The question of difference - between women and men and among women - is at the heart of feminist theory and the history of feminism. Feminists have long debated the meanings of sexual difference: is it an underlying truth of nature or the result of changing social belief? Are women the same as or different from men? Feminism and History argues that sexual difference, indeed that all forms of social differentiation, cannot be understood apart from history. It brings together the best critical articles available to analyse the ways in which differences among women and men have been produced. The articles range across many countries and time periods (from the Middle Ages to the present) and they include analyses of western and non-western experiences. There are discussions of race in the United States and in colonial contexts. A variety of theoretical approaches to the question of difference is included; but in all cases, difference is the focus of the historian's analysis. The analytic focus on difference distinguishes this book from other collections of women's history.
It will be fascinating and essential reading for students and teachers of history, women's studies, gender studies, cultural studies, queer theory, and feminist theory.