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  • Writer's pictureMariaelena Comaroto

Doing Good For Women?

My sample size is small, and therefore homogeneous enough to say this is not the type of science that great discoveries are made from. Fair. But to not mention my great bewilderment in this case would be a crime, I think.

The passing of Queen Elizabeth II has struck a heavy chord in my curiosity, and when curiosity strikes me, I never know where it will lead, for it takes on a life of its own. Now I find myself in the throes of England’s History dating back to King Henry VIII.

I happen to know my oldest daughter is a history fan, and period piece fan, like myself. I also happen to know how much she appreciates learning, and especially learning about things that are maybe not so obvious, but are still factual.

I wasn’t even close to coming down from my high from reading all kinds of cool about Queen Elizabeth I when she (my daughter) walked into the room. We also like trivia, so I asked her if she knew who Anne Boleyn was. Of course she knew. She knew the most famous association was her beheading. Then she recited the acronym and corresponding names of all of King Henry VIIIs wives and how they died.

I listened for only one more moment before I erupted in excitement to share how fantastic it was for me to learn that Anne Boleyn was Queen Elizabeth I’s MOTHER. And I had just spent hours learning about how courageous and brave Queen Elizabeth I was for her time. She had so many accomplishments under her 45 year reign as Queen. There is so much known about her.

And yet, my research indicates that there really are no living documents or evidence of proof of who Anne Boleyn really was. What she thought, what she stood for. In fact, nearly every association with Anne Boleyn is about her marriage to the King, and the implications of women at that time being held wrongly accountable for the gender of the children they gave birth to.

Even King Henry VIII is given very exclusive props for his bold actions against Rome that arguably gave way to the Reformation. I can’t help but wonder how much of the way we learn history and carry it forward could be responsible for women chasing their tails in modern day societies?

What would be different if my kids came home from school exclaiming how cool it is that Anne Boleyn, a woman so discussed over the ages, but so concealed, was the MOTHER of Queen Elizabeth I? And if then they could spew out some incredibly factual tales of what she did during her 45 year reign as Queen. And how she was the end of the Tudor dynasty?

We know a lot about genetics today. At least a lot more than yesteryear. With or without evidence of who Anne Boleyn was, we can certainly make some educated guesses as to her character and disposition, since we know so much about her offspring.

This is all to say, I support women who support women. I support men who support women. I support people who support people. Etc. But I wonder how much can really change if we can’t see all the places where we’re still stuck?

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