Influence

Big comic today.  You were warned.  Click through to see the whole thing.

162Influence

Now, some might say: “But those women only affected history by their influence on men.”  To which: Well, duh!  Influencing other people is kind of the definition of affecting history, and men are half the people around to be influenced.

And some might say: “But a lot of those women only got into positions of power because they were the mothers, sisters, wives, or daughters of powerful men.”  To which, again: Well, duh!  In societies in which power flows through family lines, no one gets to hold a position of power without a family connection.  Elizabeth I may only have become queen of England because she was the daughter of Henry VIII, but Henry only got to be king because he was the son of Henry VII.  That doesn’t make either of them less important in English history.

And some might say: “That’s only a couple of dozen.  That’s not all that many after all.”  To which: This is just a representative sample.  This is the list I came up with off the top of my head, with no research, at one sitting, at three in the morning when I was suffering from insomnia.  Just imagine how big this comic would be if I had spent a couple of hours in a library.  Do you really want to read that comic?  I didn’t think so.

And, finally, to give Mr. Asimov some credit, he was only eighteen when he wrote that letter.  We all said and did things at eighteen that we regret later, and most of them aren’t memorialized in letters to the editor.  I hope he grew up and saw the error of his ways.

Still, it’s a good lesson to keep in mind: being incredibly smart about some things doesn’t mean you can’t be dead wrong about something else.

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