Today’s Guest Blog Post is written by Alan Forbes, Producer and all round nice guy from Up Next Studios. (Side note: I did ask for Alan’s professional title, only to be informed that it was ‘Magician’.) We’ve been lucky enough to work with both Alan and his brother, Graham, over the past few years creating content for TV (The People’s History Show stories such as Scottish Sheroes, pilot Winnie Drinkwater & Olympian, Belle Moore) which brought women’s history to the forefront. Here he explains why such stories are important.
Understanding our history helps us know who we are; our past shapes our future. March is Women’s History Month, but sadly it seems that women are still under-represented in media. Researchers at King’s College London recently found that 80% of expert contributors in news were male. So, why is it important to celebrate women in history?
There are many reasons but I think there are TWO big ones:
- Great stories: Quite simply, there are hundreds of amazing stories to be told about people such as Belle Moore, Winnie Drinkwater, and Victoria Drummond; they deserve to be better known. Sadly, many female pioneers seem to have been forgotten – in history books women often seem to be invisible.
2. Role Models
As the father of two young girls I’m always looking for role models to tell them about…They love Disney cartoons: The Little Mermaid, Sleeping Beauty, Beauty and the Beast are among their favourites. But surely these tales are rather old dated and cliched – a young princess needs saved by a handsome young prince? Until recently it was hard to find good female stories in an accessible format, but thankfully there are now lots of good books about successful women such as Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls (published after a Crowdfunding campaign). Finding out about these women, who have been eroded from history, has been entertaining, engaging and informative and I think is helping teach my daughters that you don’t have to wait for a prince to rescue you. You can be anything you want: scientist, pilot, adventurist, dancer – everything and anything.
Hopefully, hearing about these many trail-blazing women will give our children a sense of confidence which will inspire them to greatness. There is still a gender imbalance in media but it is slowly getting better; with #MeToo, highlighting Gender Pay Gaps and the world-wide increase of strong female politicians paving the way to celebrate women and solidifying their place, rightly, in our history!
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