The Guerrilla Season Book Blog

Join 8th grade American History students at South Valley Jr High in Liberty, Missouri as they read Guerrilla Season by Pat Hughes. For more information contact Eric Langhorst at

Monday, October 30, 2006

Week 2 - Discussion Question 2 - The Role of Women

On page 115 of "Guerrilla Season", Matt's mom says that she always opens the door first when there are visitors on their place because "they wouldn't kill a woman - neither side would. That remained the only civilized part of this whole mess."

What did she mean by that statement? Why would neither side hurt a woman?

To post a comment about this question please click on the "comments" link directly below this post. Remember to either use your first name only or no name when posting.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Neither side would hurt a woman because women were not soldiers and provided food and nursing for the soldiers, therefore neither side would hurt women.

6:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Neither side would hurt a woman because the women helped out both sides very much, without even taking a side, the women still supported the people and helped them with food and everything.

4:46 PM  
Anonymous Pat Hughes said...

What's interesting to me about the role of women in Civil War Missouri is that usually in warfare, women are the protected. But in this very unusual mode of warfare, women were the protectors.

Often, when there was that knock on the door in the middle of the night, the men in the house would hide. It was the women who answered the door and sort of ran interference.

Girls and women serve as an emotional shield. This is why Mrs. Samuel makes Susie accompany the boys into the woods - the thinking being that if there's a girl there, no man on either side would kill Matt or Jesse in front of her.


2:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Men wouldn't kill women because they served hopitality to both sides of the war. In Matt's case, his mother was a single mother of six, and no one would kill her. She and all the other women around always opened their homes to the soldiers who came in need of food and shelter.
~Dhruv the Dominant

3:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

They wouldn't kill women since they were very hospitable and would help either side. Without having these women to help them, fighting would be a lot harder for the soldiers.

~MC Concertmaster

2:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Supposedly, women and girls are more softspoken and gentle. A woman, in this time, was the one who cooked and cleaned, took care of all the men, and raised the children. Many men would not kill the women, to a certain extent, because they might need food or supplies and women would be more likely to help them.

~Candy Apple

3:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with what most of you are saying, but it's only true to only an extent. if a woman was defiant, the men would've probably killed her all the same. However, the way Ma showed hospitality to the men might have an effect to how high her chance's of survival are. Since she feed's them willingly, and was neutral, men were more likely to not kill her and leave her alone.

-MC The Pink Penguin

3:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think that women weren't harmed because they were often not the "leaders" of the household during the time period, and their opinions were not valued as much. They also showed hospitality to people on both sides so people were less likely to hurt her.
-Mathieu from M.C.

3:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think its idealistsic to say that women are not affected by war. Sure, they may not be shot or murdered, but they suffer just as much when they lose someone they love. Just imagine, waiting at home helpless , not knowing if your loved ones are dead...

-Matthew the Spectacular
Miller Creek Middle School, CA

4:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ladies were placed on a pedestal in those days. The role of the mother was very important. Look at the influence Matt's mother had when she intervened on his behalf, likely saving his life. While they had less political power than men, they exercised power in other ways.

6:10 PM  
Anonymous Pat Hughes said...

anonymous said:

" ... While they had less political power than men, they exercised power in other ways."

Very insightful comment!


8:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with what everyone is saying, and I especially agree with what Pat said about that in Matt's situation, women were the protection. However, we must remember that women were not always the ones at home, waiting for their family helplessly. Many women fought in wars before it was legal for them to enroll. For example, Deborah Sampson disguised herself as a man and fought as well as anyone during the Revolutionary War. Of course, in our society, it is often the role of the woman to stay at home.

9:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Matt's mom meant that with all the violence that is going on with the war the only thing that is still proper is the fact that the men fighting wouldnt kill a woman.
Neither side would hurt a woman because they did all the caring while the men were gone. If it wasnt for the woman the men would have twice more of a load than they already have. Then you have the fact that speaking to a woman wrong is improper, just imagine what killing would be considered.

1:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It meant that neither side would hurt a women because they are not soilders. Women did not fight or take a side, they only helped out with food and other important things like that.

Johnny Ricter

12:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think since women didn't have much choice in the war and the men were the ones fighting that that's the reason they wouldn't kill mothers or other women because they were innocent and couldn't harm or cause any damage towards the war so there was no point in killing them.- Juno

3:01 AM  

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