Why is Herstory relevant today?
Knowledge is power! To learn about Herstory, is to learn about the very inception of how women came to be viewed and treated as less worthy in Western Society - just like it created the unhealthy 'superman identity' for men.
Importantly, this long history continues to inform current cultural understandings of women in society and is why violence towards women is so accepted.
This systematic denigration of women is more than 1500 years old, and has a powerful effect on how females view themselves and their capabilities today, just as it has a huge effect on how men think about women as well as their own innate spirituality.
Because of this, an education in Herstory is a powerful journey of healing, re-connection and the emancipation of our deepest most Whole Self as a human family.
Where will Herstory take us?
It was my pursuit in attempting to understanding where our present day 'truths' regarding gender, power and spirituality, originated, that became the start of my adventure into exploring women in history. This started back in the 1990’s.
In 2014, when I published the first edition of The Hidden Camino, I realised that in tracing women's place in history I was also was tracing the history of when, where and how, we in the Western world, started to lose our deeper connection to Life. This included the lost wisdom possessed by many of our ancient cultures.
In understanding the ways we lost this connection, and why we lost it, we create a social-emotional space where we can heal and re-connect, thus, emancipating ourselves to step fully empowered into the future as Whole integrated beings.
Herstory is a term I use to describe this liberating and healing journey towards re-connection.
"History, as we are being taught, is literally HIS-story. We now need to uncover, re-write and re-tell HERstory so that we can start creating the most important record of them all, OURstory."
- Louise Sommer
What research is your work based on?
Since the early 1990's, I have passionately investigated women in history (Herstory) and religion, through the eyes of Social constructivism and Social constructionism. This means that I focus on language structure, social positions and discourse analysis. I particularly lean on the work of Dr. Vivian Burr and the traditions of Scandinavian Educational Psychology.
My work is based on a lot of extensive travelling (field work) throughout Europe; from tracing symbols and iconography - often off the beaten track, ‘snooping’ around forgotten dusty libraries researchers haven't bothered to visit, discovering overlooked local museums, old churches, ruins and looking into the folklore, history, anthropology and archaeology of these areas.
I will then compare everything I collect via my field work and compare it with the "official written history" and that's when you discover the big gaps in the stories we tell about our selves, where we come from and who we are.
Some of my research is today presented through my Tours, Book, Blog, Articles, Workshops and Public Speaking engagements.
So, why is Herstory important?
Women have been discriminated against and their representations either distorted or completely ignored by those writing and analysing history.
The construct of gender has been and continues to be constituted through powerful and largely unaccountable institutions that define the ‘truth’ of our reality.
An analysis of Roman Catholic belief structures, Historian methodologies, Archaeology and Anthropology reveal how the true history of women has been buried for at least 1500 years.
The reality we have created, by manipulating and distorting the truth, has left terrible psychological scars in our human psyche, manifested in how we view gender, masculinity, femininity, intelligence, power and spirituality. We need to open this door about how we have constituted our self image so we can begin this very important dialogue so we can improve the social structures that are holding us down. As I keep saying: "History, as we are being taught, is literally HIS-story. We now need to uncover, re-write and re-tell HERstory so that we can start creating the most important record of them all, OURstory." This journey is crucial to all of us. Not just the women.