She studied feminism before it was cool. Decades later, we all have her to thank for that.
"Men have been given the impression that they are much more important in the world than they actually are."
Wait. Did one of the first famous feminist professors just point out we need to be more thoughtful about ... men?
Yeah, and she had a point. A very feminist and spot-on point.
Late historian Gerda Lerner was saying badass things on gender equality long before Beyoncé danced on stage in front of big letters proclaiming she was a "feminist." (But we love you, too, Bey.)
Take, for instance, this interview she had with "Thinking Allowed." It's chock-full of great tidbits that put sexism into perspective.
One of the most important talking points she touches on is the fact men are hurt by sexism, too.
"[The omission of women's history] has fostered illusions of grandeur in every man that are unwarranted. If you can think as a man that everything great in the world and civilization was created by men, then naturally you have to look down on women. And naturally you have to have different aspirations for your sons and for your daughters. And I don't think that's good for men either."
Lerner explored many issues within the topic of gender, including when women began being treated like second-class citizens. FYI, she discovered it was an embarrassingly long time ago.
We're talking the Bronze Age.
Lerner was a pioneer when it came to empowering women.
She was a leading force in the field of women's history and an accomplished author who wrote about the patriarchy (a system where men basically hold the power and women sit on the sidelines).
To put things in perspective, women's history wasn't even a thing when she started studying it, as she explained on "Thinking Allowed" in the interview clip below.
"When I started working on women's history about 30 years ago, the field did not exist. It was not recognized. People didn't think that women had a history worth knowing."
But thanks to trailblazers like her, many more people think women deserve a seat at the table. A Vox poll published in April found 85% of Americans believe in "equality for women." (And the other 15% are wrong, but that's just my opinion).
Society owes you one, Gerda.
Check out the a clip of the interview below: