Socks for the Boys!

My Great Aunt Norah's wartime diaries, 1938-1948

Women’s history and the bank note fiasco

A little break from Norah’s diaries just to put my two penn’orth in on this bank note fiasco and the wider issue of women’s history. The background, briefly, is that the Bank of England is proposing to remove Elizabeth Fry, the only woman on its notes, and to replace her with Winston Churchill. See http://thewomensroom.org.uk/

I couldn’t help but notice, when in Sweden last week, that women feature on at least two of the bank notes there. Jenny Lind, the C19th opera singer, is on the 50 krona note, and Selma Lagerlof, author and Nobel Prize winner, on the 20.

I know I can be accused of romanticising Scandinavia. But I couldn’t hep but wonder whether having women on bank notes is part of a bigger package. For example, walking around Linkoping, I saw countless men caring for their children. I travelled on one bus; it was driven by a woman.  I saw boys and girls playing football together and (a subject close to the heart of my youngest daughter) the boys were passing the ball to the girls. And then, at Arlanda airport, I saw this: a picture of Karen Blixen on tail of Norwegian Airlines planes. And do you know what? She’s not even Norwegian.

Karen Blixen, Norwegian Airlines

So Bank of England, get your act together. The list is endless. Off the top of my head: Mary Wollstonecraft, Jane Austen, Maria Edgeworth, Charlotte Bronte, Elizabeth Gaskell, George Eliot, Sarah Bernhardt, Florence Nightingale, Josephine Butler, Octavia Hill, Sylvia Pankhurst. And that’s before we get to 1914.

About these ads

2 comments on “Women’s history and the bank note fiasco

  1. janerobinsonauthor
    June 4, 2013

    I sometimes wonder if we’re enlightened at all…

    • Alison
      June 7, 2013

      I know, it is shocking and dispiriting that their understanding of ‘value’ in history is so exclusive. But it is a battle worth fighting…

Please leave comment here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Information

This entry was posted on June 3, 2013 by in public history and tagged , .
Historians are Past Caring

Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it

The Social Historian

Adventures in the world of social, economic, and local history

proletics

prole (colloquial, freq. derogatory) = proletarian

That's How The Light Gets In

Books, exhibitions, films, music, places - anything that inspires. Here so I don't forget.

Lucinda Matthews-Jones

Historian, Victorianist & Lecturer

Conviction

stories from a nineteenth-century prison

Joanne Bailey Muses on History

Talking through my research

Reading 1900-1950

The special collection of popular fiction at Sheffield Hallam University

Northern Radical History Network

"To honour the memory of the anonymous" - Walter Benjamin

Joe Moran's blog

My Great Aunt Norah's wartime diaries, 1938-1948

the many-headed monster

the history of 'the unruly sort of clowns' and other early modern peculiarities

Working Class Movement Library

A blog from the Working Class Movement Library in Salford

Blogging For Historians

My Great Aunt Norah's wartime diaries, 1938-1948

Home Front Girl

A Diary of Love, Literature, and Growing Up in Wartime America

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 660 other followers

%d bloggers like this: