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Benzonia Academy Lecture: Women Warriors

Lecturer: Pamela Toler

Location: Mills Community House

Author Pamela Toler will present Women Warriors on Thursday, June 13, 7:00 p.m. at the Mills Community House as part of the Benzie Area Historical Society’s Benzonia Academy Lecture series. 

From Vikings and African queens to cross-dressing military doctors and WWII Russian fighter pilots, Women Warriors author Pamela Toler reclaims lost stories of women for whom battle was not a metaphor, debunking the pervasive claim that women do not, and should not, fight.

For the most part, women warriors have been pushed into the historical shadows, hidden in the footnotes, or half-erased. But in fact, women have always gone to war—or fought back when war came to them.  

In Women Warriors, historian Pamela Toler examines the stories of historical women for whom battle was not a metaphor: using both well-known and obscure examples, drawn from the ancient world through the twentieth century and from Asia and Africa as well as from the West.  Looking at specific examples of historical women warriors, she considers why they went to war, how those reasons related to their roles as mothers, daughters, wives, or widows, peacemakers, poets or queens—and what happened when women stepped outside their accepted roles to take on other identities.

Armed with a PhD in history, a well-thumbed deck of library cards, and a large bump of curiosity, author, speaker, and historian, Pamela D. Toler translates history for a popular audience. She goes beyond the familiar boundaries of American history to tell stories from other parts of the world as well as history from the other side of the battlefield, the gender line, or the color bar. Toler is the author of eight books of popular history for children and adults, including Women Warriors:  An Unexpected History.  Her work has appeared in Aramco World, Calliope, History Channel Magazine, MHQ: The Quarterly Journal of Military History and Time.com.

For more information, contact the Benzie Area Historical Society at 231.882.5539.  The suggested donation is $5.