Women Warriors – A History of Real Women in Combat

Thanks to my friend Michael who prompted me to write an article with more ‘meaty’ content. In honor of potential 2012 Presidential Candidate Newt Gingrich, I thought I would focus on women in combat. Those of us old enough to recall well remember Newt’s stated opinion on women in combat:

If combat means living in a ditch, females have biological problems staying in a ditch for thirty days because they get infections and they don’t have upper body strength. I mean, some do, but they’re relatively rare. On the other hand, men are basically little piglets, you drop them in the ditch, they roll around in it, doesn’t matter, you know. These things are very real. On the other hand, if combat means being on an Aegis-class cruiser managing the computer controls for twelve ships and their rockets, a female may be again dramatically better than a male who gets very, very frustrated sitting in a chair all the time because males are biologically driven to go out and hunt giraffes. — Newt Gingrich, Adjunct Instructor, Reinhardt College,1995 “Renewing American Civilization”

Newt has always stood by this statement, emphasizing his belief that women are incapable of being in a combat situation and drawing heavily on disproven gender stereotypes to buff up his opinion that women do not belong in the military and in fact are physically incapable of its demands.

Now, America still bars women from serving on the frontline or in ‘combat positions.’ However, the modern wars we are fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan are in a state of insurgency, which blurs the lines of combat, there is no true “front line” as violence can and does break out anywhere. The reality is that throughout human history, women have been soldiers and leaders of armies alongside their male counterparts. I decided to take some space on this blog to highlight famous female warriors and wartime leaders.

Joan of Arc - While still a teenage girl, Joan of Arc inspired French troops and successfully led men into battle during the Hundred Years’ War. Joan lived on the front lines, fought with the men, and was even wounded in battle on more than one occasion. In spite of being born an uneducated peasant girl in the French countryside, her tactical instincts proved more successful than many of her educated male counterparts. In fact, it was her immense popularity with the (male) army that likely led to her betrayal to the English and subsequent execution for witchcraft. In spite of her trial and condemnation by the Catholic church for witchcraft, she was later canonized by the same church 1920

Artemisia of Caria - Artemisia was a ruler in the 5th century BCE over a client kingdom in the Persian Empire. She was one of the most trusted advisors of King Xerxes and is best remembered for the role she played in the Battle of Salamis. Her skill was such that even the Greek Historian Herodotus commented on more than one occasion about her prowess in his Histories. Her skilled naval tactics, in the wake of failure of her male colleagues, prompted Xerxes to state: “My men have become women and my women, men.”

Gudit - A legendary queen of Ethiopia in the 10th century who ransacked the countryside, destroyed churches, and attempted to exterminate the members of the previous ruling dynasty.

“She is said to have killed the emperor, ascended the throne herself, and reigned for forty years. Accounts of her violent misdeeds are still related among peasants in the north Ethiopian countryside.” – Paul Henze

Gladiatrix - The female counterparts of Roman Gladiators, Gladiatrix were a popular draw in the arena and the historical sources are replete with references. Tacitus recorded in the Annals and Dio Cassius in his Histories that the Emperor Nero regularly held shows with female gladiators from the upper classes. The poet Statius recorded the popularity of Gladiatrix in Domitian’s shows. Septimius Severus unsuccessfully tried to ban female gladiators in the second century, but they continued to show up in history, art, and literature throughout the history of combative shows until their loss of prominence and popularity in the 6th century.

Nandi - A Zulu princess and the mother of famed African Warrior Shaka-Zulu was a warrior princess who fought slave-traders in 19th century Africa and raised her son to be a leader and a warrior. In fact, when Shaka became King, he established an all-female regiment in her memory.

Tomoe Gozen - the concubine of a Samurai master, Tomoe herself was trained in the arts of the Samurai and considered a master. She was an honored warrior during the Genpei War:

“Tomoe was especially beautiful, with white skin, long hair, and charming features. She was also a remarkably strong archer, and as a swordswoman she was a warrior worth a thousand, ready to confront a demon or a god, mounted or on foot. She handled unbroken horses with superb skill; she rode unscathed down perilous descents. Whenever a battle was imminent, Yoshinaka sent her out as his first captain, equipped with strong armor, an oversized sword, and a mighty bow; and she performed more deeds of valor than any of his other warriors.” – The Tale of the Heike

Ahhotep I - Was an Egyptian Queen of the 16th century BCE. She led an army against the Hyksos, an Asiatic people that had invaded the Egyptian Delta, and was pivatol in establishing the 18th dynasty. An Egyptian stele referencing her states:

“She is the one who has accomplished the rites and taken care of Egypt… She has looked after her soldiers, she has guarded her, she has brought back her fugitives and collected together her deserters, she has pacified Upper Egypt and expelled her rebels.”

Harriet Tubman - While not a combat veteran per se, Harriet Tubman was an abolitionist, served on the front-lines of the Underground Railroad (where she spent a good share of time in ditches), a spy for the Union Army during the Civil War, an advocate for Women’s Suffrage, and a great American Humanitarian. She spent most of her life on the front lines and risking her life for her moral beliefs and her country. She was listed in the Smithsonian’s recent recognition of Female Spies During the American Civil War. She was fully aware of the risks she was taking and continued to push the boundaries of her gender and her race in 19th century America.

Queen Boudicca - My favorite and my dog’s name-sake. Boudicca, Boudica, Boadicea (and all the spellings in – between). The Warrior Queen of the Britons was a well-discilined fighting animal. Born into the the British Iceni Tribe, Queen Boudicca would lead an uprising against the Roman occupation of Britain and burn London. She inspired her people to take up arms against a larger and more powerful force. The Iceni did not make distinctions in the battlefield – both men and women fought (except women who were pregnant or lactating). She struck fear in the hearts’ of Roman soldiers, generals, and statesmen.

The reality is that history is replete with examples and stories of female warriors. They did not fight in wars or lead armies in spite of their Biology but in reality, their anatomy itself did not provide a hinderance. The existence of the vagina does not make women more prone to ‘infection’ in a ditch than a man’s prostate does to him. Women’s menses do not make them emotional, vulnerable, or physically incapacitated (do your female coworkers and classmates miss a week every month?). The reality is that women, like men, are a valuable resource for the military and their service should not be limited.

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37 thoughts on “Women Warriors – A History of Real Women in Combat

  1. Jim Wheeler

    Good for you, Jennifer. I submit that the lack of modern examples is not the fault of women, but of culture. In this regard I have a confession. I used to denigrate Hillary Clinton, having perceived that she achieved her celebrity on the cheap, and so she did. But now, having seen her in action as Secretary of State, I have had to change my opinion. She is tough, restrained and responsible.

    I have generally been against women in combat and even more against putting women on ships and, now, submarines – close confinement under stressful conditions. I took this position not because I doubted that women had the brainpower and fortitude, but because it creates temptation and social stress in units that seem unnecessary. Yet, we are indeed embarked on this grand experiment. We shall see, shall we not?

    Excellentt post. I am doubly glad you found our little nexus of bloggers and are adding the distaff viewpoint.

    Jim

    Reply
    1. Jennifer Lockett Post author

      Thank you for the comments and support Jim. I’m really enjoying participating in your blog’s discussion – I wish a few of them would find themselves over here (although my blog is generally not that controversial or dynamic).
      I was actually considering including a list of women in America’ military that have received medals of service:

      http://userpages.aug.com/captbarb/medals.html

      http://userpages.aug.com/captbarb/firsts.html

      but many of them have political scandal or controversy associated with them (and a number are given to women in secretarial or medical positions). Having never served myself, I often ‘poll’ my friends and family in the service (my cousin served in Afghanistan and my father in law is retired career navy). Still, I don’t know how much I buy into the temptation and social stress element – we have women entering traditional ‘male fields’ every day and while it comes with an element of adjustment and discomfort, I feel like people can and do adjust appropriately. I’ve seen ‘bad behavior’ in my fields (literally out in excavations) and it seemed more connected to the people rather than the environment. I also feel like the discipline included in the military ought to make such adjustments and shifts in a more linear fashion. I should have pointed to the Israeli military (that has mandatory service for both men and women, and all are combat positions) or the women in the Soviet military that fought in Leningrad.
      A part of me feels that the issue is also connected to Homosexuals in the military, including the concerns about comfort and behavior. Of course, the difference is that homosexuals have always served in the military (just unknown).
      In terms of Hilary… well… can’t fault you there. I certainly have my own mixed feelings about her and her leadership (although never connected to her menstrual cycle). And she also wouldn’t be the first capable American to achieve a powerful position through familial connection (e.g. Bobby Kennedy).
      Thanks again for the comments and discourse. Well enjoyed indeed!

      Reply
      1. MGTOW1971

        Now that women can be sent to the front line for war, women SHOULD face the same compulsory selective service as do men, your self included! . At pressent in the usa, we have a misandric policy were men are ‘obligated’ to sighn on for full citezenship, were as women have default citezenship. Your article and the support of your many commentors who agree that women are just as good, if not better validates this point.

  2. norm

    The Celts were known for their women joining the battle, the Greeks and the Romans made note of it, Losing in battle consigned every one who survived to slavery. I doubt very much if the men had much say in the matter of the women joining the effort.

    Reply
    1. Jennifer Lockett Post author

      Thank you for the comments Norm. Yes, the consequences of losing a battle could be severe. However, the women in the Celtic armies were trained and veteran Warriors. And in the Boudiccan rebellion, they had already been living under Roman rule as a client kingdom – she made the decision to rebel against the Romans.

      Reply
  3. Leopard

    Newt doesn’t know what he is talking about. Cultural upbringing is what limits our female military members, good training is what will allow them to succeed. A man will be just as uncomfortable in a muddy ditch as a female. However, the argument against males and females serving together has some truth to it, that is why you won’t see any women joining special forces or elite units anytime soon, whether or not there is a law or it is dropped.
    Physically a female can train and become as physically fit as a male, but mentally our society provides the “I’m a girl” crutch to it’s females. As for discipline in the Armed Forces, this betrays some naivete, when dealing with males and females barely out of high school and others in positions of power and authority, there will be not only a lack of self-discipline, but a break down in unit discipline. Ever notice why there haven’t been any studies or information on the number of pregnancies in theater, or resulting break downs in marriages. War really should not be the place to conduct social experiments. However, this does not mean women should not serve, I believe given the opportunity, the right training and organizational structure, they can distinguish themselves in battle. War by its very essence forms a bond between the participants which necessitates self-sacrifice, take away the “high school” atmosphere and the predators in charge and women in a professional military could excel beyond their own expectations.

    Reply
    1. Jennifer Lockett Post author

      Thank you so much for the comment and participating in the discussion.
      I think that an interesting comparison would be to look at the Israeli armed forces. They have compulsory service for both men and women and no restrictions on ‘combat.’ It’s no longer a ‘great experiment.’ In terms of homosexuals and women serving in combat, America is rather behind.
      I do respect your experience in terms of the mentality of those enlisted and the personalities of those in charge. To be fair, my experience with the armed forces is not personal. I have never served. I have friends and family who are currently in service or retired military. So, my perspective is likely skewed.
      Thank you again for participating and I hope that you will read some of my other articles (this is by far the most political) and leave your comments!

      Reply
  4. Pingback: Women in the Military « Dialogic Magazine

  5. stumdanger

    First off, very well written. Now if I might offer my opinion. First of all let me state that these comments are mine alone and do not represent the ideas or thoughts of any of the military organizations.

    Now, there are several examples of more modern women. I personally would have used the story of Molly Pitcher over Harriet Tubman as Mrs. Pitcher, upon her husband becoming wounded, took charge of and helped to fire the artillery piece that he was manning. There is a female COL who was serving till at least two years ago (I believe that she is still active) who has earned several high level awards as a pilot for the Army.

    Next, you are right that the nature of the fight in Iraq and Afghanistan have eliminated the concept of Forward Lines of Troops (FLOT). Supply routes are less secure. Every base is a forward base. That sort of thing. So the concept of trying to keep women off of the front is dificult.

    As for the previous comment about the “high school experience”, well from my experience after five years of service and three years in Iraq is that it is true. There are still jocks and nerds, cliches, and the like. Granted, it is not to the extreme that high school was capable of producing, but still there.

    With regards to training, women recieve the same training and physical conditioning that men do. There is no special physical training program for women. They do the same PT as me and my Soldiers. Really, the only point against women serving in combat that is close to valid is the physiological difference between men and women, that is the natural strength disparity. I am 180 pounds, about 190 in uniform, and 230 in full body armor with a a full combat load. It would be rather difficult for someone who is 170-180 in full gear to carry me should I get wounded. At least with men, the chances are better that there is one who is closer to my size.

    That being said, I know that this is not completely a valid excuse as a small man would have the same difficulties as the average woman. So the issue comes down to discipline and the role of women in society. One can argue away the discipline with good leadership and time, which leaves societal roles.

    While I firmly believe in the equal treatment of all people, I also suffer from the classical mindset when it comes war roles. War has the potential for many terrible things. As a Soldier, we are called on to do things that are normally against our character. We are forced to see what would be considered great mutilations of the body if it was anywhere outside of the battle field. At what point do we take the stand and say that this is something that should not be experienced by everyone? Why must we be so determined to destroy much of the mental condition in our entire civilization. Yes, the Israelis do it, but that is because they have to as they lack the population we do and are surrounded by hostile neighbors. At the very end of the discussion, it will always come down to morals and a desire to leave some semblance of innocence and compassion in the world. Just my two cents on that.

    Reply
    1. Jennifer Lockett Post author

      Thank you for your lengthy and well-thought out response. I always appreciate the armed forces (currently serving and retired) when they comment on my blog. My only disagreement is with your last statement. I have no doubt that with what you have experienced, there is some comfort and hope that there is ‘innocence’ back home. But the reality is, that all people – men, women, children can and have been the victims of countless atrocities. We do not have a draft, this is a voluntary service. Why not permit all those who would take up the cause to defend their country on the front lines?

      Reply
  6. David AuCoin

    The most common factor in believing women are at a disadvantage in combat is the myth that women lack the physical strength. Hower generation x girls made a discovery when they got into sports. It was necessary to develop their muscles and so they took up strength training with the same zeal as do boys. To their suprise and the shock of many males they discovered that their muscles responded to demands placed upon them in the same way male muscles do. consequenly their muscles grew in size an strength as do males.

    then in high school wrestling they had to wrestle according to size and to many a girls surprise and shock to their male opponents many a boy of the same size found himself pinned beneath a girl!
    What has now been found out is that it is a myth that males are stronger than females by biology. It is the females that actualy have the advantaged! It has been proven that bone size determines muscle size which in turn determines strength. As long as the wrestlers are of the same bone size the boy has no advantage in strength because he can not develop a bigger muscles then his female opponent because his bone size wont; allow it.

    In fact recent studies show that female muscle of the same size as a male’s is actualy a little stronger and has more indurance. This would mean females have the potential to be stronger than males of the same bone size. It has been observed that in arm wrestling if the girl can hold a male’s arm so that it doesn’t make forward progrress the male’s arm will tire befor the female’s arm does so that the longer the match continues the more the likely hood is that the female will win. Males then would be advised not to fool around when arm wrestling a girl but use mamimum strength right from the start knowing if he can’t put her arm down right at the start the odds are rapidly shifting in favor of his female opponent.

    Similary it has been observed that the longer a wrestling match continues between two evenly boned size male and female wrestlers the greater the liklihood is that the female owing to greater endurance will win the match.At any rate there have now been several girls who have won a state championship aganist boys and more who have placed second and third in such contest and their numbers are growing each year as more and more girls get into sports.

    As far as combat is concerned from what we now know about female muscles is that provided the female gets into strength training she should be capeable of developing the same strength as any male of equal bone size. Especialy now because of the technology used in combat there is no reason why women can’t perform all the duties required as good as any man.

    Reply
    1. Jennifer Lockett Post author

      David – some excellent points. One thing I learned in mortuary analysis classes for my program in archaeology that shocked me at the time is that sexual dimorphism (different size of male and female in the same species) is only 3%. It is an erroneous perception that men are inherently larger and stronger than women.
      Thank you for your well thought out comments and observations.

      Reply
      1. David AuCoin

        Why Women Might Make Superior Soldiers!

        In times past testosterone levels were found to be higher in males
        than females and therefor it was erroneously believed that males were
        stronger because they had more testosterone building muscles. However
        now that girls have gotten into strength training it has been discovered
        that girls can increase their testosterone levels necessary for muscle
        building
        as they put demand upon their muscles. This than means that the reason
        males in times past had higher testosterone levels than girls was because
        the role
        society assigned males required more demand for muscle therefor males
        had higher levels of testosterone. As women put more demand upon their
        muscles
        their bodies produced more testosterone.Because of this finding males whose
        testosterone
        levels are too low are encouraged to do strength training which increases
        their testosterone
        levels. Hence it is not so much that testosterone levels increase muscles
        as it is that
        demand upon muscles increases testosterone levels in both genders.

        The good news for females is that doing strength training while it does
        increase testosterone levels it does
        not turn women into men but only enough testosterone to develop muscle in
        accordance
        to the demand placed upon muscles.Therefor women do not loose their
        femininity as
        they develop muscle just as males who lose muscle mass do not become
        feminine
        unless testosterone levels drop too low while estrogen levels increase
        which can happen
        as men age the natural tendency is for males to loose testosterone and
        become estrogen dominant.
        This is why many older wives discover they have become stronger than their
        husbands.
        therefor older males are encouraged to do strength training.

        In my previous comment I stated that if a female is arm wrestling with
        a male opponent and is able to prevent him from pinning her arm that
        the longer he is unable to put her arm down the more likely it is that
        the female will win the match and pin his arm down.Also the longer a
        wrestling match between a female and a male last the more likely it is
        that owing to greater endurance of female muscles the males muscles will
        fatigue allowing the female to make the pin. The reason for this
        is that female muscle has more endurance and will not fatigue as fast
        as the male’s. The evidence for this is the below study.

        According to The Department of Kinesiology and Applied Physiology, at the
        University of Colorado in Boulder in 2000 found that female muscle had
        75% more endurance over male muscle. The study found that women
        outlasted men by an average of 75 per cent during muscle contractions
        under a load. But rather than some kind of motivational effect, the
        study found the difference was due to some feature of the muscles. In
        studies carried out at the University of Jyvaskyla in Finland, for
        example, 10 male and nine female strength athletes (powerlifters and
        body-builders) performed 20 maximal squat lifts, with three minutes of
        recovery between each lift. After the 20 lifts, the fatigued leg
        muscles of both males and females had lost about 20-24% of their
        maximal strength. However, various indicators of muscular power
        favoured the females. For one thing, the force-time curve an
        indicator of muscles ability to contract powerfully and quickly
        changed negatively by 28% in the males over the course of the workout
        but dropped by only 19% in the females. Females also recovered from
        the 20-lift session more quickly. One hour after the workout, female
        lifters leg muscles could generate about 92% as much force as before
        the session, whereas male muscles were just 79% as strong. Why was the
        fatigue greater and recovery slower in males? Part of the problem
        seemed to be that the male lifters nervous systems became less
        responsive over the course of the workout. From the first to the 20
        lift, activation of leg muscles by nerve cells fell by 20-25% in males
        but held fairly steady in females. While it is not clear why male nerve
        activation should deteriorate more quickly, it is clear that females
        lose less of their muscular power during heavy-duty resistance
        training and seem to recover more rapidly once a tough session is
        over. ( Neuromuscular Fatigue and Recovery in Male and Female Athletes
        during Heavy Resistance Exercise , International Journal of Sports
        Medicine, vol. 14(2), pp. 53-59, 1993

        Further evidence of bone size determining muscle size and therefor strength
        is demonstrated in kick boxing. In kick boxing once dominated by males
        has seen dwindling numbers of males probably owing to males being
        embarrassed
        losing to female kick boxers. As it turns out women having larger hips,
        thighs, and
        pelvic bones for child bearing are able to build larger stronger muscles in
        those areas.
        This enables females to generate considerable more power in their kicks
        with
        devastating consequences upon males putting male kick boxers at a decided
        disadvantage.

        Also studies have proven that female muscle of the same size as a males
        is stronger. Since bone size determines muscle size all larger size females
        have the potential to be stronger than all men of the same bone size or
        smaller.
        This then means that a medium boned female can build just as large muscles
        as a medium boned male and larger than a small boned male giving medium
        boned females
        the potential of being stronger than all medium and small boned males.

        In hand to hand combat a medium boned female soldier in a situation where
        strength determines
        who lives or dies the female makes the male die for his country.provided
        the enemy soldier was not
        bigger boned than the female.This would also be true of male soldiers that
        the advantage goes to the
        one with the biggest bones.

        Surprisingly this means as far as strength being a factor is concerned the
        female soldier has a
        statistical advantage of over powering the male soldier because the woman
        warrior can be stronger
        than the male warrior of equal as well as smaller bone size while this is
        not true of the male warrior.
        The male warrior can only be stronger than the female or male who is
        smaller boned.

        Thus we see that in light of all these new findings the argument that women
        don’t have the physical strength
        for combat does not as they say hold water. with Women’s muscles of equal
        size to a male’ being found to
        be stronger, and having more endurance it might actually be males who are
        disadvantaged.

    2. noblethemes

      Wonderful reply (IMHO) to an excellent article! Thank you, first and foremost, to the author. And thank you for the reply. One question, for my own research interest: You mention “recent studies” that “show that female muscle of the same size as a male’s is actualy a little stronger and has more indurance.” Could you direct me to some (valid, respected) sources on this? I would deeply appreciate it, and again, thank you.

      Reply
      1. David AuCoin

        Dear nobelthemes the following is the info you requested concerning female muscle being stronger than male muscle of the same size. this is a scientific study conducted by a University. David AuCoin.
        “The Department of Kinesiology and Applied Physiology, at the University of Colorado in Boulder in 2000 found that female muscle had 75% more endurance over male muscle. The study found that women outlasted men by an average of 75 per cent during muscle contractions under a load. But rather than some kind of motivational effect, the study found the difference was due to some feature of the muscles. In studies carried out at the University of Jyvaskyla in Finland, for example, 10 male and nine female strength athletes (powerlifters and body-builders) performed 20 maximal squat lifts, with three minutes of recovery between each lift. After the 20 lifts, the fatigued leg muscles of both males and females had lost about 20-24% of their maximal strength. However, various indicators of muscular power favoured the females. For one thing, the force-time curve  an indicator of muscles ability to contract powerfully and quickly  changed negatively by 28% in the males over the course of the workout but dropped by only 19% in the females. Females also recovered from the 20-lift session more quickly. One hour after the workout, female lifters leg muscles could generate about 92% as much force as before the session, whereas male muscles were just 79% as strong. Why was the fatigue greater and recovery slower in males? Part of the problem seemed to be that the male lifters nervous systems became less responsive over the course of the workout. From the first to the 20 lift, activation of leg muscles by nerve cells fell by 20-25% in males but held fairly steady in females. While its not clear why male nerve activation should deteriorate more quickly, it is clear that females lose less of their muscular power during heavy-duty resistance training and seem to recover more rapidly once a tough session is over. (Neuromuscular Fatigue and Recovery in Male and Female Athletes during Heavy Resistance Exercise, International Journal of Sports Medicine, vol. 14(2), pp. 53-59, 1993)

        Please let me know if you got this letter.
        Thanks
        deepthink70@gmail.comk

    3. MGTOW1971

      yes, your argument is completely validated by the fact that most if not all the world and olympic records in stength are held by the top women athleats ….LOL

      Reply
  7. bjvl

    Gingrich is also overlooking historical examples of women dressing as men and serving in the same “piglet mud” as male soldiers:

    Deborah Sampson in the American Revolution
    Sarah Wakeman, Mary Owens, Frances Clayton and unknown others served in the US Civil War
    Jane Townsend served in the British Royal Marines during the Battle of Trafalgar
    The Mino of the Dahomey
    Running Eagle
    Lozen
    Buffalo Calf Road Woman
    and a very great deal more. Joan of Arc is probably the worst example.

    Reply
  8. Pingback: Warrior Wednesday: Where are the women warriors? « Chaos is Normal

  9. Andrew Perry

    There’s a lot of bunk in David’s reply. It really is just a number’s game. Statistically, men are physically stronger than females – this is because there is some sexual dimorphism in our species. Sure, some women are larger and stronger, but they are not the norm. Contrastly, the norm for men is larger and stronger.

    That said, if a woman can handle the minimum strength requirements necessary to be a soldier, she should be allowed to fight. If not, then for her safety and the safety of her unit, she should not be allowed to be a combat soldier and is better off in support roles. This holds true for men who are not able to meet the physical requirements.

    Reply
    1. David AuCoin

      Dear Andrew Perry you wrote that “There’s a lot of bunk in David’s reply. It really is just a number’s game. Statistically, men are physically stronger than
      females – this is because there is some sexual dimorphism in our species. Sure, some women are larger and stronger, but they are not the norm. Contrastly, the norm for men is larger and stronger.” I never impled that satisticaly women are bigger and stronger than men. I wrote that women who are the same bone size have the potential of being stronger than males. True men on average are stonger than women on average but only because men on average are bigger. I did not as you imply that it is the norm for women to be bigger and stronger. The reason in wrestling they wrestle according to size is in effect taking away any strength advantage a male wrestler might have. There have been several girl wrestlers who have won state championships over a male opponent. When this happens the news media makes a big deal and thinks it something special when ever a female beats a male because they mistakenly believe the male had a strength advantage but because they were wrestling at the same size the boy had no advantage thus the news media is in error featuring the girl’s victory as spectactula and not featuring stories when boys win. thus the news media is being sexist.

      The major point that I am trying to make is that bone size determines muscle size. You simply can’t build a big muscle on a small bone. If that were possible the bone would fracture when the muscle contracted.If a small bone male worked out with weights and his girl friend was of larger bone size working out a long side of him she would develop bigger stronger muscles than her smaller bone boy friend if everything else were equal
      because she has more space on her bones for which muscles can be attached.Sure on average males have larger bones which accounts for their greater strength but their are lots of women who are larger boned than lots of males. For example their are millions of medium size males in the world and hundreds of thousands large boned females. This means that these hundreds of thousands of large boned females can actualy be stronger than the millions of medium boned males in all such cases the female can be stronger. It is therefor not the gender so much as it is the bone size that is the greater factor in determining strength. Therefor in hand to hand combat a large bone female soldier might eassily over power a smaller boned male warrior.Also the martial arts were created to enable a weaker person to over come a stronger person therefor for the reasons herein discussed using alleged female physical weakness should not be used as a reason to bar women from combat.

      Reply
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  11. TrinainUS

    Obviously, plenty of women can hold their own, whether in direct battle or in other roles (whether strategic, tactical or support). I never would have been fit for combat, due to orthopedic problems. Nor am I suited to it by nature. But I do expect our society to be fair to those who are fit and willing, whatever their sex, etc..And that applies across any field of endeavor. It’s high time our species grow up.

    I found IJ’s blog while geekily looking for a name for my new cat. I’m still not sure about a name. But I found a new blog and blogger I really like! And, impressively, one of the most civil and worth-reading comment threads I’ve seen.

    Reply
  12. Regnery

    Wow i guess im a piglet lol. Here is the thing about women warriors, they are real and they are not. There is nothing wrong with women leading in war or politics, infact many women have done what men could not. One of them was Joan of Arc, who gave the french the victories they needed to win the war. But she was no warrior, her story is a odd one and migth be some proof of religious beliefs behhind her tale. Her battle tactics were audacious and lacked real military stratgy but she inspired her men even if she never took part in any close encounters. She was a leader not a warrior. Women can fight and kill but not on real front line combat. Women can lead and inspired men, but they cant be main line soldiers/warriors. They female body is made weaker in the uper bones and waist area their structure will deteriorate after weeks of wearing body armour, they are unlucky enough to have mother nature curse them every month by giving great pain and discomfort on their body. But women can handle G force better than men so they make the best pilots but awfull real combat soldiers. A warrior is a person like Spartacus and Csecar men who inspire and lead in the front lines doing the killing with their men.

    Reply
    1. cloudji

      Um their been nations who use entire armies of just females and was powerful as fking hell.
      Also more then half of all the ancient warriors burial mounds after genetic testing, have shown to be female.

      Female body have less strength because of bone structure usually, however it not made weaker. Females can with stand the same pressure as males can.

      Only thing you can say about males is they can have better physical strength.

      However, in a real fight. Not wrestling or boxing. One in which you want to kill the other person. Strengths means almost nothing. As long as you have enough to use your weapon right.

      Reply
  13. Fathom

    I wish Hau Mulan was included in this list. Her service was spectacular, not only did she fight along side men quickly rising through the ranks, she hid her gender. The Disney animation made the battle look like it was a few month or a hand full of year, in reality 12 years and they had no idea. So if Mulan can be given promotions and be considered a valuable asset while hiding her true nature, all women who want to fight should be given the chance and be allowed if they can pass the bar.

    Reply
  14. Milagro

    Good site you’ve got here.. It’s difficult to find high-quality
    writing like yours these days. I seriously appreciate individuals like you!
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    Reply

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