bride_of_the_atom: (Default)
[personal profile] bride_of_the_atom posting in [community profile] monstrous_regiment
Hello,

I have a kind of latent fascination for women who presented themselves as men in order to join the armed forces (or other exclusively male circles) throughout history. I say "latent" fascination because I've never really been able to delve into the subject, but keep thinking that I'd like to whenever I hear or read about one of those women. Does anybody here know about good places to start? Books, webpages?

There's also a related thing that has had me wondering for some time. As far as I understand, women disguised as men weren't that enormously uncommon in the armies of, say, 16th to 19th century Europe, but very, very rare in the navies. Being a fan of naval fiction, I'm assuming that the crowded environment and lack of privacy made it considerably more difficult to hide one's physical gender aboard a ship. The question I was wondering if anybody can answer, though, is this: I've been told that "show a leg" originally meant literally that - an order to the seamen to stick one leg out of their hammocks so any disguised women among them could be found. To me, it seems improbable and rings of the contemporary delusion that women's bodies are hairless by nature. Does anybody have any interesting ideas, or even better, facts about this?

Date: 2011-06-02 06:47 am (UTC)
legionseagle: (Default)
From: [personal profile] legionseagle
Presumably the woman didn't actually want to be carried off to sea for the next six months, though, so f the boat were about to leave port it was useful to know about it.

There's a story about a fire breaking out at sea and four hitherto unknown women appearing, fighting the fire, and vanishing again when the danger had passed. So female stowaways do seem to have occurred, and looking up the etymology of the phrase "son of a gun" is also useful.

Profile

The Monstrous Regiment of Women

May 2011

S M T W T F S
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
293031    

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Oct. 20th, 2017 07:41 pm
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios