CLIO TALKS BACK: What is Women’s History?

Here is how Clio defines "women's history":

“Women’s history encompasses the history of humankind, including men, but approaches it from a woman-centered perspective. It highlights women’s activities and ideas and asserts that their problems, issues, and accomplishments are just as central to the telling of the human story as are those of their brothers, husbands, and sons. It places the sociopolitical relations between the sexes, or gender, at the center of historical inquiry and questions female subordination. It examines the closely intertwined constructions of femininity and masculinity over time in one or more cultures, looking for evidence of continuities and changes. It also exposes and confronts the biases of earlier male-centered historiography, asking why certain subjects and choices of themes for study were favored over others and posing new questions for investigation. Women’s historians have expanded the scope of research on women and gender both temporally, from prehistory to the present, and geographically, from dealing only with the West to encompassing the globe.”

For more, see Karen Offen, “History of Women,” in vol. 2, The Oxford Encyclopedia of Women in World History, ed. Bonnie G. Smith. New York: Oxford University Press, 2008.