One of the challenges of our modern western milieu is the implicit bias that, despite numerous examples otherwise, steers us into believing women are somehow not athletic or strong, competitive or political. Laypersons make sweeping generalizations about women (uhhhh…. Google guy James Damore), and through confirmation bias, deceive themselves into thinking they are righteous or right in their characterization of us. These generalizations limit young girls and women, intentionally or unintentionally stovepiping our youth into thinking they are not what they could be. Being encouraged to “get along with others” further cements these limiting characterizations on those girls who might otherwise have tried to strike out on their own. Its time for that to change.
In the first of a series of badass girls of history, I would like to introduce, Khutulun, Mongolian Princess.
Princess Khutulun was born to Kaidu, decendent of Ghengis Khan, and most powerful ruler in central Asia in the second century. She had 14 brothers, was undefeated in Mongolian wrestling, accumulating 10000 horses in wagers otherwise, and grew up to be her father’s trusted right hand general in battle. In his travel journals, Marco Polo marveled at Khutulun’s beauty, strength and athleticism. He chronicled one of Khutulun’s favorite tactics in war; riding her horse hard toward her enemy and “plucking” a soldier from the battlefield like a hawk and laying his dismembered body proudly in front of her father. I’m sure old google guy would crack under the anxiety of possibly being the victim of her assault.
This is truly an example of nurture over what some presume to be nature. There is only one chromosome difference between men and women. All fetuses are women until the genetic code of that chromosome is activated. Let us not forget that no one of us is inferior to the other. We are all equal, capable and have the potential to be badasses of our own right. With the right mixture of support, opportunity and encouragement, we could tap into a whole power we did not allow ourselves to imagine existed. Sure, not everyone is fit to be a certain ideal, but Khutulun is just one example of many that broke the mold. I can’t wait to share more with you.