Journals Higher Education



Published: 01 August 2006

240 Pages

9.2 x 6.1 inches

ISBN: 9780719075650

Bookseller Code (06)


History matters

Patriarchy and the challenge of Feminism

Judith M. Bennett

Published by Manchester University Press

Gender in History MUP

Written for everyone interested in women's and gender history, History matters reaffirms the importance to feminist theory and activism of long-term historical perspectives. Judith M. Bennett takes as her central problem the growing chasm between feminism and history which, although closely allied in the 1970s, have now moved away from one another. Seeking to narrow this gap, Bennett proposes that feminist historians turn their attention to the intellectual challenges posed by the persistence of patriarchy. She posits a 'patriarchal equilibrium' whereby, despite many changes in women's experiences over past centuries, women's status vis-à-vis men has remained remarkably unchanged. Bennett argues that the theoretical challenge posed by this 'patriarchal equilibrium' will be best met by long-term historical perspectives that reach back well before the modern era.

A new manifesto, History matters engages forthrightly with the challenges faced by feminist historians today. It argues for the radical potential of a history that is focused on feminist issues, aware of the distant past, attentive to continuities over time, and alert to the workings of patriarchal power.