused in the context of transformation of women's social status since the 1960s. S