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Women Warriors’ Review
Ronit Sky

Women Warriors

Teena Apeles’ book, Women Warriors, concentrates, solely, on heroines that most people overlook in history because they are women. Whether it is folklore or true history, our society is notorious for discrediting female heroic figures. If one takes an American History class in high school, not only are women not included in that history, but, it is told from a perspective that white men were the only warriors (or heroes). In Women Warriors, Apeles spends a section speaking about Lozen, who was known as the Woman Warrior. She was apart of the Apaches and was admired for her hunting and riding skills. She became a well respected medicine woman and shaman “…if she was facing the direction of an enemy army, Lozen would feel a tingling sensation in the palms of her hands, or sometimes her hands would turn almost purple… she could tell the distance of the enemy by the intensity of the tingling” (61, Apeles). Through Lozen’s intuition, that was guided by prayer, loyalty, supernatural powers, and her warrior skills she protected her people to the very end.

Women Warriors should be read by everyone because Apeles concentrates on such a broad spectrum of female warriors. Many pages focus mainly on the infamous Joan of Arc a.k.a. La Pucelle D’Orleans but Apeles, also, focuses on women that did not gain as much worldly fame as Joan of Arc. The Trung Sisters are the “most beloved heroines in Vietnamese history” (40, Apeles). They were born around 14 A.D. and helped revolutionize their country by driving the “cruel Chinese governor and his soldiers” (45, Apeles) out of Vietnam. They took this oath:

Foremost, I will avenge my country,
Second, I will restore the Hung lineage,
Third, I will avenge the death of my husband,
Lastly, I vow that these goals will be accomplished.

These sisters had so much courage that many believe that if they hadn’t revolted against the Chinese there would be no Vietnam today.

She writes about many heroines, in a short, interesting, and in a very informative manner. This book is a great beginning, for someone who wants to delve deeper into one of these heroine’s historical importance. This book acts as a sampler platter, and it is the reader’s job to research or go on her or his journey to find more detail and information. This book was very educational and interesting… it should be read by everyone who isn’t satisfied with the basic patriarchal swivel that most of us are fed, historically, early on.

Ronit is a Theatre and Women’s Studies Major at Santa Monica College.





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