The Great Man is one of the biggest myths we have. I read a novel called The Great Man about a successful artist in which the greatness of the Great Man became more ironic the closer one looked at his life.
The Great Man is often propped up by a community of people all laboring to create the image of this Great One. It’s like a cluster of people working the wheels and dials and switches for the Great and Powerful Wizard of Oz image machine.
The Great Man seems very much connected to the Default Man.That is, the prototypical human has defaulted to straight white man, this particular group of people can be known as Default Men. And the rest of us are meant to scurry around and prop the Default Men up to make them great.
Meanwhile, there’s no Great Woman Theory. No team of people hurry to get behind a remarkable woman, to bolster her to greatness.
A great man’s memory may outlive his life. But the likelihood of a great woman’s memory outliving hers is quite a bit less likely.