The Pre-feminist Situation
I came across an interesting piece of information. According to the NZ Doctor magazine only two NZ GPs have had memorials built in their honour. One of them was Margaret Cruickshank, the first woman GP to be registered in New Zealand. She died in the 1918 influenza epidemic, and a marble statue was erected in her honour in 1923. A photo of the unveiling of the statue shows the many men as well as women celebrating this woman’s achievement and service; see it at http://www.nzhistory.net.nz/media/photo/margaret-cruickshank-memorial.
My point in drawing attention to this is to remind people that vitriolic feminist portrayals of pre-feminist society are often dishonest in suggesting that those few men who didn’t directly exploit and abuse women still denied women’s capabilities and aimed to keep women in their traditional roles without power or status. In fact, many men respected women’s contributions both mundane and extraordinary. The vast majority of men simply wanted the best for their wives and families. It’s well past time this was acknowledged.