Most women are doves but some are hawks

I’m trained to kill. I know what I’m doing and why, it’s not some psychotic urge. Alice Lombardi Kill Them Twice.

I believe in justice. I believe in just deserts even more. Alice Lombardi Kill Them Twice.

If you don’t stand up for something you will fall for anything. Alice Lombardi Kill Them Twice

Warrior women have been around for a long time. Egyptian Queen Ahhotep, the first woman pharaoh, rode at the front of her army in a battle against the Nubians. With her daughters alongside, the Iceni queen, Boadicea, exhorted her troops from a war-chariot when she challenged Rome. Mounted on a war horse and clad in armour the eighteen-year-old Joan of Arc led the French to victory over the English at Orleans.

More recently, in WW2 the Russian Liudmyla Mykhailivna Pavlychenko, nicknamed Lady Death, was credited with 309 kills and is regarded as the most successful female sniper in history. Last year ordinary Syrian women – housewives, nurses, school teachers – took up arms against Daesh during the siege of Kobani.

Brigadier Sharon Nesmitt recently became the British Army’s first female commander of a frontline brigade although in truth women with particular talents, and a certain mindset, have long served in covert combat units. The Israeli and Danish armies draw no distinction between the sexes when it comes to frontline troops.

In Shoot the Women First Eileen MacDonald posits that when ordinary women decide, or are driven, to take up arms they are more committed, extreme and ruthless than men. This is almost certainly because their reasons are more personal. They are defending what is most dear to them: family, homes and their way of life. In general women go to war to protect the status quo not, like most men, for power, monetary gain or to acquire new territory. The exceptions tend to involve an ideology. Ulrike Meinhof, co-founder of the Red Army Faction, was prepared to carry out violent acts of terrorism to further her extreme left wing agenda and today we are witnessing the rise of the female jihadist.

I was recently at a party where the after-dinner conversation was enlivened by the host asking, ‘Could you kill someone?’ It certainly made a change from the usual, ‘Got any holiday plans?’ or ‘How’s your vegetable garden doing?’ Interestingly the female guests replied instantly and with one voice. If their children or husband was under threat they wouldn’t hesitate. Replies from the men, well most of them, were more measured. If it was the only way – kill or be killed – then yes but they were concerned about living with the weight of such a deed. The ladies had no such reservations. ‘He had it coming, M’lud.’

Most women are doves but some are hawks. None should be underestimated.



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