women's auxiliary air force

Last night I had a dream where I was a historian in the MCU or similar universe, working with recently-discovered diaries that seemed to prove that Peggy Carter had slept with like half the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force.

I’m not sure if I was a historian of sexuality or of World War II or twentieth-century Britain or what, but whatever the case I’d been asked to analyze different theories seeking to reconcile this with previously established facts about Peggy’s personality and attitudes. It wasn’t that she had slept with women that was hard to reconcile, or even necessarily that she’d had casual sex with women, it was the sheer number and frequency of these encounters and the emotionally uninvolved way in which she recounted them. I remember that I was torn on the work I was doing, because I was happy to find apparent hard evidence that Peggy was bisexual (which had evidently been one of my hobbyhorses as a historian for some time) but unhappy that these diaries were representing her as being unfeeling towards her partners.

One theory was that this was some sort of code, or attempt to distract attention from something even more potentially damning but non-sexual in character. I rejected this because there was no way to corroborate it, but conceded that evidence supporting this theory might emerge in the future. I think the theory that I eventually proposed myself was that these were Peggy’s records of her sexual fantasies rather than actual liaisons. This theory had its faults but seemed to account for the fact that none of the other women ostensibly involved had ever given any indication of these trysts happening.

I’m not sure why I had this dream now, exactly, but I’m actually really pleased with my subconscious for how accurate to real-world historical practice it was.

Corporal Elspeth Henderson and Sergeant Helen Turner (1941). Dame Laura Knight (English, 1877-1970).

Celebrates two young women in the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force who were awarded the Military Medal for Bravery in recognition of the way they had stayed at their posts after their building received a direct hit. And while Knight has given all due attention to their uniforms, their equipment, and even to a map on the wall behind them, it is their determination and commitment that catches one’s attention.