Celebrate Women’s History on the History Channel

Target: Abbe Raven, CEO of A&E Networks

Goal: Promote inclusion of more women in programming for history-based channel.

March is Women’s History Month, but viewers of the channel “where history comes alive” would hardly know it. The History Channel, now known simply as History, has been providing audiences with programming based on historical events and figures since the mid-1990s. They have given detailed insight into the origin stories of food, automobiles, toys, feats of engineering, military conflicts, spiritual movements, nations, and even conspiracy theories. Largely absent, however, is a schedule that even in some small part reflects the lives and the legacy of 50 percent or more of the world’s population.

A quick scan of this television channel schedule reveals a broad roster of shows: History’s Greatest Heists, History’s Greatest Mysteries, Pawn Stars, American Pickers, Mountain Men, and the Built America series, of which The Men That Built America features prominently throughout the month. Much of the regular programming, detailing everything from the making of cars to the making of weapons, is catered to a male audience. And the hosts and stars for these programs are overwhelmingly male as well. A Women’s History Month section can be found on the channel’s website, but it’s relegated to five-minute-or-less “digital-only” videos.

Sign the petition below to remind the parent company behind this televised tribute to history that the past does not begin nor end with one gender.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear CEO Raven,

Eleanor Roosevelt, Harriet Tubman, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the 19th Amendment, the Equal Pay Act: do any of these landmark figures or moments in history—along with so many more—deserve a long and loving tribute to their accomplishments? Or do they merely merit a two or three-minute mention, safely tucked away in the corner of a website? Is the Digital Originals section of history.com truly the History Channel’s only contribution to Women’s History Month?

The viewers have seen many showings of The Men That Built America during the month celebrating women. They have sat through numerous and multiple shows by, for, and hosted almost exclusively by men. When can we expect a Women That Built America special, or even more than the occasional rare sighting of a female on this network? The station has been accused of peddling pseudo-science and conspiracy, but it seems to have a much bigger problem on its hands. Instead of talking honestly about gender bias in history, they are instead practicing and promoting it.

Do better for viewers and for the subject this channel claims to make “come alive.”

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: National Archives and Records Administration


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