excerpt · women

An Excerpt

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


An Irish law from the year 697 forbids women to be soldiers– which means that women had been soldiers perviously. Peoples who over the centuries have recruited female soldiers include Arabs, Berbers, Kurds, Rajputs, Chinese, Filipinos, Maoris, Papuans, Australian aboriginals, Micronesians and American Indians. 

From The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest by Stieg Larsson (pgs. 3 and 197).

It’s finding these nuggets of information that makes me happy that I’m born a woman. I may not be a soldier in the literal sense, but knowing how women lived their lives before…my life is nothing compared to theirs, and yet, reading this gives me strength. 

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