zaterdag 8 maart 2014

Sunday Stamps: Women on stamps, women's history

This time the theme of Sunday Stamps is 'Women on stamps'. 8 March is of course Women's day, and March appears to be Women's History Month.

Also Hawwa already wrote about it in her contribution, and I agree, I am surprised, too, by the fact that there are far more famous men on stamps than women.

Also books on history and books on music and art history still seem to describe a 'male-based' history instead of an 'all people' history. As if women contributed almost nothing to history, art and music, compared to men!..

Sadly during the ages women have had less opportunities to compose and write than men, partly because they were supposed to raise children and manage the household. Or work on the land, as was the fate of male workers, too, of course.

And whenever women succeeded to compose music or create art, they were overshadowed by men. Their compositions sometimes were published under the name of a man (for instance Felix Mendelssohn has some compositions under his own name, which had been composed by his sister Fanny Mendelssohn!).
And why, for example, is Camille Claudel so much more unknown as a sculptor than Auguste Rodin?
Let 'herstory' become clear!

Fortunately last year a thick book was issued, unique in the Netherlands, describing 1001 women who had been important to Dutch history (see also this lexicon).

Also this stamp sheet was issued:

It shows six women (four of them doubled), which of course is nice.
By the way, one of these women Belle van Zuylen, has been on a stamp in 1978 (that is, her handwriting has). See it on this blog, it's the stamp showing a letter. Striking is the fact that the primary design of this stamp was deleted. It says 'I have no talent to be subservient' (see the black-and-white stamp, in Dutch: 'Ik heb geen talent voor onderdanigheid'). But - even though it was true, also for e.g. Annie M.G. Schmidt and many more women who didn't want to bear the oppressive obligations which women had to face those days - it was considered too critical for a stamp.

So I really am happy that this stamp sheet was issued. However, still there are many people missing on Dutch stamps. For instance Aletta Jacobs, who was the first woman who studied medicine at a Dutch university.
By her profession she helped a lot of women in need. And besides that she fought for women's right to vote. This finally became possible in the Netherlands in 1922. And while there are few stamps issued for this women's right to vote, also the writer of 'Postzegelblog' (stamp blog) is wondering why Aletta Jacobs never has been shown herself on a Dutch stamp so far.

11 opmerkingen:

  1. I have received some of these stamps from you :D
    I have a lot of ideas about women who deserve to appear on stamps. Also about men, of course. But I can't understand why on 21st Century women continue to be so under-represented... That makes me angry. But I tried to write a humorous post instead of an angry one; I hope I succeeded.

  2. Thank you for your comment! And for your post on Mailadventures. I totally agree, it is a bad/sad thing that women are under-represented in stamps, especially women in active roles (I mean, not in passive roles as muses or painter's models, in honour of beauty and/or men).

  3. I suppose some time in the future there will be a GB stamp showing Margaret Thatcher but it's too soon yet, In 2013 The Great Britons set had 3 women among the 10 stamps (Vivien Leigh, Elizabeth David, Mary Leakey) otherwise there was only the Royal Portraits set with pictures of the Queen.
    The Netherlands seems more enlightened.

  4. I have no talent to be subservient is a good motto for life. Nice to have a whole stamp set for women.

  5. I found the same, that there aren't nearly so many women featured on stamps. We have had a few authors as well as the ones Bob mentioned, especially Jane Austen and Charlotte Brontë. The Dutch stamps are superb.

  6. Lucky you to have these stamps. You are so right about the scarcity of women on stamps and also about women being overshadowed by their husbands. Fortunately the lady on my stamp managed to be successful in her own right, but I bet she had a fight to do so.

  7. The women in history stamp set is very nice, I wonder why they didn't just find 4 more women in history rather than repeating some of them?

  8. 1922 to vote... close tot he time in the USA to vote, it hasn't been 100 years yet. Note my stamp was issued for Black heritage too. More women on stamps!
    Thank you for participating!