By Allison Stevens
Thursday, December 22, 2011
Vaulted ceilings are all around Washington, well-stocked with information about our forefathers. What about our foremothers? Allison Stevens gives a shout out for Meryl Streep and bricks and mortar for the National Women's History Museum.
WASHINGTON (WOMENSENEWS)--From our home here on Capitol Hill, near the U.S. Capitol building and the National Mall, my family and I hit the museums often.
We can take our pick of subjects to survey, from archeology to zoology, with Asian art, the postal service, space travel, spies and crime--to name but a few--in between. History was written by men, so the focus in these museums is on our forefathers, especially in the Capitol building, peopled as it is with images of the landed (male) gentry.
But there's no building here with vaulted ceilings and high-tech gadgetry to tell the story of our foremothers, the billions of women who carried, delivered and nurtured humanity--and accomplished lots of other things (like leading Egypt, discovering radium and inventing disposable diapers) along the way.
There is a nearby house and museum dedicated to the suffrage movement. And at the National Museum of American History I can learn all about the intimate design details of our first ladies' dresses, as well as see the sparkle of Judy Garland's ruby red slippers and walk through a representation of Julia Child's kitchen at this Smithsonian Institution.
But the only exhibit about mothers I've ever toured has been on my computer. This virtual exhibit features stories about contemporary moms and includes a short video about some modern-day accomplishments.
The exhibit is supported by the National Women's History Museum, a museum that (unfortunately and incredibly) still exists only online.
Meryl Streep is trying to change that.
By Melinda Rice
By Allison Stevens
Washington Bureau Chief
By Darryl McGrath