Discussion Are Fewer Women Interested In The Civil War? If So, Why?

Northern Light

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#81
I haven’t decided my own position on this. However, I have read more than one novel in which the protagonist is drawn to an interest in a historical event or place that played a role in the protagonist’s past life. (For instance, “Green Darkness” by Anya Seton.)

On the other hand, in Julia Grant’s memoir, she wrote about an incident that happened on her trip around the world after she left the White House. I think that this incident happened in France, but I don’t remember. She was at some fancy dinner party at some palace. One of the other female dinner party guests confided in Mrs. Grant that this person was someone really, really famous in a past life. I forgot who, but it was someone along the lines of Cleopatra or Catherine the Great. I don’t know how much drinking was happening during this conversation. Mrs. Grant wrote that she just went along with the whole story and didn’t disagree, but I personally took it to mean that people weren’t buying this “revelation” and thought that the dinner party guest was full of bull. I took this to mean that the person who claimed to be reincarnated was being mocked.

So, even if I ever thought about the possibility of this, I don’t discuss it socially.
"Green Darkness" is a book which left an indelible mark on me. I was fascinated by the subject matter and the idea of reincarnation.
 

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#82
Thanks for starting this thread @Joshism! I am in no way looking to make this into a sexist debate although some views expressed in the other thread might be interpreted as slightly leaning in that direction. since there doesn't appear to be any statistics available (calling on @Pat Young) all we really have to go on is personal opinion and conjecture. I hope some of the other ladies on this forum will join the conversation - @lelliott19, @NH Civil War Gal, @JPK Huson 1863, @Forks of the Ohio, @AshleyMel, @FarawayFriend, @DBF, @Northern Light, @luinrina, @Zella, @Belle Montgomery, @donna and all the rest.
Speculation here--my impression is it's a true statement. Men and Women are different. There's definitely a spectrum--some women have more male interests just as some men have more feminine interests. Nothing wrong with that. Yet in my opinion civil war along with all military topics tend from my observation/experience to be more "boy" stuff as someone so finely worded it. Just like dealing with cars and stuff like that also tends to be more of a male thing.

Again, just to be clear although I trust it doesn't have to be said, this doesn't mean practically every woman will be excluded from such things and the women that are interested should be looked at as secondary or in some degrading way because they're trespassing on "male-dominated" territory (there's this awesome lady that works for a towing company around here that helped me out a few times with my car. I joked around with her once that I'm your "typical" girl that doesn't know anything about cars-- the kind she probably hates! Since she obvious is rather "atypical" in that regard).

My husband certainly thought the civil war was a not so common topic for a girl to be interested in. We met on Christian Forums when I posted a question on there about D.H. Hill. He told me once that when he read my post, he was like "Oh, cool--a girl that likes the civil war! I'm in love!" Turned out to be true : ) : ) : )

So I agree with the theory. I don't think it's anything to be taken offense at. I and the other ladies on here are "atypical" (in my opinion) for being interested in something more males tend to be interested in. Nothing wrong with that. In many other areas I'm very much your typical girl--such as in knowing next to nothing about cars!
 

Northern Light

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#83
This is a very interesting thread. I have not experienced the sense of suspicion mentioned, but have occasionally experienced a feeling of being ignored or being patronized when discussing battles, as if I am barely tolerated there and need to get back to the cooking forum.

I am fascinated by the Civil War, which is rather ironic for a Canadian and a life long pacifist. I love to visit the battlefields and study about them and am even learning to understand strategy and identify cannons. I also enjoy the social history which accompanies the military.

I believe that anyone who has an interest in history, male or female, has to deal with war at some point, as so much history is defined by conflict. Many women are becoming leading scholars in Civil War History, as was mentioned earlier. Often, when watching CWRT tour videos, etc., women are often in evidence and often asking question or answering them. Our numbers are not necessarily as large as men, but we are mighty!:biggrin:
 
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#85
Maybe post up a thread about Pleasant Hill? with your questions? It's great to have another woman aboard and I'll be looking for your Red River campaign thread.:wink:
Hi, thanks. I'll continue doing what I've been doing here--everyone has been great. (All my questions have been answered so far, but I won't hesitate to ask when more come up!)
 

JPK Huson 1863

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#86
I, in turn, have asked similar type questions over in Ladies Tea. I suspect that @JPK Huson 1863 thinks I might suffer from some debilitating cognitive issue after having bombarded her about 19th Century clothing. I mean, I ended up asking her the same question about 5 different ways before I could finally understand. Her patience is merciful as much as it is kind. But if I had not asked, I would still be shuffling around in ignorance.

Ha! Too kind and giving me far too much credit. I'm here on CWT because annoying my family with this stuff isn't very nice. It takes no encouragement whatsoever to launch an overly explanatory answer to any of this stuff. It's just that everything is interesting, ever notice that? One person's debilitating cognitive issue is another's crack cocaine.

It's ridiculous- what we wore, how we got from a to b ( pontoon bridges fall into that category as does anything floating, horses and that crazy velocipede ), what relationships looked like, how we remembered our dead, why we left home in the first place, how women massed to go clean up this ginormous mess men made called war and really, the humanity we're capable of despite how we're supposed to have loathed the bejammers out of each other. You know you're smitten by the ACW when tracking down an inscribed rock seems vital. It's all interesting. OK, admit to not personally being smitten by food topics. You have to sit down to eat in the middle of doing something else- who has time for that?

From one asker to another, you're exactly correct. If we don't ask, how can we know anything?
 

JPK Huson 1863

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#87
I'm glad this topic came up because women don't seem to be very visible here outside the cooking-type topics.

I promise we're here, honest! I ' think ' possibly some of the girl topics slide off the page swiftly and others, like women soldiers tend get some scoffing ( like they were Bigfoot, elusive, mythical creatures ). And it's funny. We girls Hoovered our way through the war, cleaning up the mess, glued men back together, got blown up in munitions factories, buried our dead and quite seriously massed to brain storm about how to do something. One thread in Ladies Tea has been frustrating- trying to figure out how many nurses were lost during the war. It was a LOT and no one has the slightest idea how many. We know how many horses and mules perished ( 6 million ), how many women never came home? Clueless. One problem ( IMO ) is a handful of women seem to represent all of them. You know, Belle Boyd, spy, Mary Tepe, vivandiere, Bickerdyke and Barton, nurse, poor Mary Todd Lincoln, the favorite kicking stool, Julia Grant, general's wife- it's very odd. Must have 10 threads on female soldiers, it's just not a popular discussion.

Browse Ladies Tea. I'm not just saying that as host, there's at least a start there. I know I was astonished by the roles we played and who played them. And what we still don't know.
 

Mark F. Jenkins

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#88
Also, I've noticed that most guides/interpreters assume that its my husband who is actually interested in the military minutia.
I experience something like this at Marine veteran events. People generally assume I was the Marine, even though my wife is the one with all the eagle-globe-and-anchor gear on. (Once I state I was in the Army, though, they quickly lose interest in me.)

(To be fair, it is unquestionably more common for a Marine veteran to be a man. But if two people are standing together and one of them is obviously decked out in Marine stuff, it's odd to ask the other one...)
 
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#89
As for me, the history of the Civil War has always "grabbed" my attention. In the beginning, the details of battle were not as important to me as the effects afterwards. I leaned on what happened to the areas where battles occurred documenting the people and the scars the battles left behind. As the years went by, my interests changed to the plans of action portrayed on the battlefield. I wanted to learn more about the battle skills. So, I think the more I research the war, the more I want to learn about all phases.
 
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#90
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#91
Thanks Donna! You pretty much covered some of the things I was going to add! I am glad this thread was started! Lots of great replies so far!

I am certainly no expert on women historians and would never claim to be but, in my opinion, I think there could be an unawareness of how many women are actually in the field. The Western Association of Women Historians (WAWH), the Southern Association of Woman Historians (SAWH) and the Association of Black Women Historian (ABWH), are organizations that encourage, support, offer scholarships and mentoring and many other resources. As far as how many women in these groups have an specialized interest in CW studies, I would not know. It would be great to have some numbers! Maybe someone could locate that information for us!

I have stated before, I despised history until I found my own Civil War connections! I finally had information to connect with concerning my family. For me, it became personal, but I did and still do need lots of help and encouragement in my studies as it is very overwhelming at times. Technology has been a wonderful tool in making so much history easily accessible. The UDC has been a great resource for me! Each chapter has an historian. We have presentations and programs at every meeting and I am now knowledgeable enough that I have been asked to present several times (how cool is that?!). Our UDC Chapter is closely tied to the DAR ladies (I am also trying to work on that too Donna) and we share our love of history.
I was happy to state that while attending local CW events there has been a large presence of women, actively participating and engaged. Woman who are dedicated and eager to teach and share their experiences! I certainly love to hear that perspective of the war and time period and continue to look forward to learning more!
I agree that there are some women interested in the civil war but they are only a small fraction as compared to their male counterparts. Don’t you agree?
Personally, I’d like to see a growing female interest in the war.
 
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#92
I agree that there are some women interested in the civil war but they are only a small fraction as compared to their male counterparts.
That seems to be the consensus. There aren't any statistics that really track that sort of thing. We have a lot of ladies on CWT that are interested in various aspects of the Civil War. Of course there is always room for more. :smile:
 

Cavalry Charger

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#94
Speculation here--my impression is it's a true statement. Men and Women are different. There's definitely a spectrum--some women have more male interests just as some men have more feminine interests. Nothing wrong with that. Yet in my opinion civil war along with all military topics tend from my observation/experience to be more "boy" stuff as someone so finely worded it. Just like dealing with cars and stuff like that also tends to be more of a male thing.

Again, just to be clear although I trust it doesn't have to be said, this doesn't mean practically every woman will be excluded from such things and the women that are interested should be looked at as secondary or in some degrading way because they're trespassing on "male-dominated" territory (there's this awesome lady that works for a towing company around here that helped me out a few times with my car. I joked around with her once that I'm your "typical" girl that doesn't know anything about cars-- the kind she probably hates! Since she obvious is rather "atypical" in that regard).

My husband certainly thought the civil war was a not so common topic for a girl to be interested in. We met on Christian Forums when I posted a question on there about D.H. Hill. He told me once that when he read my post, he was like "Oh, cool--a girl that likes the civil war! I'm in love!" Turned out to be true : ) : ) : )

So I agree with the theory. I don't think it's anything to be taken offense at. I and the other ladies on here are "atypical" (in my opinion) for being interested in something more males tend to be interested in. Nothing wrong with that. In many other areas I'm very much your typical girl--such as in knowing next to nothing about cars!
:smile:
 

AshleyMel

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#95
I agree that there are some women interested in the civil war but they are only a small fraction as compared to their male counterparts. Don’t you agree?
Personally, I’d like to see a growing female interest in the war.
That seems to be the consensus. There aren't any statistics that really track that sort of thing. We have a lot of ladies on CWT that are interested in various aspects of the Civil War. Of course there is always room for more. :smile:
It sure would be nice to have some numbers! :nerd:
What has been so wonderful for me is being around all the UDC ladies and seeing their examples! Some of these ladies know their stuff! It is very encouraging!
 
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#96
Two prime factors come into play that hold major sway (NO pun intended whatsoever):

1. Lack of common knowledge about the key roles women played on both sides of the war.

2. Social roles imposed on women in that day and time to this one prohibit open expression of violence, aggression and least interest in such behaviors men freely engage in for pure sport.
 
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#97
That seems to be the consensus. There aren't any statistics that really track that sort of thing. We have a lot of ladies on CWT that are interested in various aspects of the Civil War. Of course there is always room for more. :smile:
And it seems that we need more younger people interested as well. When I go to round table and historical group meetings, most of the attendees are over 50 years old. We need younger people to fill our ranks.
 

NH Civil War Gal

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#98
And it seems that we need more younger people interested as well. When I go to round table and historical group meetings, most of the attendees are over 50 years old. We need younger people to fill our ranks.
And this is the situation with all organizations right now. Without going into even modern stuff, it's almost impossible to get volunteers, under 50, to do any of the necessary civic stuff needed for the town, never mind more hobby stuff. It's the times we live in.
 

Zella

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#99
Personally I think the issue of younger people not volunteering is a time one. I'm in my 20s and one of the youngest people who is active in volunteering in my small town, and from what I have seen, a lot of people my age and a little older really do want to help out.

But they are early in their careers and often have young families, so time is a real issue for them. And I can't say the organizations I've been involved with have been very sympathetic, sadly. They're mainly staffed by retirees and business owners who are wonderful folks but seem to forget not everyone has the luxury of time or the ability to take an afternoon or evening off to help with something.

When we've made an effort to be more accommodating and allowed people to help out in a more flexible way and made more of an effort to connect with folks through social media, we've seen an outpouring of support from everyone, regardless of age.
 

scone

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I know many that love it other that could care less … I ramble on CW WWI WWII Korea, Nam - it may be stories or song some think im crazy. we have to find that soul that likes such things like @Zella... But Life comes into play trust me I know... We have to find a way to make it more interesting to the youth not just a field trip etc....away from school ..
 



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