David Starkey says history has been "feminised"
. Among other things, he posits that Henry VIII was "emotionally incontinent" because he was raised surrounded by women, that Elizabeth I's status as a female icon is "ludicrous" ("During Victorian times her conduct was regarded as "perfectly deplorable", he added." Gee, maybe because the Victorians were repressed as all getout?), that seeing historical women as "power players" is falsification, and that all this is to blame on the female historians who write about women.
Here, have a clue: almost all of Henry's reign was shaped BY THE WOMEN IN HIS LIFE. The Reformation and the break with Rome? Anne Boleyn, and later Katherine Parr. The tensions with Spain? Catherine of Aragon. The Pilgrimage of Grace? Jane Seymour. So maybe they didn't sit at diplomatic tables or sign declarations of war, but they were every bit as important as the man himself, if not more. Henry was a spoiled brat, and that wasn't
the fault of the women who raised him. Mature people suck it up and deal, and the fact that he was maturity-challenged was his
fault, and no one else's. And as for Elizabeth I, if it weren't for her, you'd be speaking Spanish right about now.
There's nothing wrong with appreciating and celebrating the female leaders of history. Doing so is a way to reclaim our own power, and that of people who have been marginalised by male historians. And as for female historians writing women, does that apply to men only writing about men? If so, I suppose I should chuck all your books about Elizabeth I and Henry's wives. Clearly you can't write the opposite gender- I mean, if you want to write about someone, you should at least have some respect for them.