It seems that most men don’t care about women’s history. Never mind that there are still countries in which women’s rights are non-existent. Even in the United States, there are obvious slights to women, womanhood, and women’s contributions to society. Never mind that without women, humanity would cease to exist as there would be none to bear new generations of men AND women to make this world a better place – or a worse place, for that matter.
The closing of the Dallas Women’s History Museum in late 2011 is clear evidence that despite efforts that created the museum began only a decade earlier, but the momentum could not sustain itself. While the fault lies in the lack of financial support and huge overruns in operating the museum, it also points to the lack of support from men with deep pockets, men who do not consider women’s contributions to society as important as those of other men. To wit, nowadays many women’s sporting events are now televised, but television programming is still dominated by games and events wherein the teams are composed entirely of men, and women merely perk up the screen as scantily clad cheerleaders.
The majority of history courses are still being taught with the emphasis on men’s contributions to society, because that’s how it has been written and taught for centuries. Women’s history as a specific area of study has only existed for a matter of decades, pushed into being by the stirrings of the women’s liberation movement in the 1960s and 1970s.
One woman who made writing about women’s history – Texas women, in particular – her life’s work was former Dallasite Ruthe Winegarten. Earning her Master's degree in Social Work from the University of Texas, Ruthe served the Dallas Jewish community by leading the Jewish Welfare Federation of Dallas. Her involvement in Texas politics and the gubernatorial campaign of Ann Richards transplanted Ruthe to the center of Texas politics in Austin. Ruthe devoted her efforts to writing about all Texas women regardless of race, religion, or social standing. Following Ruthe’s death in 2004, the Ruthe Winegarten Memorial Foundation for Texas Women’s History was created in her memory to continue the efforts she had begun together with Ann Richards (then a Dallas housewife and mother who founded the Texas Women's History Project in 1974), by bringing women’s history to the forefront and into the educational system. And, of course, Ann Richards went on to became a part of Texas history herself by serving as Governor of Texas from 1991 to 1995.