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Clark, Penney. “‘A Nice Little Wife to Make Things Pleasant’: Portrayals of Women in Social Studies Textbooks.” McGill Journal of Education 40(2) (Spring 2005): 241-265.


This study examined 20th Century Canadian history textbooks authorized in British Columbia, for their portrayals of women. The texts do not adequately reflect feminist scholarship nor societal changes. The nation building narrative of the textbooks precludes the inclusion of women in important ways. In the interwar years, the women who appear in history textbooks are portrayed as parasitic and weak. In the 1950s to 1970s period inclusion requires royal status or fame as a writer. In the 1980s women are often depicted in larger-than-life ways and “filler feminism” is a problem. 

McGill Journal of Education