“We went to Kineshma, that’s in Ivanovo region, to visit his parents. I went as a heroine and I never expected someone to welcome me, a front-line girl, like that. We’ve gone through so much, we’ve saved lives, lifes of mothers, wives. And then… I heard accusations, I was bad-mouthed. Before that I’ve only ever been “dear sister”… We had tea and my husband’s mother took him aside and started crying: “Who did you marry? A front-line girl… You have two younger sisters. Who’s going to marry them now?” When I think back to that moment I feel tears welling up. Imagine: I had a record, I loved it a lot. There was a song, it said: you have the right to wear the best shoes. That was about a front-line girl. I had it playing, and [his?] elder sister came up and broke it apart, saying: you have no rights. They destroyed all my photos from the war… We, front-line girls, went through so much during hte war… and then we had another war. Another terrible war. The men left us, they didn’t cover our backs. Not like at the front.” from С.Алексеевич “У войны не женское лицо”
In Soviet Union women participating in WWII were erased from history, remaining as the occasional anecdote of a female sniper or simply as medical staff or, at best, radio specialists. The word “front-line girl” (frontovichka) became a terrible insult, synonimous to “whore”. Hundreds thousand of girls who went to war to protect their homeland with their very lives, who came back injured or disabled, with medals for valor, had to hide it to protect themselves from public scorn.
This has always happened in history: Women do something important. Then they get shamed for it (so nobody will talk about it) and it gets erased from history.
And then certain men will say: “Women suck, they’ve never done anything important.”
Look into history and learn that women have played a far greater role then douches (present and past) wanted you to know.
Hey Will (and Jack) I got you something.
So this is important. Let me tell you a story.
All the time I spend debating about women in combat, I’ve picked up on a trend that disturbs me. Supporting or attacking, people are quick to draw on biology, psychology, law, but very rarely - almost never - do I hear about the history of women in combat, and the evidence their service lends to this debate.
Hundreds of thousands of women faced combat in WW2, and on both sides, and on all fronts, and it is a history that has been almost completely erased from contemporary awareness. I have been given arguments about how women can not psychologically handle combat. And about how women in mixed-gender combat units will automatically disrupt group cohesion - the brotherhood, if you will. Both of these assertions are erasure.
Women have not lived in a protective bubble untouched by combat for all of history. Women have been killed, wounded, and captured in combat, and tortured after. We are not living a world where these are hypothetical situations women have yet to prove they can handle. Unfortunately, they have, they can, in the future, they probably will, again and again. Soviet women served as partisans, snipers, tank drivers, fighter pilots, bombers. And more.
Both British and American women served in mixed-gender AA units. I could drag you through several examples of British women performing exemplarily despite being wounded, or seeing their comrades die. The Luftwaffe did not discriminate. Between the British and the Americans, it was determined that mixed gender units actually performed much better than all male units, because of teamwork. Because women are better and certain tasks, men are better at certain tasks, and at other tasks they are comparably efficient, and in a team, hopefully, in combat, you let the best do what they are best at. For the most part, they were proud to serve together.
German propaganda never commented on the British AA units, but they thoroughly smeared the Soviet fighting woman - flitenweiber. People often argue with me that women are a threat to group cohesion because men naturally give women preferential treatment. Which certainly explains why men are more likely to survive shipwrecks. And history shows us that Germans soldiers had no chivalrous compunction when it came to shooting captured Soviet women who were armed.
We’re fed a history of war that almost exclusively features white male figures, most of whom fit into this destructive constructed myth of the soldier that is somehow both chivalrous and charmingly womanizing and who’s sense of brotherhood is unshakably dependent on the band being all man. There is no history of woman at war, none. I hear a lot about how women have no upper body strength, I hear nothing about the Front-Line Female Comrade.
THE WORD FRONTOVICHKA BECAME A TERRIBLE INSULT - are you fucking kidding me? Fuck, that made me cry. At first when I started reading I thought I was reading alernate history fiction. I’m ashamed to be ignorant about this, and full of rage and much worse bitter shame that this history is constantly repressed, suppressed, hidden. WHAT THE FUCK. D: D: D:
I didn’t know that bit about the AA (Anti-Aircraft) units.
And even in this article I don’t see a mention of the women of the Israeli Army, or women of the resistance if we’re just sticking to WWII. I didn’t know about the Russian soldiers, only the fighter pilots, the night witches, and I’ve spent years poking into the corners of history trying to find women who will serve as ammunition when men tell me women can’t fight.
The best explanation I’ve heard of what happened to women after WWII comes from “A League of Their Own,” the publicist’s character: “What is this—the war is over, Rosie, turn in your rivets?” Women all over the world had to step into the same old ruts.
I don’t think it’s any mistake at all that Betty Friedan wrote her ground-breaking text for the second wave of feminism, THE FEMININE MYSTIQUE, just 10 years after WWII, after women had dined on a full plate of the same old, same old.
And shame on the men who never stood up for the women who worked and fought beside them, and saved their lives.
There were Soviet AA units that absolutely wrecked the Nazis on several occasions. I was reading about them recently because the most recent Jucifer album has some pieces about them. and women in WWII in general.
it bothers me that Kansas and Arkansas are not pronounced the same
I’m from the UK and I have been pronouncing Arkansas as Ar-Kansas my whole life
For all my non-american friends, Arkansas is pronounced ark-an-saw
in 1881 the state legislature made it official to call is ark-an-saw after two state officials had a dispute over how to pronounce it.
There’s a dog at work today who is a real life deviantart oc. He’s a border collie with long blonde 90s surfer dude bangs and it’s the most amazing thing I’ve seen since I started this job.
Nature is a wonder.
I was being 100% serious.
please. stop praying for my grandpa!!!! you are making him too strong. he broke out of the hospital and the cops cant get him. he’s too powerful
# still the best moment in a tv show ever
“The most common concern was my health. Presumably I, as a fat woman, would not know how to properly operate the complicated piece of equipment known as a bikini. What if I strangled in all the straps and ties? What if I became distracted by the complexity of spandex, a substance heretofore unknown to me, and wandered blindly into traffic? What if I ate it? I’m not sure what all these well-meaning people thought was going to happen to me. Blood pressure, heart problems, joint problems and cholesterol were all brought up, but I didn’t see any kind of warning label anywhere on the suit that suggested the Surgeon General had investigated these claims. I remain skeptical as to the health problems bikinis cause.”
god bless Jenny Trout
the article can be read here
I love Jenny Trout. Jenny Trout I hope you see this… You cool.
I saw it. You cool, as well.
This is my favourite bookstore and bookseller in the world. Bar none.
I used to get to Seattle every six months or so, and whenever I visited I always made it a priority to stop in BLMF and ask its keeper what he’d been reading lately. He possessed an inexhaustible memory, a comfortable lack of snobbery, and impeccable taste. The first book he recommended to me, upon listening gravely to my litany of at-the-moment authors (Barbara Kingsolver, James Clavell, Maeve Binchy, Neil Gaiman, Charles DeLint, Anthony Bourdain) was Tipping the Velvet. He also later landed me with Geek Love, Anno Dracula, half the Aubreyad, and more modern Literature-with-a-capital-L than I could carry home.
The next-to-last time I dropped in, I asked if he had any P. G. Wodehouse.
"I have zero Wodehouse," he said, "and here’s why…"
Turned out that some fiend had taken to creeping in every month or so expressly to inquire of any Wodehouse and, once led to the volumes, to buy it all. ALL. Didn’t matter the condition, the edition, or whether he had another just like it in his possession; the villain bought every single P. G. Wodehouse in stock, every single time.
Was he a fan more comprehensive, more truly fanatical than any other I’d heard of, let alone known? Was he virulently anti-Wodehouse, only purchasing the books to keep their wry poison from infecting the impressionable masses? The world may never know.
I didn’t get any Wodehouse then, and I didn’t really feel the lack. I found plenty of other treasures that trip. But here’s one reason why BLMF and its proprietor are my favourite of their kind: that was two years ago, you see. Maybe three. In all that interim, I never planted foot in that bookshop. Never called. Never wrote. And I’m one face out of hundreds of thousands, dear reader; one reader he saw twice a year for three years, then not again for another three.
But I walked in the shop last Friday. Nodded hello.
"Can I help you find anything?" he asked, lifting his head from the phone.
"No, I’m good," I said.
"Wait—hold on a second." He set the phone down, walked ‘round the towers of books balanced precariously on the desk, on the floor, and atop other, only slightly less precarious towers. He jerked his head conspiratorially toward the far end of the shop, led me carefully to a shelf way in the back, removed a tattered stack of mass market paperbacks and motioned me closer to see what they’d been hiding.
Fifteen pristine Wodehouses: crisp, heavy, and—
“Hardcover,” he said, and waggled his eyebrows.
Reader, I bought them all.
Linguistics and Harry Potter are two of my favourite things.
I didn’t know which blog to put this on. So it’s going on both :]
honestly one of my favourite things.