Women have *always* been associated with war. Since the dawn of civilization. Literally since the first known cities sprung from the rivers of the Near and Far East, women have been involved in, and deified to oversee, war. (In many cases, war goddesses’ auspice was that of discretionary, intelligent, specifically directed warfare–to set them and what they stood for far apart from the male war gods, who typically embodied specifically violent, directionless, or chaotic warfare.)
Celtic Brigantia, Egyptian Neith, Etruscan Menrva, Greek Athena, Chinese Jiutian Xuannü, Indian Durga, Babylonian Ishtar, Sumerian Innana, and Qamaits, the warrior goddess of the Nuxalk people of the central coast of British Columbia (just in case you weren’t clear on the actual spactial and temporal expanse of Warrior Goddesses throughout the human system. With each culture having corresponding legendary or mythological heroines.)
With regards to real–actual human–women doing war shit, we got a looong list (I’ll shorten it for you, though; you can look up the rest later–and should).
Zenobia, 3rd Century Queen of Palmyra, led armies into battle against the Roman Empire. In 248 Trieu Thi Trinh led a rebellion against the Chinese in Vietnam. Celtic Queen of the Britannic Iceni, Boudicca. Joan of Arc; 16th century Irish Pirate Queen Grace O’Malley/Gráinne Mhaol; Vedic Vishpala (who is said to have lost a fucking leg in battle, had an iron prosthesis made, and returned to a successful career in warfare).
So, a coupla chicks. Nothin’ big. Mmmhmm.
Let’s shift shit forward a bit–just for framework–and talk about all this other cutting edge shit we’re up to here in the U.S. That’s right, females in SOF. Few words on how tip o’ the old spear we are on that one.
The Irish Sciathán Fiannóglaigh an Airm (Army Ranger Wing), Ireland’s premier SOF, has always been open to female troops. The selection process is open to females, although none have passed the initial training course. Further, the IDF assigns women to the special forces K-9 unit known as Oketz (Hebrew: יחידת עוקץ, lit. sting). That’s two units right up front who’ve been letting the ladyfolk have a hand in doing warrior goddess shit.
Even here in the U.S., women in SOF roles is not a new thing. SOFREP spilled the beans on that one awhile back here:
No small feat there. The shit that all those cats went through in the OSS to assure victory for the Allies should never ever be forgotten or overlooked. And the females of the group were there every step of the way.
Before I come off as sounding like I am somehow not impressed, I’d like to add that I am generally impressed by anyone challenging themselves to succeed when epic obstacles are involved. None of these processes–not to mention *selection* processes–are easy. And it ain’t like team life gets any easier when you don whatever spiffy hat, chest pin, or shoulder decor you get at the end of that process.
But I’d also like to re-fucking-iterate that the shit going on here Stateside is not trailblazing. *Impressive* yes. Next-gen…hardly. Women have been directly involved in politics, rulership, and warfare since our primordial dawn. To make it sound like we, as Americans–as AMERICA–are doing anything new or fresh in this regard, is shitting on thousands of generations of bad motherfuckers…er…motherfuckettes. And that is bullshit.
I’m not sure why we can’t all just be chuffed that humans of any genital variety can join the narrow ranks of the epic. It’s not like the only examples we have to show this have come down to us over the last few years. And no matter how much further you are down the path than someone else…someone has been there before you. If you fail to recognize and respect that, you may not have the humility for true warriorship.
This is one reason I don’t tend to judge my progress against others. And when I start to do so, I remember, “Seek not to follow in the footsteps of the masters. Instead, seek what they sought.”
With that fortune cookie shit in mind, the next installment will be culture and context specific…and will stand as the exemplar for this whole rant.
Next set: Samurai Women.
Featured image courtesy of businessinsider.com