“I worshipped dead men for their strength, forgetting I was strong.”
Sign this petition to the Education Commissioner and the Board of Regents. Rather than perpetuating old biases, New York State should set an example and embrace women as active participants in the human experience.
Women appear only 10 times on the entire high school curriculum in New York State–8 times as part of a list.
We need to address this glaring inequality and we need to address it now. History courses need to take the study of women and gender seriously because of a lack of respect for women has serious consequences: wage inequality, harassment, sexual assault and mental health issues, to name a few. Girls and young women need role models for leading lives of consequence, conviction and influence. All young people need to learn about how both women and men have and do shape today’s world.
There is a problem in high school classrooms that reverberates in our national consciousness: Textbooks, teachers and curricula ignore women’s voices and contributions. We need to tell young students different stories about the past: stories that dismantle old biases rather than perpetuate them. We need to tell stories that include women, their perspectives, their priorities, their decisions, and actions both collectively and individually. Think back on your own history classes in high school. Did you talk much about women?
Let’s change that for the next generation.
“We have to be more reflective about what power is, what it is for, and how it is measured. To put it another way, if women are not perceived to be fully within the structures of power, surely it is power that we need to redefine rather than women?”
– Mary Beard, Women and Power: A Manifesto