Balancing The Scale

Post copyright 2015 by Doris McCraw


I am going preface this post with: I love men, men in history and the contributions they have made to our world story. Having said that, this post is about balancing the scale. History has made a practice of telling the story of our lives from the male perspective, and justifiably so, but they have failed to include the story of the females who did as much if not more.

You may ask why I’ve decided to go on this journey? It has brewed for some time. I write about the women who came before. I also write about the men. There needs to be that balance.

Don Moon as Theodore Roosevelt speaking at the Stewart House on Colorado College Campus

I give you a conversation I had with my friend Don Moon, who is brilliant as President Theodore Roosevelt. We were talking about Chautauqua performances and he mentioned that women just were not as ‘popular’ as speakers, and he is right. My point is, they will never be ‘popular’ if their stories are never heard. Who remembers Jane Adams, Mary Cassat, Lucy Stone, Catherine Brewer or Gertrude Stein? In the West, how about Polly Pry, Eliza Routt, Julie Penrose? How about Virginia McClurg?

Eliza Routt

My personal favorite is Helen (Hunt) Jackson. Not only was she a writer of extraordinary talent, she made an impact on the West and the World that many have forgotten. Her writings on the beauty and people of Colorado brought many to the areas she wrote about. Her work for the Indians and their right to be recognized as human beings in the law is almost forgotten.

So to answer the above questions: Jane Adams- Social Worker in the Chicago area. Mary Cassat- Artist. Lucy Stone- First woman from Massachuettes to earn a bachelor degree. Catherine Brewer- first women in the United States to earn a bachelor degree. Polly Pry- newspaper reporter for the Denver Post. Eliza Routt- wife of Colorado’s first state govenor, and the first to register to vote when Colorado passed sufferage in 1893. Julie Penrose- wife of Spencer Penrose whose work after her husband’s death solidified the El Pomar Foundation and Broadmoor’s future. Without Virginia McClurg we might not have the history and beauty of Mesa Verde.

Julie Penrose Fountain in America the Beautiful Park, Colorado Springs, CO.
Julie Penrose Fountain in America the Beautiful Park, Colorado Springs, CO.

In this month of March, National Women’s History month, let’s balance the scale. When we honor the men in our history, and we should, let’s look further and see the women who also contributed. Look at John Adams, then deeper into the life he had with Abigail. None of us live in a vacuüm. There is always more than one side to the story. Let’s look for the whole story, both the men and the women. The good and the bad sides of each piece of history. We not only learn from the successes, but we can learn from the mistakes also.

For those interested:

So when I talk about the women doctors, know it is my way of balancing the scales. I have always wanted to know the ‘whole’ story. Until next time, happy writing and researching. I wish you the realization of your dreams.

home for his heart angela raines

also available as an ebook on Barnes & Noble and Smashwords.

Doris Gardner-McCraw/Angela Raines
Author, Speaker, Historian-specializing in
Colorado and Women’s History

Author Page:
Photo and Poem:


19 thoughts on “Balancing The Scale

  1. What a wonderfully stated point of view, Doris! You’re right about balance — in all things. I think a little more weight should be applied to the distaff side of the scales for the foreseeable future, lest too many passionate, insightful, and innovative voices be forgotten through neglect. Keep doing what you do, dear friend. Our foremothers must not disappear from history. 🙂

    Kathleen Rice Adams (blog wouldn’t let her post.)


  2. Thank you Kathleen. I’m sorry the system wouldn’t let you post your comment, but I did it for you. I simply want to make sure the stories don’t get lost. Doris


  3. Doris, I enjoyed your blog so much and I hate to admit, several of those women you mentioned, I must look into further. I love reading about our foremothers–they make me (us) so very proud and I for one feel extremely grateful to them for paving the path for us to follow. I’m very fortunate to live near Seneca Falls, NY where so much women’s history lies between the many walls, building after building. I go there periodically and just totally lose myself for hours. Several yrs. ago I stood outside listening to Hiliary Clinton speak at the 100th yr. convention of women’s rights and as I realized Susan B. Anthony, Eliz Blackwell, and Eliz Cady Stanton, and so many more had spoke to hundreds way back when exactly where Hiliary and I stood and let me tell you, it brought tears to my eyes. Yes, there are great men throughout history, but we shant ever forget the feisty, determined and dedicated women who open the doors for us who follow.


    1. Bev, How did I miss this wonderful response. You are so lucky to be able to walk such historic places. Yes, we must remember and keep alive the stories of our fore-mothers. We stand on their shoulders, let’s keep them strong. Doris


  4. Brilliant Doris! It is a sad state of affairs and It makes me wonder why? Possibly women are not forceful enough? Surely we are equal and at times more insightful than some men. Did they bully their women back then? Or did the women just take the silent back seat and tell them how to drive. Ego could come into play I think. Over the years the tide has been changing we gave the men a huge head start, but they played along the way too much and now we are right up there neck and neck, and they are shocked and bewildered, not surprising to us. In any event, thank you for pointing out an important and meaningful post. I look forward to your next one. :o)


    1. Thank you Patricia. I’ve often wondered why the ‘whole’ story failed to be told. You make some interesting comments as to why and I appreciate the input. My thought is we can only be stronger when there is balance. As I continue my research and bring as many stories to light, I hope that in some small way the scales will be balanced. Doris


  5. The saying is behind every great man is a great woman, but I think this can also be reversed. If we have a good relationship, we compliment each other. Interesting. Thanks for helping us to see the important rolls women played in shaping this country. Cher’ley


    1. You are correct, Cher’ley, relationships work best when balance wins. Each time we tell the whole story, we balance the scales and teach youth the joys and strength of balance in all things. Doris


  6. In western civilization for most of recorded history (except for modern times), women were chattel, with fathers marrying off daughters to improve their landholdings. In many places in the world even today, it’s like that for girls. Heck, nowadays a woman doing the exact same job as a man is most likely being paid less than him. I’ve worked for men and I’ve worked for women, and I’ve often thought the woman was the better boss.


    1. MIke, I thank you. Your comments solidify my feelings, that we all are imperfect but when we understand that a person should be accepted for who they are, not their sex. Doris


  7. I thought of the same saying as Cher’ley, and I believe it’s true. Thankfully, we see more of that balance today, books on history such as “Women of the West”, “Pioneer Women: Lives of Women on the Frontier”, and the diaries of emigrant women as well as more women in business, politics, nonprofits, etc. Great post, Doris, and a great reminder to stay “balanced” as much as possible!


    1. Thank you Gayle. Life and our places in it should be on what we do, not what sex we are. Balance in our lives and the stories we learn from the past, the whole story, is key to growing today. Doris


  8. Reblogged this on L.LEANDER BOOKS and commented:
    Author Doris McCraw​’s post on Writing Wranglers and Warriors is full of history and women
    who helped form our country. She includes links to read about these incredible women and how hard they worked to be heard. This is a great piece. Don’t miss it!


  9. Everyone should read this post. It is so important to the history of our country and your links are a bonus. I enjoyed reading further about these incredible women. As always, your research and sharing of this information is flawless and I wait for all your posts. Don’t they say “behind every man is a good woman?”. These women didn’t hold with that way of thinking and it was there perseverance that changed things that have made our world a better place to live.


    1. Linda, your words brought tears to my eyes. I sometimes wonder if what I’m researching and sharing is making a difference. You make me feel like I’m on the right track.
      I’m also glad you enjoyed the links. There are just so many people whose stories need to be remembered. Thank you again. Doris


  10. I know of a few local women who are the ‘go to’ people for after dinner speakers so it sounds like they are bucking the trend- but I also know some men who also do a sterling job. Your posts are wonderfully enhanced by those lovely old images of the women you write about. I look forward to seeing them because they have a history of their own as well!


    1. Thank you Nancy. It has always been my intent that we balance the scale. Not only to tell the men’s stories, but the women’s also. Both were and are important, we just need to make sure it continues. I guess I work on the women since they tend to be forgotten in the history books. Thank you for your continued support. It means a lot. Doris


  11. Well said, Doris, and very true. Your work–both in your writing and in your performances–seems very much about balancing that scale. Wonderful picture of Eliza Routt as well.


    1. Thank you very much Stephanie. Eliza was quit the person. I thank you for your kind comments. The more I study the early women, the more I want to make sure their stories do not get lost. In some ways, I believe I ‘fell’ into the balancing bandwagon, but I won’t go back. Smile. Doris


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