The Atlantic put up an interesting article to note the official entry of women into combat in the U.S. military. Though they note that women have been fighting and dying in U.S. combat for quite some time, from the Civil War up to Afghanistan and and Iraq. This part of their post comes from Larry G. Eggleston’s Women in the Civil War.
1. Loretta Janeta Velazquez was a total badass. Born to a rich Cuban aristocrat, Velazquez’s wealth played a key role in her fighting for the Confederate army. When her husband, William, went off to war in 1861, Velazquez wanted so badly to be with him that she offered to fight beside him incognito. William wouldn’t hear it, and went off to war without her. Not content with life alone, Velazquez decided to use her wealth to finance and equip an infantry battalion, which she would bring to her husband to command. She cut her hair, tanned her skin, and went by the name Lt. Harry T. Buford. She went on to fight in various battles, including Bull Run and Shiloh, but her gender was twice discovered and she was discharged. So, naturally, she became a spy, with disguises in both the male and female variety.
2. It must have been hard to hide your gender while serving in the war. Take it from Lizzie Compton, who enlisted at the age of 14. Her gender was discovered seven different times. But each time, she packed up her things and moved on to another regimen. Compton was wounded twice during her service, the first time by a piece of shrapnel as she charged up a hill at Antietam.
3. Louisa Hoffman has the distinction of serving for both the Union and Confederate armies. When the war first started, she left her home in New York to enlist (as a man, of course) in the 1st Virginia Confederate Cavalry. But, after fighting at both battles of Bull Run, she had a change of heart, and headed up north to Ohio.
4. Mary Seaberry was said to wear a disguise and have a manner that “never gave anyone in her regiment even the slightest hint that she was not a man.” Unfortunately for her, after being admitted into a hospital with a fever, there was no way she could hide her true identity. She was discharged “on the basis of sexual incompatibility.”
The National Archives has documented 400 women who served during the Civil War. Since documentation from that era is spotty, it is possible there were many more. They did not necessarily disguise themselves as men, but many women, including Harriet Tubman served as spies during the war.
If you’re looking for evidence that the differences between men and women are greatly exaggerated, the fact that women are equally capable as men of mind-blowing misogyny should erase all doubt. New Mexico state Rep. Cathrynn Brown proved that this week by introducing a bill aimed at throwing rape victims in jail if they refuse to honor their rapist’s right to control their body
Of course, the entire idea that having a rapist’s baby would somehow be treated as proof of a rape is beyond silly. After all, the defense against the charge of rape is rarely to claim that the penis didn’t go into the vagina, but to accuse the victim of consenting and then, due to the unique viciousness of women, claiming it was rape for the laughs.
[ ]…The narratives of sexual transgression and concealment that dictate how anti-choicers view abortion make this bill all the easier to understand. The possibility that women have abortions to reduce suffering in their lives, prevent economic catastrophe, or regain control over their lives are dismissed in favor of believing that an abortion means someone is hiding a sexy secret. It reduces rape to a “sexy secret” and, of course, reinforces the narrative that women are to blame for their rapes, because they are being so dirty and naughty and (rowdy?) that men have no choice but to put them in their place with some raping. (Implicit anti-choice narratives and really foul porn plots have a lot in common, which doesn’t strike me as a coincidence.) That’s why you get terms like “legitimate rape”.
The rowdy is what I think they meant to print, there are several misspellings in the column. Not a criticism from me, a master of the typo, just an acknowledgement. Back during the senate election campaign and Todd Atkins “forcible rape” crazed lunacy, President Obama said it well, rape is rape. It is a crime. A justice system – look up the word justice there Cathrynn, is supposed to protect victims and give fair punishment to the perps, not force the victim to be an incubator for the rapist.
Norfolk (Virginia) and surroundings,1892. Created by H. Wellge. Norfolk was and still is one of the world’s most important port cities. It is also home to the world’s largest Naval base.