Hi all! A while back, I was thinking of doing a segment called “Badass Women in History.” While I won’t say I’m a feminist per-se, I am not cool with telling someone what they can and can’t do because of what they were born with between their legs, especially being the mom of a little girl. The other day she was watching a couple episodes of Sofia the First where they addressed traditional gender roles, and I legit looked at her and said “if a boy starts picking on you and telling you that you can’t do something because you’re a girl, mommy will let you beat him up.” I know, I know, violence isn’t the answer; but if she’s being bullied, I will gladly walk into the principal’s office and tell them where to go. Bullying is legit, and public schools have a reputation for saying they have a “zero tolerance policy” on paper, but turning a blind eye because they themselves are being bullied by these kids’ parents. I’ve seen it firsthand, but I digress.
The first woman in this series is going to be Khutulun, and if she is not the perfect example of a badass woman, I don’t know who is. Born around 1260, she was the daughter of the most powerful ruler in Central Asia at the time. Beginning in her twenties, she was riding into battle with her father and brothers, and was providing counsel to her father on many of his campaigns. This probably didn’t sit well with her brothers, because she was obviously her daddy’s favorite. Marco Polo even wrote accounts of her, stating how impressed he was with her athletic and strategic skills. He said that she could ride into charging enemy forces and “snatch a captive as easily as a hawk snatches a chicken.”
Oh, and did I mention she was a freaking WRESTLER? The best part of her story kind of reminds me of Brave. You know, when Merida says she’ll be shooting for her own hand? When suitors inevitably came calling to marry the ruler’s daughter, Khutulun challenged each to a wrestling match. The stakes: If he won, he got to marry her; lose and he owed her 100 horses. It’s said she could have horsed an entire army from her winnings. She finally did marry, but while accounts can’t agree on her husband’s identity (A would be assassin trying to kill her father? One of her father’s war buddies?), they do agree that she didn’t wrestle him.
Her father had every intention of naming her as his successor, but of course, her brothers were having none of that. Upon her father’s death, she was challenged by two of her brothers because she vehemently opposed their succession. She resigned to guarding her father’s tomb with one of her younger brothers. She herself died five years later.
Seriously, this woman was pretty awesome. If you don’t like the idea of your daughter challenging potential boyfriends to wrestling matches, we can’t be friends. Kidding! (not really). While her daddy would absolutely beat those little bastards to a pulp, I want her to know she’s totally capable of taking care of herself.
As always, thanks for reading! Until next time!