women at war

I have fought against stereotypical images of woman since I can remember. That was one of the reasons, why I bought a Harley-Davidson, I guess.

It is not only the woman I am but the woman I was perceived to be, that made me want to change things all those years ago.

I bought my first bike, I was nineteen then, with the revolutionary spirit of a student ready to fight all odds. Especially the machos who tried to impose their views of how a woman should be. I was determined not to let that happen.

And it didn’t. But it was a hard fight.

Many women on wheels will know the feeling. They might have fought the same battles. Some did decades before I did. Real battles, too.

The female dispatch riders, common in World War II and not unknown of in World War I.

What amazing women they must have been. A life at war, much harder than it is today of course but the gender roles seemed easier to transgress at a time when nothing was as it should be and the men were fighting far away.

Celebration of the Centuries 2014

In the UK women started their Enfield bullets and rode through wind, weather and war. Truly spirited and very brave females.

Inspiration that still exists and quite obviously so in historical re-enactment: female performers with costumes and bikes of the forties proved that this weekend in Fort George in Scotland.

http://www.historic-scotland.gov.uk/celebration/events/event_detail.htm?eventid=26900

 

Celebration of the Centuries, 2014

To re-create the past is what historical re-enactment is all about.

Sometimes the past seems more modern that the present, at least where women on wheels are concerned.

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4 thoughts on “women at war

  1. I think the war did so much to help shatter the old concepts of gender division. It gave us a chance to show what some of us were capable of. It looks like a great reenactment, and in a stunning part of the world 🙂

    • I agree, and it seems a waste that women have somehow lost one of the few good things the war has caused.
      And yes, it is a beautiful part of the world but the drive to Inverness is nowhere near as beautiful as the drive to Plockton via Glengarry and Glenshiel!

  2. Loved this piece. I love how more and more stories of women’s courage, heroism, hard work, ingenuity, innovation, briliance and tenacity all throughout history is finally floating steadily and strongly to the surface of our awareness. Well done.

    • Thank you noellevignola. I agree. Women have always been strong throughout history I think. It is mainly down to male historians/journalists, that it was more or less ignored for centuries. That changes now, but not quickly enough, I find.

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