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👯♀️⬇️ “Soldaderas, often called Adelitas, were women in the military who participated in the conflict of the Mexican Revolution. A number of women took male identities, dressing as men, and being called by the male version of their given name.
The largest numbers of soldaderas were in Northern Mexico, where both the Federal Army (until its demise in 1914) and the revolutionary armies needing them to provision soldiers by obtaining and cooking food, nurse the wounded, and promote social cohesion.
In the area of Morelos where Emiliano Zapata led revolutionary campesinos, the forces were primarily defensive and based in peasant villages, less like the organized armies of movement of Northern Mexico than seasonal guerrilla warfare.
Soldaderas had been a part of Mexican military long before the Mexican Revolution; however, numbers increased dramatically with the outbreak of the revolution. The revolution saw the emergence of a few female combatants and fewer commanding officers (coronelas). Soldaderas and coronelas are now often lumped together. Soldaderas as camp followers performed vital tasks such as taking care of the male soldiers; cooking, cleaning, setting up camp, cleaning their weapons and so forth.
For soldaderas, the Mexican Revolution was their greatest time in history. Soldaderas came from various social backgrounds, with those "to emerge from obscurity belonged to the middle class and played a prominent role in the political movement that led to the revolution." Most were likely lower class, rural, mestizo and Indian women about whom little is known. Despite the emphasis on female combatants, without the female camp followers, the armies fighting in the Revolution would have been much worse off. When Pancho Villa banned soldaderas from his elite corps of Dorados within his División del Norte, the incidence of rape increased.
They joined the revolution for many different reasons; however, joining was not always voluntary.”
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