Women's Equality Day & The Skirted Soldier

Women's Equality Day The Skirted Soldier - tea WAC WW2
In the U.S., today is Women's Equality Day! I'm celebrating by looking back at women who paved the way and trying out some new tea flavors from The Skirted Soldier, a female veteran-owned business named for women of the past that stood up and proved themselves when their country needed them.

August 26 marks the passage of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution in 1920, the amendment that finally allowed women to vote. Although it greatly lacked full enforcement in enfranchising women of color, it was an important step toward "liberty and justice for all" in our nation's history. 

Women who served in the military during times of war were an important catalyst in this process. While the struggle for women's suffrage continued into the early 1900s, World War I shifted the nation's priorities. Suffragettes decided to focus on supporting the nation, and thousands of women mobilized as nurses, physicians, telephone operators, ambulance drivers, etc. Their dedication to military support and defense industry work helped turn the tide of public opinion in their favor. On August 26, 1920, America acknowledged that women who were able and willing to serve their country when needed also deserved to have a say in how it was run. The 19th Amendment was passed!
Women's Equality Day The Skirted Soldier - tea WWI
When the U.S. joined World War II, America's women again mobilized. While women had served in WWI as volunteers and contractors without official military status, the nation remembered them. Congresswoman Edith Nourse Rogers of Massachusetts decided to introduce a bill that would allow women military status so that they might receive the same logistical support, medical care, pay, protection, and benefits that male service members did. Many still opposed the idea of women joining the Army (and the military in general), so a compromise was struck with the Women's Auxiliary Army Corps (WAAC) creation in 1941. Women recruits were sort of in the Army, but they didn't receive the same pay, rank, and other benefits as men. Still, it was a step.

Women's Equality Day The Skirted Soldier - tea WAC WW2
Members of the Women’s Army Corps (WAC) pose at Camp Shanks, New York, before leaving from New York Port of Embarkation on Feb. 2, 1945. The women are with the first contingent of Black American WACs to go overseas for the war effort. Source.
In 1943, the WAAC was converted--amid much controversy--to the Women's Army Corp, the WAC. Over 150,000 women served in the WAC during WWII. These women, often called "Skirted Soldiers," earned official military rank and received equal pay as men. They served both in the U.S. and overseas in a huge variety of jobs. Constantly fighting rumors and public perception that they earned their rank and achievements through sexual favors or other immoral means, these women became known for persistence, drive, and an unwillingness to complain despite difficult circumstances.

These "Skirted Soldiers," along with their sisters in the other Allied forces, proved that women were capable of far more than expected and paved the way for us modern women.

Women's Equality Day The Skirted Soldier - tea WAC WW2
Squadron of Nisei (Japanese-American) Women's Army Corps (WACs), c. 1941-1945. Source
In light of all this, what better way to celebrate the day than by supporting a female veteran-owned business named for these brave women? I've tried out five military-themed teas from The Skirted Soldier sampler pack. Spoiler alert... They have great packaging and they're really delicious.

Women's Equality Day The Skirted Soldier - tea review SNAFU
SNAFU - [Breakfast blend with German coffee & chicory]
Houston, we have a problem! For those who enjoy mixing ranks, SNAFU provides a mingled blend of Basic Training blend & fine German coffee with a pinch of chicory.

I'm starting with this tea/coffee blend because it was my favorite discovery in the pack! I've never had a tea/coffee blend, and I kind of expected a watery coffee taste. No such thing! I brewed this for the recommended 3 minutes, and it turned a dark brown color. It smells like coffee, but the taste is fuller and smoother. It's like having a rich cup of coffee without any acidic bite to it. I made my husband Jacob try this one, and he didn't give the cup back, haha! This one was a big winner with both of us.

Women's Equality Day The Skirted Soldier - tea review At Ease
At Ease - [chamomile-mint-lavender blend]
Need some R&R after a highly productive day? At Ease Cafe Blend will have you ready for parade rest in no time.

First, I love that I can see every plant that this tea is made of; no powdery, mystery mix here! I steeped this tea for the recommended 3 minutes and it turned a soft, yellowy color. The beginning chamomile taste was soothing and made lighter by mint flavors at the end. 

Women's Equality Day The Skirted Soldier - tea review Green Beret
Green Beret - [Moroccan mint]
Don your beret and jump into action with a blend of gunpowder green tea & peppermint leaves.

Once again, I love looseleaf teas for their higher qualities. This one was brewed for the recommended 4 minutes and brewed to a bright honey color. It has a smooth green taste with a clean, minty aftertaste.

Women's Equality Day The Skirted Soldier - tea review The Commander
The Commander - [Earl Grey blend]
Assume official position of command and control with a cup of this fine Earl Grey blend. This elite force of flavor will prepare you to lead any operation.

This tea, like the other teas in the pack, had a nice crunchy texture when coming out of the bag. I brewed it for 3 minutes to a bold, orange color. It has that lovely Earl Grey citrus-perfume smell and a smooth, slightly lemony taste.

Women's Equality Day The Skirted Soldier - tea review Basic Training
Basic Training - [Breakfast blend]
Mental preparation in your cup for a highly intense and challenging day. Let Basic Training Blend get you started. Great choice for new recruits!

Another classic tea, I brewed this for 3 minutes and it turned that orangey-brown tea color we all love. It has a sweet, nutty smell, and the flavor is heavy and full-bodied. It's a cozy, rich-tasting tea.

So what about you? Were you familiar with the "skirted soldiers" of WW2? Which tea looks most delicious to you?

Learn more about this history:
"The Skirted Soldier" - 1943 poem by Charles Collins Aldridge
The Women's Army Corps: A Commemoration of WW2 Service - Judith A. Bellafaire
Japanese American Women in the Military - Densho Encyclopedia
19 Ways Army Women Made the 19th Amendment Possible - Elizabeth M. Collins
How World War I helped give US women the right to vote - Dr. Kayleen Hughes

I purchased this tea and have not received any compensation from The Skirted Soldier. This review is honest and my own. For more information, check out my policies page.

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