Gender Roles In The Historiography Of American Women's History

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Gerda Lerner considers differences in societies, and defines categories or stages in the historiography of American women 's history. Societies create gender roles over time, and gender roles are deeply embedded in culture. Differences shape society, from gender to race, and class. Lerner states the stages reflect how the historian 's gaze changes over time as ideas evolve. Compensatory history identifies influential women (leadership) and their activity. Contribution history reflects female contribution to existing narratives. The third stage is rewriting women 's narratives, and thus American narratives, as the inclusion of females "changes" historical narratives.
Gerda Lerner defines the context of the Seneca Falls Convention for today 's (2016) scholars: 1) A small group of organized people with an argument based on culturally defined moral beliefs built the largest grassroots movement in the nineteenth century and subsequently revived the movement in the twentieth century, and, 2) Cultural change often takes time, and sustained interest.
In her discussions, Lerner considers the development of women 's history, gender role change, and the importance of the suffrage narrative.
Susan Zaeske considers the anti-slavery petition movement. For Zaeske, petitioning gave women a method of asserting citizenship. Zaeske
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Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton wrote the history of the women 's movement to actually construct the movement, and thus, history. Tetrault studies the politics within the suffrage movement at the time of the 1848 Seneca Falls Convention, and posits that the constructed "mythology" continues to define American history. Tetrault shows that the prevailing narrative ignores Lucy Stone 's work and the efforts of women of color, male suffragists, and other reformers. Tetrault 's viewpoint aligns with those scholars in this reading list arguing the need for reform to the waves metaphor and periodization

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