NPR (National Public radio) posted a great story about a woman named Jennie Hodgers who chose to live as a man named Albert Cashier so that she could have a soldier's wages and other benefits reserved for men during the Civil War. She was able to retain her veteran's pension because of fellow soldiers' support when officials tried to take away those benefits for identity fraud.
If you continue to research, it becomes clear that this was a more common occurrence than one would initially think. For me, it speaks to the continuing struggle we face as women for gender equality. It also relates to the stereotypical judgments based on superficial appearance and not merit that is still rampant in culture almost 150 years later.