How to Define Notorious Women

Famous or well known, typically for some bad quality or deed

Oxford Dictionary

Through this blog I plan on writing out a history of one woman’s life who had been labeled as notorious. Wherever that is through her sexuality, her race, her choices, anything. If she was viewed scandalously through the press, word of mouth or seemingly erased from history all together she belongs with these women. Historical study is crucial to the development of the well-informed citizen.  It provides basic information about the values and problems that affect our social well-being. It also contributes to our capacity to use evidence, assess interpretations, and analyze change and continuities. 

The very term “women’s history” suggests that “history” – as traditionally practiced – has not included the study of women. Traditional history has used the experience of men as though that represented the experience of all people. Traditional history has relied on evidence – letters, diaries, & other documents – written by and about men in the past. This evidence has been used to draw conclusions about the experience of all people. Traditional history has typically assessed historical importance according to issues and events which were important to men’s lives. Too few women are included in the history that is being taught & learned.  This exclusion and erasure implies that: 

  • Women have not been agents of historical change 
  • Women’s experiences and actions are not significant for understanding the past 
  • Women’s status and experience is a product of nature & biology, not social forces 

One of the most effective ways in which dominant groups maintain their power is by denying the people they dominate the knowledge of their own history. 

My focus is going to be on reconstructing history. Using new information to rewrite the historical narrative. As this website is for my growth and amusement and learning I will be looking at women across countries, continents and eras. I want to learn all I can about the women of the past and that cannot be defined through one country and era alone. From modern into ancient texts I plan on shedding light to women who have been passed over and deemed to be notorious in nature.

My plan is to highlight the key points of the women’s stories that labeled them notorious and explain why each woman was looked down upon and misrepresented in some way and then how the public opinion has changed since then. This is my current plan for how the material will be presented to all of you and if down the road this changes then it will. One of my favorite parts about history is that studying and learning and growing is a never-ending process. It is why I fell in love with history so long ago. 

I truly hope that you will enjoy this journey and learning with me. I am excited to see where this is going to go.  

Until next time, 

XOXO

-Marissa 

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