Amosons queens, Boudicca
Friday, October 14th, 2011

Women Have Always Gone to War

Boucdicca Amazon Queen

Statue of Boudicca

I’m reading The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets Nest. Its the last in the series of Stieg Larsson books that started with The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. I found these books fascinating. Lisbeth Salander is a great character, and the Swedish background gives an insight into Swedish geography and customs that it would be hard to get from a non-fiction source.

But, that isn’t what this series of posts is about. Its about women in war. Larsson has used short, simple articles on this subject as introductions to various sections of the book. I think they should be shared and expanded on, because womens’ martial side isn’t talked about very often.

Again, what follows was not written by me, its a quote from The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest. I encourage everyone to buy the book.

The image of Boudicca is from a website called Brits at their best.

The video is something I came across on Youtube. It was supposed to be search-engine filler, but I’m really glad I found it. There were some ass-kickin’ mamas throughout African history and we never get to hear about them, or much else in the way of African history, because of the white filter that has been cast over the story of how the world got to be the way it is.

Enough rambling. This is post one in a series. Hope you enjoy it.

An estimated 600 women served during the American Civil War. They had signed up disguised as men. Hollywood has missed a significant chapter in cultural history here – or is this history too ideologically difficult to deal with? Historians have often struggled to deal with women who do not respect gender distinctions, and nowhere is this distinction more sharply drawn than in the question of armed combat. (Even today it can cause controversy having a woman on a typical Swedish moose hunt.)

But from antiquity to modern times, there are many stories of female warriors, of Amazons. The best known find their way into the history books as worrior queens, rulers as well as leaders. They have been forced to act as any Churchill, Stalin, or Roosevelt: Semiramis, from Nineveh, who shaped the Assyrian Empire, and Boudicca, who led one of the bloodiest English revolts against the Roman forces of occupation, to cite just two. Boudicca is honoured with a statue on the Thames at Westminster Bridge, opposite Big Ben. Be sure to say hello to her if you happen to pass by.

On the other hand, history is reticent about women who were common soldiers, who bore arms, belonged to regiments, and took part in battles on the same terms as men, though hardly a war has been waged without women soldiers in the ranks.

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Category: Women in War
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One Response

October 16, 2011

Good video. Text would be easier to read in black & white. The red was a little hard to see on my screen.