America Plays Catch-Up
Pentagon: Women in Combat Role
Women in war history, individuals, eras. Many cultures, including ours, voice histories of women as fighters. Women in war is not a new idea, although our military has only at last removed barriers to full combat deployment. Women in war is only a reinstatement, a recognition of capability and proper role.
Refresh recollections of the histories of women at war.
1. American History, Amazon stories (vet roots), in early Islam, and pre-Islamic Arab areas, European history and women as knights, and our western folktales. The chemistry of war: examine testosterone, behavioral cues like "cry havoc" and what that meant in unleashing the dogs of war. See Part I of the topic at Women in War. Of current interest is the rot on the screen now about Hansel and Gretel. Who got caught? Hansel. Who pushed the witch into the hot oven and shut the door? Wee Gretel. Put the real Hansel and Gretel in 3-D and start a discussion of roles, traditions, reasons.
2. Stalingrad in World War II, it was women and girls at the front line, and dashing out on the field to bring back abandoned wounded soviet soldiers. See Stalingrad and the Night Witches. The Night Witches were Soviet women bomber pilots flying in the dark over Germany. Boom. Then ask: How were they treated at war's end, by sheepish and/or resentful men?
3. Find women's armor in Europe today, see a fine example here at Castle Thun, Switzerland, and another at Chillon. Castle Thun at War -- Women in Armor.
There was also a female order of knights in Catalonia, medieval Spain -- The Catholic Order of the Hatchet. See site.Women Knights at http://www.heraldica.org/topics/orders/wom-kn.htm.
Knights in White Satin - a different angle - see Order of the Hatchet, Knights in White Satin.
4. Look again at our specifically British heritage is also peopled with women warriors in old times. See Women of the British Isles in War; History and Ancient Times : Aethelflaed, Scota, Boadicaa, all these with various spellings. The names go on: Queen Maedb of Connacht, feted at the Brooklyn Museum at http://www.brooklynmuseum.org/eascfa/dinner_party/heritage_floor/medb_of_connacht.php/. And Cartimandua. Read the full JSTOR article at your library: part here, at http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/297554?uid=3739576&uid=2129&uid=2&uid=70&uid=4&uid=3739256&sid=21101579062163
JSTOR on Cartimandua, of the Brigantes
5. Talk: How can this be? How can the woman perform so, and we not know it, or believe it, wisp of an obedient thing today (idealized so?), on her fake pedestal where she cannot move, and where discrimination against her is not seen as part of a jobs issue.
How were women deflected from force-action? From top level enforcement? Social organization in bands of subsistence groups, then larger, and farming? Was that it? Enter hierarchy and round-table, both, as means of social organization; and hierarchy won. The machete of the linear thought, desire for higher rank than someone else, and then the ability of the male in seeking rank to act freely when the woman was pregnant, or caring for children. Much as the woman also might want rank, over the millennia, she became used as a means to enhance the rank of the male, etc, etc. Is that so? Geneticists, anthropologists, this is your turf.
Western religious folk, dig deep, if you are one of those. Is this so: At the very beginning, there was not rank. Men and women and all created critters were infused with the same ancient life idea, nephesh -- soul in earliest transliterations that came with the breath, whether after hatching or birth, same word, not before. See transliteration at Gen.1:21 and all over the place, at http://www.scripture4all.org/OnlineInterlinear/OTpdf/gen1.pdf. Compare the real words, according to that site's transliteration, against the nonsensical right hand margin, the institutional dogma. It is the same word, nphsh, soul, for all living. Including puppies and octopi.
But rank evolves, perhaps a natural, and women seek it as well. It is just that she could be overwhelmed when vulnerable. Keep her weak, keep her pregnant, male gets spoils, keep the mythology of her weakness going, add spins to theology to suit the nomads, and the male wins. Eve defrauded. Kngdv in earliest texts or not. Ho-hum
Women were not always put down in the hierarchy. It took marketing and force. Marketing and force win over merit. Is that also so?