I'm sorry for posting so much, people. I often resolve to stop inundating people with posts so often but there are so many things going on everywhere that are worth commenting on that I just can't help myself. This is a story that was brought to my attention by reader Patrick whose controversial comments we all appreciate. Thanks, Patrick!
The baseball lovers among us must have surely heard about Harold Seymour's seminal studies of this sport. I know nothing about baseball but even I have heard his name and know of his importance to the writing of baseball's history. Now it turns out that much of the research for all of the books and most of the writing for the last one had been done my Seymour's wife Dorothy, his life partner of 30 years whom he refused to acknowledge as a co-author.
Dorothy contributed a lot to Harold's career from the moment they married. She was helpful in helping him get through the writing of his doctoral dissertation:
As a good '50s wife, she typed the 632-page dissertation in which Seymour traced baseball from a childhood pursuit of boys into a full-fledged business and American cultural centerpiece. Cornell University awarded him his doctorate in 1956, and the dissertation helped launch sports history as a legitimate scholarly pursuit. It grew into his first baseball history book, published in 1960.Dr. Seymour's wife knows now that she probably contributed more to that dissertation than the academic world would consider appropriate. In the preface, Seymour acknowledged "the help of numerous individuals and organizations."He did not mention Dorothy.Everybody knows that being the partner of a person in the throes of writing a doctoral dissertation is very hard. Those of who who suffered through the process of researching, writing, revising and going nuts over the dissertation know how much we owe to those people who were by our side and put up with us in the process. Seymour, however, felt nothing similar. A wife for him was not as person. She was a convenient object who was supposed to produce and shut up.
The most frequent argument male chauvinists use to disparage women is that the entirety of human civilization was created by men while women just sat there twiddling their thumbs and sometimes managing to look pretty which only served to distract men from their all-important endeavors. I wonder how many of the great works of literature and scientific advances owe their existence to the silenced wives who toiled in the background and whose input was never recognized.