In class, we have argued the role of women in the Civil War. I delved further into the role of women during this period by researching Elizabeth R. Varon and her podcast interview with the Organization of American Historians. Varon argues that the role of women during the Civil War was not just an occasional appearance by a few well-known women, such as Harriet Beecher Stowe. She argues that women were an integral part in the origins of the Civil War.  Her article in the New York Times, which the interview draws from, discusses individual case studies of women who made difference. For example, many historians are aware of the importance of Harriett Beecher Stowe’s writing of Uncle Tom’s Cabin. It has been credited with bringing awareness of the horrors of slavery. I, however, was not aware of books written in response to Stowe’s novel. Varon attributes these novels as, “enduring volley in the ongoing literary war over slavery,” that leads to Margaret Mitchel and Gone with the Wind. In her interview, Varon discusses the repercussions women experienced because of their public involvement in the abolition movement. Women, such as the Grimke sisters, were considered a threat to traditional values and were therefore divisive and destructive. The Grimke sisters were actively involved in abolition conventions during the mid-1800s. Many religious groups considered women’s involvement in these actions as unwomanly. I could see where men, Northern or Southern, would see this as a threat to their way of life. If white males considered themselves as the top of the hierarchical food pyramid, then any changes in at the foundation would be taken as a threat. Women were even a hazard in the North. Men allowed women to be part of the abolition movement as long as they were being foot soldiers. The north did not want women to take on public roles because it only caused more division between abolitionists and anti-abolitionists. That did not stop men from asking women to be part of the political process, and legitimizing it with a women’s stamp of approval. Each side counted on women as being the mediators of their cause.
Even though men regarded women with importance when it came to counting them as part of the abolition movement, men on either side did not want women to publicize their help. For women this fight continued beyond the Civil War. The Civil War became a battleground for more than abolition. It became a proving ground for women. Varon brings to light many of the individual battles that women had to fight, and the important role that women played in dividing the North and the South.
 Elizabeth R. Varon, interview by Carl R. Weinberg, OAH Magazine of History, Organization of American Historians, podcast audio, March 2011, http://www.oah.org/programs/civilwar/podcast/.
 Elizabeth R. Varon, “Women at War,” The Opinionator(blog), New York Times, February 1, 2011, http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/02/01/women-at-war/.
 (Varon, 2011)
 Karen Board Moran, “The Grimke Sisters,” Worcester Women’s History Project, accessed on June 28, 2012, http://www.wwhp.org/Resources/Slavery/grimkesisters.html.