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Saturday, January 26, 2013

Churchill on women in combat

Excerpt from a Strand magazine article in 1938:

We take the immunity of women from violence so much for granted that we do not perceive what inroads are being made upon it. These inroads come from opposite quarters. The first is the feminist movement, which claims equal rights for women, and in its course prides itself in stripping them of their privileges. Secondly, the mud-rush of barbarism which is breaking out in so many parts of the world owns no principle but that of lethal force. Thus we see both progressive and reactionary forces luring women nearer to danger, and exposing them to the retaliation of the enemy. . .

The part which our women played in winning the War was enshrined in the grant of them to vote which for so many years they had vainly sought to wrest from successive Governments by methods too often suggesting that they had not the civic sense to use the privilege rightly. It was the War which solved that problem, as it solved so many others in our internal affairs. . .

On the other hand, even in the last war there were many things that women could do apart from killing which added to the fighting power of the army. There were innumerable duties of all kinds behind the front which brought them ever nearer to the line and into danger. We must expect that this will continue to develop in a war for the future.


  1. Why do men and women have to be identical? they are essentially different which doesn't mean they are not "equal", it is easy to see what Winston Churchill would have thought about women in the front line....

  2. Everyone should know now the reason women are not in combat is the "Jessica Lynch" problem. Men will take inordinate risks to save them from capture and the government will go to all extremes to get captured ones back. Still, even now, we value women more than men in our desire to keep them from harm. Just the way it is and in my opinion as it should be.