9 Women Who Made History By Achieving Great Things Disguised As Men
In today’s world, women are making their mark in almost all the fields and working hard to prove that they are equal to men in all the aspects. There is no doubt that a lot is still left to be done in order to provide equal opportunities to the women and the biggest change that is needed to be made is in the mindset of the people, especially men.
However, in earlier times the conditions were even worse and women were prohibited in entering many fields as they were considered fragile, weak and inferior in comparison to men. There were few women who made history by achieving a lot in their life but they lived as a man so that no one can get an idea about their identity. Here are 9 such women:
1Kathrine Switzer – The woman who made people believe that woman can run in marathon
In the 1960s, women were not allowed to take part in marathons as they were considered weak and fragile but Katherine, whose full name is Kathrine Virginia “Kathy” Switzer was determined to change this notion. She told her coach that she wants to run in the Boston marathon but he was not convinced and challenged her to run 42 kilometers (26 mi) in training and Kathrine proved that she is far better by running 50 kilometers (31 mi).
Kathrine got her registered in the Boston marathon as K.V Switzer, however, she maintained that it was not done to mislead the organizers as she used to publish articles in college journal with this name. She also told that there is a mistake in spelling of her name in the birth certificate, so she prefers to use initials.
Somehow Kathrine managed to get the number and she ran in the marathon. However, the organizer recognized her as a girl as she was wearing lipstick and tried to pull her out but he was handled by Kathrine’s boyfriend. She didn’t win the race but she did complete it anyway despite a lot of commotion and she became the first woman to run in Boston marathon. Finally, in 1972, the ban was lifted for women to participate in marathons and Kathrine ran in Boston marathon for seven times.
2Renee Bordereau – The women on whose head, Emperor Napoleon put a prize of 40,000-franc
Renee Bordereau, the French woman whose nickname was “The Angevin” lost 42 members of her family in the French revolution, including her father. She got the chance of taking revenge when the Royalists revolted in 1793, she joined the Royalist army after disguising as a man and took the name of her brother Hyacinthe. She was one of the ferocious fighters of the Royalist army and it is being said that in her first battle, she took life of 17 enemy soldiers. It is also being said that she took part in 200 battles and troubled Emperor Napoleon so much that he put a prize of 40,000-franc on her head. The other soldiers did realize that she is a woman but they kept her in the army and used to address her by saying, “See that soldier who has sleeves of a color different from his coat? That’s a girl who fights like a lion.”
3Saint Marina – the woman who lived life of a monk
Marina was born into a wealthy Christian family but after her mother’s death, her father start looking for a groom for his daughter so that he can leave for Monastery of Qannoubine in the Kadisha Valley of Lebanon after getting his daughter married. When Marina came to knew about her father’s plan, she told him that she will also live a life of monk with him, she shaved her hair from head to toe and dressed up as a monk and named herself Marinos.
They both started living the life of monks in the monastery, after 10 years, her father died but she kept worshiping the God, in fact, she started worshipping more. One day, daughter of an innkeeper alleged that she has been impregnated by Father Marinos which led to ouster of Father Marinos from the monastery. She took care of the kid as a father despite the fact that it was not her kid when she died and her body was cleaned and bath, it was found that she is actually a woman.
She was released of all the charges and declared innocent. The Coptic Orthodox says that her body which is being kept in Saint Mary Church has not decomposed yet and it can be viewed by the public on Marina’s feast day.