" Taking Abigail's statement seriously would mean considering 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.
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.
One effect was that women's history "confirmed the reality of the category 'women' . . . it inherent needs, interests and characteristics" (54). Another was to lump all women into one category without regard to their in-group differences. Scott's view of that dynamic is that the antagonism fostered by women's critique of the structural inequities of history as both past understood and as academic discipline helped the feminist political and critical standpoint develop and at the same time "implicitly affirmed the essential nature of the binary opposition male versus female" (54).
While women's entry into the discipline of history forced reconceptualization of subject priorities, it also tended to highlight the war between the sexes as the eternal core of experience. However, reconceptualization was far from an unambiguous undertaking, and not (or not solely) be...
Women's history is the study of the role that women played in histoy. (1969, December 31). In LotsofEssays.com. Retrieved 06:36, January 31, 2015, from http://www.collegetermpapers.com/viewpaper/1303880778.html