The idea of a woman as warrior is not merely a 20th century feminist agenda item. From ancient times come tales, images, and facts supporting women as warriors in a variety of cultures.
Despite centuries of carefully preserved preconceptions and biases about how women functioned in history there is ample historical, archaelogical, and mythological resources to indicate the horizon was wider than many suppose. In all times women were daughters, wives, mothers, heroes, cowards, gladiators,warrior queens, battle leaders, soldiers, and marauders.
There are some who even postulate that there were battle units in ancient Biblical culture. The women in Exodus who 'sit beside the door of the tabernacle' may have been an honor guard of female soldiers. Deborah, the prophet and judge, had to accompany the army or the general would not go into battle. A mysterious phrase in the Old Testament refers to 'hornets' who swept through and fought off opposing forces. Could Deborah, whose name is traditionally said to mean 'bee', have relly been instead a 'hornet'? Her 'name' could then have been a title or label referring to her activities as a soldier or warrior.
Ancient Greek historians promoted the derogatory idea that a tribe of warrior women, who have come to be called in total Amazons, cut or burned off a breast in order to better shoot an arrow or throw a lance. Obviously the idea was to suggest, as Greek culture did through various of its philosophers, that women were inferior and had to be like a man to be able to do anything outside their own narrow construct of the home or the bedroom. Aristotle wrote that women were merely 'deformed men' ; human seeds who had failed to become the fully human male of the species.
A good article with links to some fine art is here.
Recently the US Army named its first female 'Best Warrior of the Year', 26 year old Sherri Gallagher. Of this soldier the US Army wrote: "Sgt. Sherri Gallagher of the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit, who represented U.S. Training and Doctrine Command at Best Warrior, beat out 11 other competitors from the Army's major commands. Gallagher, who is currently stationed at Fort Benning, Ga., is one of the top long-range rifle shooters in the country."