Historian, feminist, and author of The Creation of Patriarchy Gerda Lerner died Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2013, in Madison, Wisconsin. She was 92.
Most American scholars reading this post do not remember a time when women’s history was not at least a possible area of study. This is thanks in part to Lerner’s efforts, as she contributed to the creation of the first graduate program in women’s history in the USA. Before I read feminist philosophy, I read Creation of Patriarchy. Yet despite the tremendous impression that work made on me, I’m disposed to quote the passage from her more enjoyable read, Fireweed: A Political Autobiography, cited by the NYT in the obituary linked above: “My perfectionism, insistence on anti-fascist commitment in word and deed, and general ‘heaviness’ as a person set me apart from others.”
She certainly was a distinctive presence.