In history, we don’t say “I love you,” we say “Hey, remember that awful thing that happened to one of your favorite historical figures,” which translates to “I am going to enjoy your pain until you remind me of something equally painful that happened to one of my favorite historical figures and then we can cry together,” and I think that’s beautiful.
I love it when anti-choicers act like back alley abortions weren’t a big deal. Yes, they are correct that most abortions performed before abortion was legal were done by doctors. But not because the doctors were doing some secret, under-the-table type shit, it was because the pregnant people would use coat hangers, knitting needles, and other long implements to puncture their uterus and cause bleeding then the doctor would be forced to preform an abortion. Some pregnant people would douche with bleach or coke-a-cola to force a miscarriage. Some would take ice-water baths, exercise profusely or eat fruit or plants that cause miscarriage. In the end, some weren’t trying to abort the pregnancy, they just needed a reason for the doctor to do it. And for those who did try to self-abort, you should really look up Untold Stories: When Abortion was Illegal and Geri Santoro’s story. I spoke to a friend if my aunt’s who was a nurse in the ER back in the days before abortion was legal. She’d see six to seven people come in per night with heavy bleeding or a perforated uterus. Some even had to go through hysterectomies. She said the night abortion was legalized it all ‘just stopped’, but now it’s happening again. Teens are asking their partners to beat their stomach to force a miscarriage, we have people ordering pills offline because of the strict laws we have in place, people are taking rat poison to abort their unwanted pregnancy and instead of realizing stricter laws won’t stop abortions, just make them far more dangerous, they instead make it so if you miscarry police have to investigate it. What the fuck? Have we really come that far? Is that what the anti-choicers want?
I will note that the drastic (and in many cases the ‘oh god why’) methods of abortion are because the systems of knowledge that were passed between women about safer ways (fruits and plants that cause miscarriage isn’t actually a horrific idea so long as you’re eating the rights ones- people have been doing it for literally thousands of years) deteriorated because male-dominated medical practices deliberately interfered in them.
I’m not saying abortions that are supervised by medical professionals are not necessary or that we shouldn’t fight tooth and nail to have that option. But at the same time, we have to consider that abortions were before performed for thousands of years without doctor intervention. (and trust me, the early years of doctor intervention were a MAJOR setback in the world of reproductive health.) If we had more people with more information about abortificants and safe methods outside of the medical community, those drastic methods wouldn’t have to take place.
Today’s term/concept is: HISTORIOGRAPHY
So, what does this word mean in the context of historical research?
Historiography usually refers to all the work on a given historical topic and the study of how historians have dealt with historical subject matters.
According to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy “In its most general sense, the term refers to the study of historians’ methods and practices. Moreover, “historiography becomes itself historical when we recognize that these frameworks of assumptions about historical knowledge and reasoning change over time. On this assumption, the history of historical thinking and writing is itself an interesting subject. How did historians of various periods in human history conduct their study and presentation of history?" (Source)
Trent University defines historiography as “a summary of the historical writings on a particular topic … It identifies the major thinkers and arguments, and establishes connections between them. If there have been major changes in the way a particular topic has been approached over time, the historiography identifies them.” (Source)
So, to put it plainly, historiography can be understood as the the body of historical writing on a topic and the history of how historians have approached a particular topic over time.
⇒ For example, if you encounter in your readings: “The Historiography on the Haitian Revolution is very large” It usually means → ”Lots of stuff have been written about the Haitian Revolution.”
Historiography of course, does not only refer to the grouping of works on a topic, as we have seen already, it also focuses on the changes in historical methodology.
So, historiography evolves over time? Why?
Historians can rarely escape their own time. This is not to say that the historical discipline is entirely subjective, rather, this is to suggest that historians do not write in vacuums. Historiographical essays are thus important because they help us see how the methodology in studying a particular topic has changed over time.
⇒ For example, in the 1960s, most (but not all) historians favoured an approach that gave a significant importance to economy and were often interested in making Marxist and class-based analysis of History. This is not necessarily true today when many historians prefer an analysis which gives more space to culture (hence, you will often hear references to a "cultural" or "linguistic turn" in History).
Now, this change in the way historians understand events rarely means they debate over the occurrence of those events (although, it does happen), — what it actually means is that historians find that some approches highlight factors that better explain historical events than others. Historians’ major task is not simply to narrate events, their work also involves looking at the relationship between various instances (that is, their causal relationship) in explaining historical events. (To make this text more digestible, I will save you a discussion on the problems historians face with narration and causality, just remember that the two have an influence on historiography.)
So, as just mentioned, historiography helps us see how historical writing changes, in part, because historians often take different approches with time.
⇒ For example, for a long time, the dominent historiography on the causes of World War I suggested that the Great War was fought between European powers for colonies (i.e. the surproduction of goods forced European capitalist to pressure their own government to support their adventures in foreign lands in search of the new markets). Other historians, who do not necessarily completely reject the previous explanation, argue however that nationalism is better in articulating the drive to go to war. Historiography also suggest that we should not neglect the importance of European alliance system before WWI (i.e. the “domino effect”). More importantly, most (but not all) historians who favoured the colonies and market explanation tended to be further towards the left (Marxist, Leninist and so on) in their analysis. (Notice “tended’ is in italics.)
At any rate, historiography is a complex term but it is necessary to understand it in order to comprehend some of the work historians do (and to grasp the real nature of most of their disputes).
To recapitulate, in most instances, historiography is:
- The body of work on a particular historical topic (i.e. : the historiography on the Haitian Revolution, the 20th century historiography on the French Revolution, the historiography on Thomas Jefferson…)
- The “history of history” (the study how historians have dealt with particular topics, with a special importance given to the context in which their work was written. This usually emplies analyzing the approach(es) historians have favoured to write about History (i.e.: was this historian sensible to the Marxist turn in History, the Postmodern turn in History, the Cultural turn in History, the Subaltern and Postcolonial turn in History …?))
Warning: Before using a term, always make sure you are confortable with its meaning and that it won’t be placed in your text simply as an ornement. If unsure, consult an appropriate dictionary or a Professor.
So, if the Founders could bend the elements a la ATLAB, which would they bend? Based on historical research, I’m thinking:
Thomas Jefferson: Waterbender
John Adams: Earthbender
Alexander Hamilton: Firebender
James Madison: Airbender
George Washington: Avatar
Benjamin Franklin: Boomerang guy
Why hasn’t someone drawn this yet? Its an epic idea.
Although, personally, I’d say Washington is more the boomerang guy (what was his talent again?) and Franklin the Avatar (that guy could do anything), but you know. XD Also, crappy Muro drawing is crappy…
"The women in my family were hardworking matriarchs. But the stories I saw on TV and movies and even in many books said they were anomalies."
I believe this article won a Hugo. It is a very long read. But worth your time if you have it.
This article did win a Hugo, and the author, Kameron Hurley, has written some incredibly excellent books which everyone following me should definitely read.
this is a fascinating pseudo-introduction to feminist history, too
(This is not as ridiculous as it sounds, promise.)
(Also, here be minor Winter Soldier spoilers.)
So, in Winter Soldier, both Fury and Pierce cast themselves as “realists.” To Fury and Pierce, this means that diplomacy is a nice, rosy thought, but it is force that minimizes threats and keeps countries safe.
This is a dangerous assertion to put forth, because realism is not force, or at least not always. That force is an option—but not the only option—is the entire point of realism. One of the biggest realists in history, Otto von Bismarck, was an infamous proponent of force; it was indeed “iron and blood” that unified Germany, not a roundtable discussion over tea. But after unification, it was an intricate network of alliances and counteralliances—not force—that held Germany and the rest of Europe together.
Hawkishness is the advocating of force. Neoconservatism, especially, is the advocating of preemptive force (taken to its extreme in Winter Soldier with HYDRA’s targeting system). Realism is not the advocating of force. Realism is leaving all options on the table.
But this casting of realism as bad, if not evil, is not at all surprising. The U.S. national security establishment has been doing it since World War I, when Woodrow Wilson took the deeply rooted U.S. idea of exceptionalism to its logical conclusion. The U.S. (so propagandized Wilson), already a beacon of good, had a moral obligation to also be a bringer of good. This is simply an Americanized version of the international relations theory of idealism—all countries want the same things, so ceterus paribus, all countries will act the same way. But all isn’t equal in the real world, so countries will certainly welcome freedom and democracy (never mind the incredibly Western, white, heteronormative way that those terms are defined), right?
The enemy of that idea is pragmatism, which reminds us that the only interest that all countries share is security—and there will be plenty of conflicts of interest and moral shortcuts in the pursuit thereof. This, the crux of realism, tells us that we can’t apply a panacea to every country or every threat. It tells us that, while we naturally think that our way is the best way, other countries will not, and short of obliterating everyone else in the world (see: All My Friends Are Dead), compromises will have to be reached. Deals will have to be struck. And, if you’re really committed to having your way in a world of so many conflicting interests, you’re going to need to use every trick in the book.
In short, assuming that everyone wants what you want—in this scenario, electoral democracy and freedom fries—is naive at best and deadly at worst. So how do we paint the other side, the pragmatist-realist side? By coloring everything in shades of war. By making it seem like obliteration is the only alternative to messianism.
Behold, I give you U.S. foreign policy discourse over the past 100 years.
But, aside from my brief example above, what does Bismarck have to do with any of this? Well, where does realism come from?
In the U.S., we (we being academics/nerds) often use Teddy Roosevelt and Richard Nixon as examples of realists. The Nixon example necessarily includes Henry Kissinger, who, as Secretary of State, was the real architect of Nixon’s realist foreign policy. People like to use Kissinger, who fits the “idealism good, realism bad” narrative quite well: Kissinger is German. If he propagates ideas that the U.S. doesn’t like, it’s at least partially because he’s not “one of us.” Exceptionalism makes people jealous, y’know? (Gag.)
Who else is German? Why, Hans Morgenthau, the academic father of realism. Who else? Why, Otto von Bismarck, a realist if there ever was one.
Realism is such a German idea, and it makes a lot of sense why: when you’re a new country stuck in the middle of a continent where everyone either hates or fears you, you’ve got to use every tool that you have just to stay alive.
The U.S., one of the most naturally secure countries in the world, founded not by politicians out of economic interests but (ostensibly) by ordinary people fighting for freedom, has no need for this type of reasoning.
Hence why the U.S. doesn’t understand realism and perhaps never will. Perpetrating the narrative of “realism=evil” in mass-budget films certainly doesn’t help.
Here endeth the lesson.
I’m not even going to dignify this stupidity with a link.
Maybe he was compensating for something 🍆
John Hancock: Go big or go home.
are you kidding me, this is an amazing article. for example it has all the signatures on declaration of independence listed according to the size
and it shows what it would look like if everyone’s signature was as big as hancock’s