I had made some comment about not being able to move a particular way in my corset (which on later consideration, I wouldn't have done whatever it was even not in my corset because my back likes to go out of whack at particular angles and twists) and she pipes up along the lines of that's why she doesn't do a female impression. I was so tired I don't remember what, if anything, I said in response to that and let it slide...but it did get me thinking...
The stereotype that a corset is a strangulation device is hog-wash. It can be, sure...if you cinch it too tight like they like to do in the movies. I can run, dance, sing, play guitar, cook, sew, etc. while wearing mine without getting any extra-particularly out of breath. There is a minor degree of limited mobility--such as not being able to bend over as far at the waist as without one on, or even being able to twist the body around as far (but really, how often do we try to turn half-way around without moving our feet?) I bet you a girl could easily run a gun (cannon) in one of the things. I've fired blanks from a big-bore gun and a Gatling in mine. No hindrance.
Anyway, the real point of this post is not to extol the virtues of the corset. It's to ask, "Why are so may girls so eager to get on the field, rather than to promote the stories of the women on the home front?" It certainly can't be any hotter in hoops and petticoats and corset and dress than it is in heavy pure-wool uniforms. So dears, nix that as your excuse. ;)
I think it probably all boils down to the ingrained feministic teaching that even the Church propagates--women and men are equal. YES. We are--spiritual, morally (fallen), in the sight of Almighty God. However, equality of value does not add up to the same thing as equality of purpose or design. The Bible tells us distinctly that men are to be the heads of their households--defenders, protectors, etc. Women are to be the helpmeets to their husbands--keepers of the home (which ain't a job for the weak of spirit). This, when sought after by men and women striving to love God and men as taught in the Scripture, is the most beautiful lifestyle the world has ever seen. Strong men, protectors and providers--encouraged and backed by strong women who seek to instill Godly courage into their husbands, sons, and brothers.
Recently, I've run into certain conversations concerning women in the 1860's that automatically assume that women (particularly Southern women), because they had no "voice" had no interest in politics until war hit. I had to laugh because these women--their fierce loyalty to justice and freedom ("political" notions if there ever were any)--literally, at times, kept their men on the field of battle defending their nation. Those kind of convictions don't happen overnight.
So for the female reenactor who is out on the battlefield (and I do not deny there were a number of women who did disguise themselves and tread the field of battle with courage) --have you ever considered stepping from the men's sphere into the woman's? Have you ever stopped to think of the beauty you could bring to people's notion of the time--of the courage, the bravery, the loyal self-sacrifice of the women (both sides of the WBtS) by donning the dress, the corset, the hoop/petticoats and looking after "the house". Cooking for your men and their buddies...mending their rent clothing and so forth.
What is it that repels you from that? Why don't you want to be a woman in the sphere God ordained for you? A sphere that has such far flung influence...the saying that the "hand that rocks the cradle rules the world" has a mighty lot of truth to it.
I encourage you therefore...seek to be a woman. Not a "female"--a woman. A woman who strives after the Lord--and consequently, justice, righteousness, courage, valour, faithfulness--in your ordained sphere. The home front.
"But as for you, speak the things which are proper for sound doctrine: that the older men be sober, reverent, temperate, sound in faith, in love, in patience; the older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things--that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed.
Likewise, exhort the young men to be sober-minded, in all things showing yourself to be a pattern of good works; in doctrine showing integrity, reverence, incorruptibility, sound speech that cannot be condemned, that one who is an opponent may be ashamed, having nothing evil to say of you."
The point of this post is mainly to encourage you to think beyond "the fun"...and to look in all seriousness at the proper role of women in both that time and this. Because God does not change, therefore neither do His standards.