Sunday, July 9, 2017
The Warrior Queens
Antonia Fraser wrote Warrior Queens in the late 1980s, but I read it in the wake of Hillary Clinton's campaign and the months of (still continuing) "why Bernie would have won." The nightly news dovetailed neatly with Fraser's categorization of women leaders (some legendary, some fully supported by the historical record). Many gained power through family relationships and all had to balance their needed strength with the need to appear soft enough to be a "real woman." Women from Boudica (the real figure behind the legendary Boadicea) through Cleopatra, Zenobia, Elizabeth I, and Margaret Thatcher walked a fine line, balancing the softness expected of a woman and the strength expected of a leader. We have no margin of error as women - even when perfect, we're "trying too hard." I'd like to say Fraser's queens were inspiring, but in 2017, their stories were actually a bit depressing.