The Secret History of Weeds: What Women Need To Know About Their History

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Overview

"Girls begin to talk and to stand on their feet sooner than boys because weeds always grow up more quickly than good crops."

Martin Luther's opinion in 1533 continues to plague women today as an unconscious message that the female is inferior. This book overrides that message with evidence to the contrary.

Julia Hughes Jones, a pioneering woman politician, reveals through carefully selected stories the leadership challenges women have faced in history as child bearers, hearth ...

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Overview

"Girls begin to talk and to stand on their feet sooner than boys because weeds always grow up more quickly than good crops."

Martin Luther's opinion in 1533 continues to plague women today as an unconscious message that the female is inferior. This book overrides that message with evidence to the contrary.

Julia Hughes Jones, a pioneering woman politician, reveals through carefully selected stories the leadership challenges women have faced in history as child bearers, hearth keepers, and as support structures for the deeds and misdeeds of men in their lives.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781601458032
  • Publisher: Booklocker.com, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 5/5/2009
  • Pages: 204
  • Sales rank: 1,195,423
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.47 (d)

Read an Excerpt

Why The Feminine Is Sacred

Oprah Winfrey is the poster child for the sacred feminine. She is not only one of the world's most admired and respected women but is the perfect example of the way both sides of the brain are capable of working together in a balance between the rational and the emotional, the logical and the creative. That ability is the essence of the sacred feminine.
Winfrey personifies female capabilities through her ability to communicate, inspire and lead from experience, knowledge and love. In a confrontation that will never be forgotten, Oprah once took her famous television show to a town in West Virginia seized by fear of AIDS. The lone man who suffered from AIDS was a social outcast living amidst a God-fearing town gripped by hostility and terror. Getting right to the point, Oprah asked the forbidden1 question in the American religious culture: "Where's all that Christian love and understanding?"
Oprah Winfrey's life is symbolic of a capacity to adapt and to rise above an environment of race, gender and class distinctions. An astute business sense and a passion for helping people have contributed to her business and career success but there is more to it than that. The feminine traits of verbal agility and the ability to make connections with other people underscore her accomplishments. Her greatest contribution to womanhood may be the way she has shattered the glass ceiling of achievement. The shards from that glass ceiling can be found littering the cultural landscape as permanent reminders that a woman is able, competent, qualified and, above all, valued as a woman with the innate feminine gifts of compassion and understanding. Throughout historywomen have thrived as second-class citizens in a male-dominated world because they do exactly what dandelions do---they adapt to their environment. Louann Brizendine, author of The Female Brain, says there is a biological reason why women have been able to adapt to a man's world because "women's brains are wired to be good at changing." There is no unisex brain, according to Brizendine, and by standardizing a male norm the female brain's "powerful sex-specific strengths and talents" have been undervalued. Minimizing female intelligence is simply a control technique promoting the idea of "guardianship" for those perceived as unable to take care of themselves. In the 19th century, scientists actually believed the larger male brain meant women had less mental capacity. There are proven scientific differences in the brains of the two sexes, yet those
variations do not mean one is better than the other. We know now that girls are more mature at birth and develop one to two years faster than boys, as Martin Luther recognized when he called girls "weeds." Considering that the fetal brain is female until eight weeks, according to modern science, and represents "nature's default gender setting," it would be strange indeed if nature intended the female brain to be weaker than the male.
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Table of Contents

The Preface acknowledges the raison d'ĂȘtre of the book.

The Introduction shows how the past is linked to the present through connections between the religious, historical and political standards by which women have been categorized.

Chapter 1: Almost, But Not Quite offers a brief historical review of how the reservoir of human experience has fostered the dependency of women on male guidance.

Chapter 2: A Greater Voice illustrates the subtle psychological messages women inherit from the past and continue to receive in the present and how those messages are changing because of women's influence.

Chapter 3: Breaking the Stained Glass Ceiling discloses a pattern of minimizing the role of women by connecting the treatment of Mary Magdalene as a penitent whore in history, the work of revisionist scholars in revealing a more prominent role of women in the early church, and the origins of the no-skirts-in-the-pulpit principle.

Chapter 4: Prisoners of Gender looks at the ways women over centuries and throughout the world have been controlled and managed through religious and secular laws of restriction that are monitored by groups such as the religious police in the Middle East.

Chapter 5: The Legacy examines the historical characterizations of two individual women leaders who are representative examples of the road most traveled by females, the whore versus Madonna path.

Chapter 6: Challenging The Seal of Social Approval traces the mental programming of both genders about the validity, usefulness, and value of the female role in society.

Chapter 7: Opening Doors looks at structurally oppressed women who did the unheard of andchallenged the unknown.

Chapter 8: Right Stuff, Wrong Sex examines the fundamental discrimination women faced in being accepted as aquanauts and astronauts by both the establishment and the public.

Chapter 9: Keep 'Em Barefoot and Pregnant clarifies the secret history of women in a culture that has limited the public role to males and the private role to females, a past that is unacknowledged yet significantly influential.

Chapter 10: Heroines of the Hour delves into women's potential roles today as captives or free agents, leaders or followers.

Chapter 11: Why the Feminine is Sacred further defines the term sacred feminine, explains how women have thrived and creatively dignified their lives by adapting to a male world, and summarizes the major points in The Secret History of "Weeds."
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 5 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 20, 2009

    "You haven't come such a long way, baby!"

    A timely reminder that even in the 21st century, Western women still have not achieved true equality with men. Jones does a great job of educating us on the origins of the insidious and persistent bias towards women, even in this supposedly enlightened society. Her analysis is entertaining and credible. As a former woman politician. she knows how to work around prejudice without ignoring it. Buy this book for yourself--and your daughters!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 12, 2009

    Women and Men will not be able to put this book down!

    Women have been held back for centuries by certain beliefs about their emotions and behavior. One of the recurring themes the author disputes is the one that says women crumble in a crisis, fight with each other, complain of boredom and instigate sexual encounters when allowed to participate in exploration. It was shocking to read about the way the early women astronauts in training were dismissed because our culture said women did not do such things! Then they suddenly were considered for long space flights because male astronauts needed "110 pounds of entertainment payload!" What a book this is and I highly recommend it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 8, 2009

    A Long Awaited Book at Last Available to Culture that Traditionally Undervalues Women's Roles

    Ms Jone's wonderful and timely book, The Secret History of Weeds, What Women Need to Know About Their History, is inspiring and will surely find a welcoming audience among women, not exclusively those who dare enter the political arena in our present age, but all those who dare examine their role as human beings in a gender conscious (or perhaps obsessed) world. Ms Jones has the gift of phrasing concepts in such an orderly and unmistakable way that they are irrefutably clear to the reader. This book brings much overlooked and misunderstood knowledge about the experience of gender to the modern woman of course, but also to men as well, to the ultimate benefit of both.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 13, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Empowering Women is the Answer!

    This book explains how females came to be considered inferior to males in history, a problem that continues to plague women in the third millennium. Martin Luther bestowed the "weed" status on females in 1533 and women are continuing to fight that label. No matter how you look at it, women who achieve at the top of the professional ladders in life are still viewed as "too emotional" and, even worse, not as competent in leadership as males. This work disputes those cultural beliefs with stories about women who overcame the secondary status awarded to them by our society. The road to achievement is paved with the shards of glass ceilings and stained glass windows, however, and will continue to be until the majority of the world's population becomes equal to the minority males. Jack Holland's book on misogyny, an indepth study of the mistreatment of women, is a perfect companion to the survey of recent discoveries about women's accomplishments in the "Weeds" book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 10, 2010

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