What does that mean? Women who openly display their power, knowledge, and skill, receiving public recognition and honor. But also females who manage to wield power in societies that try to limit it or decree female submission; where their leadership is stigmatized and their creativity disdained. And women who resist and overthrow oppressive traditions and regimes. Who break The Rules in defiance of unjust legal and religious “authorities.” Who pursue their vision in spite of the personal cost.
Women have determined the course of events and the forms of human culture. We originated, founded, governed, prophesied, created great art, fought for our rights, and for our peoples. These are the women edited out of history, their stories omitted, distorted, and replaced with an endless litany of men (and the occasional queen or meddling concubine). Our ignorance of these women is greatly compounded by the omission of information on societies which accorded females power in public life, diplomacy, religion, medicine, the arts as well as family structure and inheritance. Both racism and sexism are implicated in these silences and gaps.
So we need a remedial history that reconstructs the female dimensions of human experience and achievement, and recovers the distorted and obliterated past of Africa, the Americas, and all other regions neglected by the standard textbooks and mass media. This will be a provisional history, because all the facts are not in yet, and previous interpretations are being reevaluated for gender, race, and colonial bias. More importantly, the indigenous oral histories have only barely begun to be integrated into mainstream narratives.