Wednesday, July 30, 2003

A Refreshing Lack Of Historical Revisionism

Due to being fooled by her hiatus message, I almost missed this gem by Mrs. du Toit. She explains why it is a mistake to include 'token' women on a list of the twenty most influential persons in American History. Here's a sample:
To simplify the accomplishments of Mark Twain that he "wrote some yarns" shows a degree of ignorance to his accomplishments and to American History that defies reason--it would be like saying that Shakespeare wrote a few poems. Mark Twain not only wrote a few stories, but he single handedly changed the way that people felt about race--TWICE. He didn't do it with an army or a soapbox, he did it with WORDS--something the blogosphere cannot be reminded of often enough.

There are no women on the list because no women hold a candle to the men. Rosa Parks didn't liberate a race. She made a gesture that sparked a liberation. She was no different from the first victim of the Shot Heard Round The World. She did a brave thing, but there had been others before her and many more after her.
In World History Florence Nightengale might conceivably make such a list, but I think even that is a stretch. Modern nursing is very important, but top twenty is a high hurdle.