Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Only a hundred years ahead of her time

Recently the US military opened frontline combat positions to women.

In April 1898, sharpshooter Annie Oakley sent a letter to President McKinley asking for permission to create a team of 50 women sharpshooters (outfitted and trained at their - aka her - own expense) for use in the Spanish-American War.

When her offer was declined, she raised money for the Red Cross by holding sharpshooting demonstrations. And she offered again before World War I, but the answer was the same.

In her time, Annie was known for her conservative outfits compared to her more risque female entertainers - she wanted people to pay attention to her skill, not her body. She married a man that she met when she beat him in a shooting match. She donated huge amounts of money to charity, up to and including melting down her shooting medals and donating those.

That's a woman worth making proud, and I think Annie Oakley would be proud to see every step we take closer to true equality.

A picture of the letter, from this source


  1. I have been mulling around a blogpost about Women fighting, and thank you for inspiring me to finish it. Annie was truly ahead of your time, and a testament that any human is capable of great feats of skill, regardless of sex (or race, or sexual preference, or any other idiotic criteria someone comes up with).

    Good work! :)

  2. Women have been fighting on the front lines since time immemorial. Men who don't believe this are straight up idiots who lie about other things as well. I served in the U.S. Army for 9 years in the WACs. We weren't allowed to fire a weapon but I got myself qualified anyway by asking nicely. We weren't allowed to jump out of airplanes, but I qualified anyway by asking nicely. An American soldier tried to rape me but I killed him because he didn't ask nicely. The Army said it was his own fault. I'm a feminist; not a feminazi. I love my country and will fight to the death to protect it. Just stay out of my drawers.