Background: Who Were the Soldaderas?

Soldadera was the term given to the women who accompanied most of the armies involved in the Mexican Revolution for at least the first few years. Historian Andrés Reséndez Fuentes makes a clear distinction between soldaderas and female soldiers; whereas the latter group typically consisted of upper class women who willingly entered an army to fight as a soldier and potentially rise in the ranks, soldaderas more often performed domestic labor and sex work, and many were abducted by soldiers or forced to follow their husbands into war.[1] Both soldaderas and female soldiers are relevant to my thesis because they both permeated the boundaries of a gendered space and rejected positivist notions of womanhood. However, I primarily discuss soldaderas because they comprised the majority of women involved in the armies in the Revolution.


[1] Andrés Reséndez Fuentes, 1995, "Battleground Women: Soldaderas and Female Soldiers in the Mexican Revolution," The Americas 51 (04): 546.