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thirty-six of whom were enemy snipers

Not that we necessarily should glorify killing, although in wartime we certainly do

I am reminded of the statement by Barry Goldwater about gays in the military,

You don't need to be straight to fight and die for your country. You just need to shoot straight.
In a time when our military is finally fully opening up combat positions to females, it is perhaps worthwhile to note the statistics I have cited are from more than half a century ago, and were achieved by this person:

Lyudmila Pavlichenko, female soviet sniper

Her name was Lyudmila Pavlichenko, and Smithsonian Magazine features her in this story about her relationship with Eleanor Roosevelt

In the midst of World War II, she became an inspiring figure to many.  Let me share just a bit if I may.

Woody Guthrie honored her with a song:

She gave speeches across the United States, including in NYC:

Pavlichenko is considered the best female sniper of all times, and most experts consider her among the top ten snipers ever.  One wonders how many more kills she might have had if her country had not sent her to the West to try to raise support for a second front to relieve the pressure of the Nazis attacking the Soviet Union.

One can get  a sense of her impact upon America by reading just this one paragraph from the story:

Her time with Eleanor Roosevelt clearly emboldened her, and by the time they reached Chicago on their way to the West Coast, Pavlichenko had been able to brush aside the “silly questions” from the women press correspondents about “nail polish and do I curl my hair.” By Chicago, she stood before large crowds, chiding the men to support the second front. “Gentlemen,” she said, “I am 25 years old and I have killed 309 fascist occupants by now. Don’t you think, gentlemen, that you have been hiding behind my back for too long?”  Her words settled on the crowd, then caused a surging roar of support.
I am now a Quaker.  I do not glorify violence.  That is not my purpose in posting here.

We still have some in this country who wish to keep women subservient.  We have others who wish to limit their participation in society, not accepting them in roles of authority or of power.

In my lifetime we have gone from one woman in the US Senate, Margaret Chase Smith of Maine, to 20 in the 113th Congress.  We have had women serve as Attorney General and as Secretary of State.  We are used to seeing female governors, 35 having governed states, one the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, with 7 states currently having women as governors.  It is now not unknown for women to lead Fortune 500 Corporations.  

Yet still some claim our military is weakened by females.

Might I suggest that some men are far less qualified for positions of power and force in the military than are some women?  Might I suggest that in all endeavors, gender is less important than actual ability?

Barry Goldwater opined about gays.  We can certainly extend his reasoning to women.  If a woman can shoot straight, she can clearly kill the enemy.

As Lyudmila Pavlichenko demonstrated.

309 confirmed kills

Originally posted to teacherken on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 10:13 AM PST.

Also republished by Feminism, Pro-Feminism, Womanism: Feminist Issues, Ideas, & Activism.

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