|History Matters: Patriarchy and the Challenge of Feminism (2008 Conference Panel)|
|Katherine L. French|
|Ruth Mazo Karras|
Judith Bennett’s History Matters is an analysis of how feminism and the discipline of History came together in the 1970s, to great effect, but then drifted apart. It is a call for more feminism in History and more history in feminism. It is theoretical and practical; it offers us deep history and contemporary urgency. History Matters is a wonderful book. It is also disturbing. The main argument is that the subordination of women has persisted, relatively unchanged, over centuries, and perhaps longer. It has not changed or eroded. The book has many other facets, some of which are canvassed in this symposium. In this short comment, however, I explore the underpinnings of the book’s overarching claim.