To the editor,
Sunny Schubert’s Sept. 26, 2019 column, “Honor, don’t erase, women from our history,” is completely disingenuous. Filled with indignation while wielding bitter sarcasm, Schubert rails against the men who have decided to rename Squaw Bay. “‘History,’” Schubert quotes, “‘is written by the winners,’ and once again we women ... have handed the menfolk a victory.”
While one can argue whether “squaw,” a derivation of a Massachusetts tribe word for woman, is disparaging, my strong suspicion is that Schubert is actually much more offended at the fact that once again the PC culture has changed a beloved tradition.
Putting aside the fact that board member Tanya Buckingham, a woman, was the lead sponsor of the Dane County name change resolution (approved unanimously), the irony of this screed centers on the idea that “history is written by the winners.”
In her column, Schubert relates Squaw Bay was named in the 1860s by a man who ran exclusions from Madison to where Ho-Chunk women lived and worked. She also writes that the woman who inspired this naming was “long gone by then.” Did the women who still lived there have any say in this appellation? I have my doubts.
Sunny Schubert knows, as a resident of solidly liberal Monona and Dane County, that her real argument of political-correctness-gone-awry-once-again would be met with considerable antipathy. Unable to hold her tongue, Schubert concocts a phony argument about “menfolk.” Years ago, white men won the battle of possession and won the ability to forge history by naming those possessions. As we look back on a racist past, we acknowledge that certain injustices can be remedied.