Sunday, October 7, 2012
It all started when the Spartans invaded and overcame the Argive army and then headed for the city of Argos to gather the spoils of war, which would surely have included the women who had been left behind. Telesilla, poet though she was, sent the elderly to the top of the city's wall. Then she put on men's clothing (including armor, of course), instructed the other Argive women to do likewise, and led them into battle against the Spartans -- who they promptly beat.
Afterward, the local folks held an annual festival in memory of the event, celebrated by women dressing in men's clothing and vice versa. Not a bad legacy for a woman poet who was sickly as a child. Whatever her day job, an in-your-face woman does what she needs to.