Hey, guys. This is the post that I promised to make about history, partly as a considered response to this, but as a note of warning: I am not a professional. I am a master’s student of the history of literature, film, and culture, that is true, but I am a long, long way from from being an academic. This is a personal essay; an essay about why I love history, because history shouldn’t be oppressive, even though it often has been. This post explicitly talks about almost all forms of historical oppression, so if that is something that triggers you, please don’t read this. Please let me know, too, if I have said something problematic, I am more than willing to admit that I, too, always have room to learn. (Lots of it, as it happens.) I am considering making a post as a sequel to this about people who do not like facing the realities of history, especially when represented in media, but, well. We’ll see. On with the show.
From beneath the cut:
History, above all else, can give you this: you are not alone. You are not the first person who is intersex. You are not the first queer person to experience domestic violence from a partner. You are not the first woman to dream of being free. You are not the first woman of colour to question the inequality that makes up everything you do.
So I started straight up crying when I hit that quote. I remember very clearly writing an essay about Sojourner Truth and how awesome she was in elementary school, and I remember being in high school, reading The Importance of Being Earnest and learning about Oscar Wilde. There is such power in this feeling of connection, such delight in realizing you aren’t the first person who has had to deal with what you are dealing with, or who as felt the way you feel.
The most formidable thing about history is it’s ability to end isolation, now, in the time of the internet, more than ever. History isn’t written just by the victors anymore, and thank god for that.