because the woman's place is wherever the woman is...

Monday, October 29, 2012


When Queen Urraca of Leon and Castile married Alfonso the Battler of Aragon in her late twenties, it set off some drama because her father had just died and his advisors were concerned that Alfonso would take undue control. And he might have. If he could have controlled Queen Urraca, that is.

Less than three years after they were married, however, the good queen left Alfonso because -- while he may have been "the Battler" at war -- she wouldn't stand for his physical abuse on the homefront. Outraged at his young wife's belligerance and not realizing that she was an in-your-face woman, Alfonso unwisely escalated the disagreement by entering into armed conflict with the queen. Two lovers later, Urraca had proved to be a formidable enough opponent that Alfonso agreed to an annulment of the marriage, which was a smart move on his part.

Queen Urraca never bothered to marry again, though she did have two babies out of wedlock, effectively using personal relationships and sex as a way to cement alliances without having to risk putting herself under another man's authority. Focusing on getting back every bit of the land she had lost in her conflict with Alfonso, she handed it over to her son when she died in 1126. Proving yet again, that an in-your-face woman doesn't need someone to put her on a pedestal. She prefers having her feet firmly placed on the ground. Her ground.

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