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Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Halfway to reality

Emily Asher-Perrin fails to think the matter all the way through:
Never mind the chainmail bikinis—what about those awkward breast plates in armor that we see frequently in fantasy artwork and at the Ren Faire? Whenever women complain about this convention, they are usually shot down for trying to erase women’s true bodies, for insisting that women make themselves more “male” in order to appear strong and capable.... Let’s begin by stating the simple purpose of plate armor—to deflect blows from weaponry. Assuming that you are avoiding the blow of a sword, your armor should be designed so that the blade glances off your body, away from your chest. If your armor is breast-shaped, you are in fact increasing the likelihood that a blade blow will slide inward, toward the center of your chest, the very place you are trying to keep safe.

But that’s not all! Let’s say you even fall onto your boob-conscious armor. The divet separating each breast will dig into your chest, doing you injury. It might even break your breastbone. With a strong enough blow to the chest, it could fracture your sternum entirely, destroying your heart and lungs, instantly killing you. It is literally a death trap—you are wearing armor that acts as a perpetual spear directed at some of your most vulnerable body parts. It’s just not smart.

 That’s not to say that female armor cannot be shaped differently—in fact, it should be to account for differences in shoulder-to-waist ratios and more, as the military recently discovered. Some films decide to provide women with a shelf of sorts in the chest region and that choice, if well-designed, can be flattering as well as functional. But it still isn’t logical or necessary by a longshot.

So if you want to wear some sculpted armor to the Ren Faire because you feel fabulous-looking in it, go forth and have fun! But if you’re drawing lady soldiers, or creating female characters who are depicted as actual warriors, please err on the side of reality when designing their armor. Science says your boob plates are killing the women you hoped they would protect.
Of course, if we're going to start bringing reality into swords and sorcery, we should probably also take into consideration the fact that even a large, well-trained woman couldn't last thirty seconds against the average warrior.  The correct and realistic portrayal of an armor-era woman is either one who is dead and buried after her brief foray into warrior womanhood or at home, caring for the children that she started bearing in her teens.

Awkward and combat-inefficient breast plates are the least of the problem. What it is time to retire is the absurd and ahistorical "warrior woman".

The amusing thing is that throughout the comments, no one even stops to realize that the entire premise of women attempting to fight with swords is physically ridiculous.  If you doubt me, just hand a sword to the closest woman the next time you're in a medieval museum.

Labels:

159 Comments:

Anonymous the bandit May 07, 2013 1:15 PM  

> even a large, well-trained woman couldn't last thirty seconds against the average warrior.

That's where supernatural abilities come to the rescue.

Anonymous Jack Amok May 07, 2013 1:16 PM  

The correct and realistic portrayal of an armor-era woman is...

Wearing boob-enancing, totally impractical but visually appealing armor so as to entertain and encourage the men who actually have to go out tomorrow to fight and maybe die in real armor.

Anonymous Porky May 07, 2013 1:18 PM  

What about Joan of Arc?

Oh yeah...

Anonymous Daniel May 07, 2013 1:20 PM  

Not only that, boob plate armor doesn't even deflect boobs like her.

The cure to boob-plate armor existed in spades for decades in fantasy literature. Their names are Robert E. Howard, J.R.R. Tolkien, Edgar Rice Burroughs, and T.H. White.

Is it any wonder that the chainmail bikini (the mother of boob plate) originated in 1970? Two years after the Freedom Trash Can?

Someone can't connect the dots.

Plate armor boobs are feminism unchecked.

Anonymous WinstonWebb May 07, 2013 1:21 PM  

Vox has clearly never seen this historical documentary.


Anonymous a_peraspera May 07, 2013 1:24 PM  

My girlfriend is a beautiful, delicate little thing - about 120 pounds. Around last Christmas time we were shopping in a Target. I noticed a barrel with rolls of wrapping paper, decorated with snowflakes, candy canes, Santa Claus, the usual. I picked up two rolls, tossed one to her and said "en garde."

She couldn't move her wrist quickly enough to parry more than two attacks - the weight of the PAPER ROLL forced her arm down too heavily. She was quickly disarmed and at my mercy. She said and I quote, "I can't even imagine fighting with a real sword if a paper roll feels that heavy!"

Anonymous Rex Little May 07, 2013 1:27 PM  

I'm not sure what Porky's "Oh, yeah" meant, but what about Joan of Arc? Did she do any hand-to-hand fighting, or just lead from behind the lines?

Anonymous David May 07, 2013 1:34 PM  

I don't know if King Henry ever fought in this armor, but this armor clearly isn't designed to make sure blows to the crotch glance off.

http://oxthepunx.files.wordpress.com/2009/11/img_1446ed.jpg

Anonymous Paul Durow May 07, 2013 1:36 PM  

"Vox has clearly never seen this historical documentary."

Yeah, that was hilarious.

Blogger IM2L844 May 07, 2013 1:37 PM  

Did she do any hand-to-hand fighting,...

No. She never actually fought in battle or killed anyone. She was more like a cheerleader.

Anonymous Alexander May 07, 2013 1:40 PM  

Yep Rex, exactly.

Just like when Elizabeth I flipped Drake the bird, personally steered the lead fire ship into the Armada, then swam from the Channel to Seville where she defeated Philip II in single combat.

Anonymous Porky May 07, 2013 1:47 PM  

She was more like a cheerleader.

Or the mascot.

Anonymous CrisisEraDynamo May 07, 2013 1:49 PM  

But what of the Dahomey Amazons? What of the women soldiers of the Red Army during WWII?

Anonymous Telluride Tad May 07, 2013 1:52 PM  

Wait a minute! I saw women Vikings (Shield Maidens) in combat on the History channel, and they kicked ass! Vox is wrong, they never make stuff up if it is on TV!


Telluride Tad

Anonymous DrTorch May 07, 2013 1:52 PM  

Vox has clearly never seen this historical documentary.

I was thinking of this one

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0112230/

Anonymous Mag Dolors May 07, 2013 1:56 PM  


from the comments on the original article;

In modern fantasy armies, significant proportions of male opponents would not be distracted .. by the boobosity of the armor plating..



Love the expert bloviating on modern FANTASY armies. They can be whatever the author fantasizes them to be and piss on anyone else.

Blogger Conan the Cimmerian, King of Aquilonia May 07, 2013 1:59 PM  

Hey morons,

There is only one way for women in battle.

It is called topless.

You are welcome.

Anonymous JartStar May 07, 2013 1:59 PM  

The rebuttal in her comments misses the point.

Anonymous Sigyn May 07, 2013 2:01 PM  

Yes, exactly! The only weapon for a real woman is a skillet! You can bludgeon your opponent from behind, and then cook a snappy supper for the REAL warriors.

...A supper that isn't made of your opponent.

...Okay, throwing up now.

OpenID kaiheitai May 07, 2013 2:03 PM  

It's always been annoying to me that almost all contemporary fantasy simply ignores the physical differences between men and women, making them all equal in melee combat. Even Dungeons and Dragons fell for the equality balogna (30 years ago) when they got rid of the limits on female strength.

Anonymous Sigyn May 07, 2013 2:03 PM  

Wait, hold on. Someone getting distracted by minutiae and failing to get the wider point?

"Emily ASHER-Perrin"?

There are some coincidences that are too funny.

Blogger Crowhill May 07, 2013 2:10 PM  

Vox -- the purpose of female armor is to make the woman attractive enough that the male warrior will keep her safe. :-)

Anonymous Edjamacator May 07, 2013 2:15 PM  

There are some coincidences that are too funny.

You mean "There are some coincidences that are too funny, of course."

Anonymous . May 07, 2013 2:16 PM  

If you doubt me, just hand a sword to the closest woman the next time you're in a medieval museum.

But... but... Maid Marian kicked Robin Hood's ass in a swordfight in that Kevin Costner movie! And the Moor was much smarter than the English guy, too, so there, raciss!

Anonymous jack May 07, 2013 2:19 PM  

For an interesting novel concerning how to properly set up an all female unit you can read Tom Kratman's Amazon Legion. Kratman is ex army, Ranger, a Colonel of infantry, etc. His ideas seem realistic.

Amazon Legion was the fourth in the 'A Desert called Peace; series. I enjoyed them all. Military detail is there in abundance and seems quite accurate.

Blogger Brad Andrews May 07, 2013 2:20 PM  

Can't remember the name, but one lady in the O.T. killed a man by driving a tent peg through his head. He was passed out asleep at the time, but don't let that ruin the theme.

Anonymous AB Prosper May 07, 2013 2:22 PM  

I am a little more tolerant of the warrior woman archetype than most, Vox is correct of course but I'd wager a certain number of unusual women could draw a decent weight of bow or handle an average man in a fight, especially say an unarmored levy or the like. I do know women now that could throw a javelin well enough to kill quite easily as well.

The historical record lists more than a few and in fact the I33 manuscript shows a woman training sword and buckler, the premier personal defense of the period. It was I suspect primarily for sport but it also probably worked fine against ruffians of all sorts

As history shows warrior women were however quite rare,

Besides exacting realism in fantasy in unnecessary, verisimilitude will more than suffice. Its why I rather like Brienne from the Game of Thrones. She gets all the opprobrium one would expect for someone as unusual as she is, being a one in many millions woman. She also isn't that super great in battle either. deadly (as of where I have read) but no match for the combat monsters in that setting.

lastly,ancient loads were less weighty than modern ones. I know plenty of not especially fit people who could manage them and the kit of a skirmishers (and virtually all female warriors were skirmishers) was very light, a sidearm, a shield weighing about what a modern purse does (not kidding, typical purses are about six pounds change) and better balanced. Such kit is not onerous or unmanageable.

Men certainly are stronger than women and better suited to a fight with muscle powered weapons but a small number of fairly successful women warriors in settings with little armor is plausible.

Lastly guns, some fantasy has them, all bets are off there, Women "shootists" weren't common historically but are totally feasible. She might even have a bayonet or sword though I doubt she'd be that good with it.

Anonymous the bandit May 07, 2013 2:23 PM  

Can't remember the name, but one lady in the O.T.
That would be Jael. She also gave the lad some warm milk to help him fall asleep.

Anonymous JI May 07, 2013 2:24 PM  

What about Boudicea, Queen of the Iceni? She did pretty well.

Anonymous . May 07, 2013 2:27 PM  

I don't know if King Henry ever fought in this armor, but this armor clearly isn't designed to make sure blows to the crotch glance off.

Be thatte a codde in thine armour, or art thou merely gladde to see me?

Blogger Beefy Levinson May 07, 2013 2:31 PM  

If any budding young fantasy author just can't resist adding the token sassy butt kicking warrior woman, consider making her the resident magic user or a sneaky assassin type. GTFO with the chicks in plate armor with two handed broadswords.

Anonymous Wendy May 07, 2013 2:33 PM  

I don't know if King Henry ever fought in this armor, but this armor clearly isn't designed to make sure blows to the crotch glance off.

Parade armor. In fact, most surviving armor is parade armor. If it doesn't look practical, it wasn't meant to be.

Anonymous Wendy May 07, 2013 2:35 PM  

As for a woman using a rifle and bayonet. No. Too heavy and unwieldy unless she is freakishly strong, but then should she still wouldn't be fast enough.

Blogger Jehu May 07, 2013 2:37 PM  

Just placing a woman warrior who is of equal strength to an average male warrior is burning 3 sigmas from your verisimilitude budget. Your low-end heroes in most novels are around 4 sigma from the male mean. Your average hero is closer to 5 or 6. Making your woman warrior equal strength to one of those seriously blows the budget. If you want to not be laughable to anyone who has even seen the inside of a gym, I suggest these authorial guidelines:
The occasional woman warrior is fine, but most of them should be at or below the average male level of melee competence. Frankly even this is very exceptional, the Marines have yet to water down their standards enough to make a woman Marine Infantry Officer.
Never make a woman your 'mightiest warrior in the land'.
Use something supernatural (divine or demonic ancestry, sorcery, etc) if you've absolutely got to have a woman warrior in the league of the average heroic protagonist.
Recognize that if you incorporate lots of women in your fictional armed forces in combat roles that you need to radically rethink your whole society as well. Sexual dimorphism is real and pretty damned significant, and its existence drives cultural adaptations towards that fact. If your fictional world includes less of a difference in strength or endurance or speed between men and women, that WILL affect the evolution of your world's societies. God help you if you're assuming equality and not just shrinking a 3 sigma gap to 1 or 2.

Anonymous G.Veil May 07, 2013 2:37 PM  

The idea that Joan of Arc was merely a mascot is ridiculous. By most accounts she was as brave and bold as any French commander of the war if not braver and bolder. She led from the front, was an able tactician, and her leadership is beyond reproach. She almost single-handedly changed the French fortunes in the 100 Years War. Your statement that she was merely a fan or mascot has no standing or basis in historical fact.

Anonymous cheddarman May 07, 2013 2:41 PM  

"lastly,ancient loads were less weighty than modern ones. I know plenty of not especially fit people who could manage them and the kit of a skirmishers (and virtually all female warriors were skirmishers) was very light, a sidearm, a shield weighing about what a modern purse does (not kidding, typical purses are about six pounds change) and better balanced. Such kit is not onerous or unmanageable." AB Prosper

You are dreaming, man. Look at the load of a Roman soldier. Heavy shield, body armor, helmet, weighted javelins (pilia). There is no way a woman could lug that around and still have enough energy to fight.

Besides, you are ignoring basic human anatomy. The woman's body is designed for bearing children, not fighting. A lean woman age 19-20 is about 20% body fat, a man about 7%.

http://www.builtlean.com/2010/08/03/ideal-body-fat-percentage-chart/

people who have mixed martial arts experience who post here have repeatedly stated that women cant handle combat against men.

Anonymous JartStar May 07, 2013 2:45 PM  

G. Veil did she personally fight other professional soldiers and/or knights and defeat them in battle?

Anonymous cheddarman May 07, 2013 2:48 PM  

"What about Boudicea, Queen of the Iceni? She did pretty well." JI

She did very well as a commander, fighting against the Romans using guerrilla tactics.

She got her head handed to her by the Romans in a set piece battle, even though she had them heavily outnumbered.

A 1st century lesson for all of those who would understand game.

Anonymous Clay May 07, 2013 2:49 PM  

What about Boudica, Queen of the Iceni? She did pretty well.

If you call attacking two Legions of Romans, (about 10,000 men), and losing your entire army, (estimates vary from 100,000 to 230,000), as doing "pretty well", then she was a bad-ass.

Might have had her boobs painted blue, though.

Anonymous Daniel May 07, 2013 2:59 PM  

Warrior woman is about as interesting and plausible a trope as wetnurse man.

Anonymous Daniel May 07, 2013 3:00 PM  

I should amend that. Mila Jovovich and her stunt double are fascinating gymnasts.

Blogger tz May 07, 2013 3:02 PM  

There seems to be something similar in the sports of football (US definition, not Soccer) and hockey. Women need different protection and similarly couldn't win in a mixed play.

Anonymous G.Veil May 07, 2013 3:02 PM  

If you are referring to single combat, then no Joan of Arc never defeated any soldiers or knights in combat. If you are talking in battle, then yes Joan of Arc won a number of notable victories such as Orleans or Patay against English commanders who were knights. Last I checked however her personal battlefield fights against other knights are not the issue. She was referred to as a mascot and cheerleader and that is an insult to her and her many documented accomplishments on the battlefield. The assertion that the woman most responsible for French success in the 100 Years War was nothing more than a glorified cheerleader is ridiculous.

Anonymous Gecko May 07, 2013 3:10 PM  

The idea that Joan of Arc was merely a mascot is ridiculous. By most accounts she was as brave and bold as any French commander

Whoosh!

Anonymous Tractor Dan May 07, 2013 3:12 PM  

Cotton apron. Kitchen. Baby on hip. Isn't that armor enough?

Anonymous Sigyn May 07, 2013 3:13 PM  

Last I checked however her personal battlefield fights against other knights are not the issue.

Well, considering that the subject of the thread is "warrior woman", not "woman field marshal on the sidelines", it's kind of the issue.

And, if you assume that she wasn't a complete lunatic, then she was being guided by angels, according to her own testimony. Is she really that responsible for the victories if that's true?

Anonymous Alexander May 07, 2013 3:14 PM  

We've been talking about single combat. That was the issue raised - not whether women were capable of being generals, but whether they needed practical boob armor for when they went sword-to-sword against their foes.

On that front, Joan is irrelevant.

Anonymous patrick kelly May 07, 2013 3:15 PM  

"If you are referring to single combat..."

Seems pretty obvious that was the criteria for comments before this new internet historical genius showed up.

Boob armor has nothing to do with leading men to fight other men, in battle, on the field with swords, and shields, and big nasty sharp teeth............grrrrrrrrrllllllllppppppwwwwwwweerrrr !!!

Anonymous MendoScot May 07, 2013 3:15 PM  

What about Boudicea, Queen of the Iceni? She did pretty well.

BWAHAHAHAHA.

Nice one.

Anonymous Alexander May 07, 2013 3:16 PM  

The next issue of course is whether anyone bringing about French victory on the battlefield is someone to be celebrated.

Blogger Doom May 07, 2013 3:17 PM  

Museum? And, my mother is a strong woman. She just is. But in my bastard sword, arming dagger, set, she has trouble with the arming dagger. My women have just left my steal alone, save borrowing my pocket folder once on a rare occasion, even then as if it was a snake. And a heavy one.

Women warriors have always been a nagging thing that makes me grumble. Sure, Joan of Arc may have had armor, but she didn't fight in it. She rode a horse with it, avoided all combat in it, and was doing good to stay on her mount with it on. Bleh. Hate that stupidity.

Anonymous . May 07, 2013 3:18 PM  

not whether women were capable of being generals

And speaking of which -

Boadicea - LOSER
Joan of Arc - LOSER

What else you got?

Anonymous David May 07, 2013 3:22 PM  

Wait a minute, I just checked and on one site it says Joan of Arc's army won 9 of 13 known engagements.

That isn't bad. And even if her record was perfect Joan of Arc doesn't prove equality, she is an outlier.

Anonymous Alexander May 07, 2013 3:23 PM  

Well, .

At its current rate, Red Alert 4 will have nothing but a female officer corps.

Of course, at the way that franchise is going RA4 will be nothing more than a cold war-themed porno with some sort of minigame attached.

BUT IT TOTES COUNTS. TANYA! ROAR!

Blogger Conan the Cimmerian, King of Aquilonia May 07, 2013 3:26 PM  

No, no, no.

TOPLESS.

Other acceptable attire can be copied from Frank Frazetta or Boris Vallejo.

Anonymous . May 07, 2013 3:28 PM  

I just checked and on one site it says Joan of Arc's army won 9 of 13 known engagements.

Bottom line, captured and executed.

LOSER.

Blogger IM2L844 May 07, 2013 3:31 PM  

The assertion that the woman most responsible for French success in the 100 Years War was nothing more than a glorified cheerleader is ridiculous.

Okay, according to History.com: "she would accompany her men as a sort of inspirational mascot, brandishing her banner in place of a weapon." Like one of those flag girls except behind the marching band instead of in front.

In any event, with regards to the topic at hand, she wouldn't have needed to worry even if she had booby shaped armor.

OpenID ZT May 07, 2013 3:32 PM  

I was catching up on Game of Thrones. Jamie and Brienne are fighting on the bridge and I'm thinking "Are they doing slow motion? or is Jamie just trying to let her win".

I don't know if it was planned out but the fight scene was not like the other fights you saw with Jamie.

Even when watching wrestling with likes of "China" and other large female wrestlers I could only think of how slow they were compared to the men who were larger or smaller and still much faster.


I dated an "Amazon". She was my height and almost exactly my weight. She could never keep up when it came to physical competitions and it wasn't as if she was weak or out of shape.

Simply put, pound for pound, a male will out do a women in physical conflict. Her best option is surprise and disabling so as to get away.

"Go for the eyes BOO!"

Anonymous David May 07, 2013 3:34 PM  

>Bottom line, captured and executed.
>LOSER.

Ok, by the criteria of personal survival, she loses. However she is/was a Christian, and Christian criteria for success is broader than that.

She did complete her objective, which was to preserve France. And she got sainthood in the Catholic Church. IMO she has earned acknowledgement of her successes.

Anonymous Tractor Dan May 07, 2013 3:48 PM  

Medieval times: Get me a flagon of ale, wench.

Anonymous Jim C. May 07, 2013 3:50 PM  

@CrisisEraDynamo

The battlefield prowess of the Dahomey "Amazons" are a myth propagated by Stanley Alpern, your typical Gamma-with-a-hard-on.

The battlefield prowess of Red Army girl snipers are unsubstantiated Soviet propaganda.

Come on, man. This isn't the first time you've brought them up.

Blogger IM2L844 May 07, 2013 3:55 PM  

IMO she has earned acknowledgement of her successes.

Yes. And Perpetua, who may have been glad to have some booby shaped armor, earned acknowledgement for her Christian deeds as well, but that's also irrelevant here.

Blogger El Borak May 07, 2013 3:55 PM  

Sure, Joan of Arc may have had armor, but she didn't fight in it.

Actually she slept in it so she would not be molested by the thousands of French soldiers around her.

True story, bro.

Anonymous stevev May 07, 2013 3:56 PM  

Surely there were Casper Milquetoasts conscripted from among the villages during Medieval times? Perhaps the womyn warriors were directed to find them and thrash them.

Anonymous G.Veil May 07, 2013 3:58 PM  

@Sigyn/Alexander: I never questioned whether or not Joan could go head to head against another man, I questioned referring to her as a mascot. Follow closely, I did not start this debate, I merely pointed out that she wasn't a mascot, you were not required to respond, but I'm not averse to lively discussion if you want one.

@IM2L844: She did a multitude of things besides sitting on her horse waving a flag and looking pretty. She was responsible for the relief of the siege of Orleans, she was responsible for the defeat of the British at Patay, and she also convinced Charles VII to go to Rheims and accept his coronation as the rightful King of France.

@.: Joan of Arc successfully turned the tide of the war in France's favor by changing the entire perspective of France. She made them believe that they could win the war and that they could defeat an English army which had abused and demoralized them for the past thirteen years. If her capture and execution refute all that she accomplished in her life and the work she started that continued after her death, I just can't see it.

Anonymous Orion May 07, 2013 4:05 PM  

"from the comments on the original article;

In modern fantasy armies, significant proportions of male opponents would not be distracted .. by the boobosity of the armor plating..

Love the expert bloviating on modern FANTASY armies. They can be whatever the author fantasizes them to be and piss on anyone else."

You missed the point. A MODERN fantasy army would be almost half homosexuals, so they'd be too distracted by the armored bum of the man in front of them.

Anonymous Orion May 07, 2013 4:06 PM  

The point still remains veiled for some...

Anonymous . May 07, 2013 4:10 PM  

Ok, by the criteria of personal survival, she loses. However she is/was a Christian, and Christian criteria for success is broader than that.

She was tried and executed by Christians, so obviously there is scope for disagreement on that.

In any event, we are discussing generalship. Being captured and executed is not the hallmark of a great general.

Joan of Arc successfully turned the tide of the war in France's favor by changing the entire perspective of France.

Nah. That overstates the case. The English had weak leadership (a boy king, and a regency riven with factional strife). The war went on for another 23 years, so her role was hardly decisive.

Anonymous . May 07, 2013 4:11 PM  

A MODERN fantasy army would be almost half homosexuals, so they'd be too distracted by the armored bum of the man in front of them.

And there'd be a lot more of those armored codpieces David mentioned earlier....

http://oxthepunx.files.wordpress.com/2009/11/img_1446ed.jpg

Anonymous Sigyn May 07, 2013 4:12 PM  

G. Veil, you may be a spunky Internet warrior woman, but that doesn't mean you're not going to get flung around like a ragdoll.

I asked if you think Jeanne was insane, since she claimed to be guided by angels.

Anonymous Alexander May 07, 2013 4:17 PM  

She most certainly was a mascot. She was a symbol of luck. That is what a mascot is. You can argue that in addition to being a mascot she was a tactician(I trust we are all in agreement that 'warrior' is off the table) but that will require further evidence on your part before I'm convinced, I'm afraid.

As for 'leadership beyond reproach' - to paraphrase ., being left out to dry by your King and his council (what we would traditionally call the 'leaders') and then burned at the stake in a war that would then continue without you for another quarter-century are not the traditional hallmarks of leadership.

Anonymous VD May 07, 2013 4:20 PM  

In modern fantasy armies, significant proportions of male opponents would not be distracted .. by the boobosity of the armor plating..

Speaking as a man who has flattened pretty much every woman he's ever sparred against, and decked the only woman who ever physically attacked him, men aren't distracted in the slightest by the physical attributes of women when they are in fight mode.

That's the sort of idiot theory bruited about by women who overrate female sexual appeal and have never, ever, been in any sort of physical confrontation. When you're fighting, you're not even really seeing the other person, you're looking for those small openings and reading the various muscle groups.

Anonymous Godfrey May 07, 2013 4:22 PM  

Most fiction is nonsense. Bruce Lee taking a dozen foes is ridiculous.

A 5’5”, 150 pound male black belt would have a lot of difficulty with a 6’4”, 250 pound male linebacker with a knife.

Martial Arts increases your odds, it doesn’t guarantee victory.

Anonymous Blaster May 07, 2013 4:34 PM  

You could amend the comment to say:

But if you’re drawing lady soldiers, or creating female characters who are depicted as actual warriors, please err on the side of practicality when designing their armor.

This removes Asher-Perrin's conceit about what's more "realistic" while still allowing for an artist who may legitimately want to indulge that fantasy for the sake of her audience.

Anonymous Rally May 07, 2013 4:42 PM  

Or wailing their lamentations after you crush your enemies and see them driven before you.

Anonymous dan May 07, 2013 4:43 PM  

milla jovovich has boobs?

Anonymous ?? May 07, 2013 4:44 PM  

What happened to this blog??

Blogger Conan the Cimmerian, King of Aquilonia May 07, 2013 4:46 PM  

Topless is the only way.

Blogger Tom Kratman May 07, 2013 4:48 PM  

http://www.baen.com/amazonsrightbreast.asp

Go. Read. Enjoy.

Anonymous JartStar May 07, 2013 4:49 PM  

Joan of Arc did use her sword and killed:

"...when she found two prostitutes accompanying [her soldiers] she drew her sword and struck one so manfully that the blade broke and the woman died.

...We must not exaggerate the military importance of Joan of Arc; probably Dunois and La Hire would have saved Orleans without her; her tactics of reckless assault won some battles and lost others; and England was feeling the cost of a Hundred Years' War". The Reformation ~Will Durant

Blogger El Borak May 07, 2013 4:49 PM  

Given the conflicting testimony (English vs. French), it's almost impossible to determine Joan's actual position in among the French troops. Historians argue about it to this day, and you can always find one who will support whatever position you choose. Joan was convicted of wearing male clothing, including armor, and moderns even impute cross-dressing and sexual disorientation to her. Historians are as trendy as 15-year-girls and as a group almost as wise.

That said, the actual reason Joan wore armor can probably illustrate her position with a clarity that historians, as a group, do not. Two quotes from "Primary Sources and Context Concerning Joan of Arc's Male Clothing" will make the point abundantly clear:

.... Additionally, [contemporary] accounts say that during her campaigns she had sometimes gone so far as to seek the added protection of sleeping in full plate armor despite the pain and bruising that would result from spending the entire night with metal plates digging into her flesh. The recurring pattern is a desperate fear of rape, not a desire to wear male attire as a personal identity statement...

"La Chronique de la Pucelle" provides a quotation from her which perhaps is the clearest summary of her motives, dovetailing the other reasons listed separately in other sources. She says that the saints in her visions had commanded her to wear male clothing, primarily in order to protect her virginity, and because it would be "too strange" to ride in a dress among so many soldiers (Quicherat, vol. IV, pp. 250 - 251).

The fact that Joan wore armor to protect her from her own troops ought to prove sufficient to destroy the idea that she was some sort of commander who inspired fear and respect from men she led into battle. In actual fact, she was not an inept commander at all, for she was not a commander. She was a mascot of and martyr for the French, who posthumously glorified her rather minor contributions to the French war effort.

Think of her as a 15th century Jessica Lynch.

Blogger Conan the Cimmerian, King of Aquilonia May 07, 2013 4:49 PM  

This blog is in high danger of gay.

Topless. And no cutting off of teh boooobs.

Anonymous Daniel May 07, 2013 5:05 PM  

That's the sort of idiot theory bruited about by women who overrate female sexual appeal and have never, ever, been in any sort of physical confrontation. When you're fighting, you're not even really seeing the other person, you're looking for those small openings and reading the various muscle groups.

Oh, I know a few ladies who have been in a fair number of physical confrontations who are fairly adept at sleight of hand distractions - but that's a different category. Most of their fights are with other women. Most of those are of the Minnie Pearl Harbor variety. You know - the gonzo bonkers sneak attack.

Those ladies hold their own against the men they attack, too, for about the first five seconds (throw a drink or a phone, scratch, go down screaming.)

I really need to start hanging out with a better class of redneck.

Anonymous David May 07, 2013 5:06 PM  

"She was a mascot of and martyr for the French, who posthumously glorified her rather minor contributions to the French war effort.
Think of her as a 15th century Jessica Lynch."

I strongly disagree with your conclusion Borak.

http://www.scottmanning.com/content/joan-of-arc-military-successes-and-failures/
------------------
During an attack on another English fort outside Orléans, an arrow hit Joan above the breast in plain sight of everyone in the battle. While Joan had her wounds dressed, the French, who had been attacking all day long, faltered. As her troops were retreating, Joan returned, stuck her banner on the edge of the ditch surrounding the fort, and declared, “[T]here should be no retreat.”19 Both the French and English soldiers who previously thought she was dead–or at least mortally wounded–were shocked. The French gained courage and attacked; the English were afraid and fled. Joan’s troops took the fort with little resistance. Most of the English drowned in their retreat when they crowded a weak bridge that collapsed over the Loire River.
---------------

Assuming it happened as this account says it happened, her rallying the troops is an act of leadership. And she doesn't just affect the French, she kept affecting the English too. They were demoralized when they had to fight against her. That is why they kept referring to her as a witch. It was a way to excuse their panic and retreats.

Both sides believed in the same God, and both sides believed their cause was right. The latter belief is true for both sides in almost every war. But Joan actually made the other side very much doubt that this was the case, and a demoralized army is going to lose.

Jessica Lynch had zero effect on the morale of the other side.

Anonymous Daniel May 07, 2013 5:07 PM  

Ah yes, Joan of Arc, slayer of camp followers...

Anonymous HardReturn¶ May 07, 2013 5:08 PM  

add to list of warrior queen losers: Zenobia of Palmyra

Anonymous buzzcut May 07, 2013 5:15 PM  

Joan was probably just pissed because the camptown ladies sing this song.

Anonymous dh May 07, 2013 5:15 PM  

Those ladies hold their own against the men they attack, too, for about the first five seconds (throw a drink or a phone, scratch, go down screaming.)

It takes a lot of people about 5-10 seconds to understand they are under serious attack, and to switch off the filter.

The first time it happens to you - a serious attack - it's jarring. Mentally, most people are not prepared.

Sparring has the ability to help you train the civilized response into a binary flag. The ability to come in and out of aggressive/reactive violence from a mental stand point is a valuable one when attacked or called on for decisive action.

It was several years after I was in a "real fight" before I started any of type of regular practice. It was several years after that when I again was called on to fight in a real situation. The difference in my reaction times was stark.

A woman's only chance is surprise and using the man's inability to react with the appropriate level of force.

Anonymous Anonymous May 07, 2013 5:16 PM  

what about chest protectors for women boxers and martial arts fighters? are they needed? years ago they were required but not now.
j.j. whalen

Anonymous G.Veil May 07, 2013 5:17 PM  

@.: Quite incorrect sir. Firstly, while the English certainly had weak leadership and factional strife the French had even more cautious and feeble leadership. That was demonstrated by the fact that said French leadership cowed before as you put it a weak English monarchy. Further you lack a comprehensive understanding of Medieval siege warfare. The English had spent countless decades seizing a variety of castles and cities throughout France and it took the French a shorter amount of time to recapture them only because of the growth of the siege engines like the bombard. Closely study the 100 Years War and you'll find that the English never recovered the initiative or momentum following Joan of Arc's brief but meteoric rise and fall. That is how you measure her importance, she stopped 91 years of English growth and expansion at the expense of France and started what would be 23 years of French revival.

@Sigyn: No, I doubt she was insane, I find it more likely that she was guided by a religious vision though whether that is true is up to debate. What isn't is that having God tell you to do something is far different from him doing it for you. Even if for a moment we believe that she was guided by religious visions I recall no record of angels or mystic figures fighting the battles. No mention of a godly inspiration overcoming the French army or sudden fear overcoming the English army. You can choose to disagree and that's your right as we have no conclusive proof of Joan of Arc's sanity, but I find it hard to believe that an insane girl managed to convince the Dauphin, the clergy, the council, battle hardened generals, and battle hardened soldiers to follow her lead. I find it more likely that they truly believed in this girl and God to lead them to victory against English. Further I am not a spunky woman internet warrior, I am a 181 lb. 5'11 male, and if you think you can fling me around like a rag doll online or otherwise, you're in for a rude surprise.


@Alexander: Yes we are both in agreement that she was no warrior, so no argument there. She wasn't a symbol for luck she was a symbol of hope. As for being a tactician, well she was the principal leader of the French Army during the Siege of Orleans and the Battle of Patay, those are the two more significant and important battles she was a part of. I would dispute your belief that the fact that she was hung out to dry by the Council and her own King as proof of her lack of leadership. Firstly it demonstrates a lack of both gratitude and leadership on the part of the Charles VII and his Council to hang her out to dry. Second, the very reason they might have left her out there to dry was that she was so successful and popular. Charles VII owed everything he was to Joan of Arc, a man, a king no less owing all he was to a peasant girl was probably very humiliating. This could have been a spiteful way of demonstrating he didn't need a peasant girl. Also showing how much she meant and how much respect she commanded a French Marshal named Jean de Boussac hired out of his own pocket 4,000 soldiers and attempted to liberate Joan from Compiegne. I would say that as a leader she seemed to mean something to the men she led, after all would you ruin yourself financially to get back mascot.

Anonymous WinstonWebb May 07, 2013 5:18 PM  

Joan of Arc did use her sword and killed:

"...when she found two prostitutes accompanying [her soldiers] she drew her sword and struck one so manfully that the blade broke and the woman died.


Proof positive, folks. Joan was hardcore.

By comparison, what is Alexander's kill count of unarmed whores?

Yeah, that's what I thought.
HARD.
CORE.

Anonymous JartStar May 07, 2013 5:26 PM  

David, she was inspiring, but she was neither a warrior or a great tactician. She was brave or reckless depending upon your perspective.

"She followed the King and his army in an attack upon Paris, which was still held by the English; she was in the van in clearing the first foss; approaching the second, she was struck in the thigh by an arrow, but remained to cheer on the troops. Their assault failed, they suffered 1,500 casualties, and cursed her for thinking that a prayer could silence a gun; this had not been their experience." ~Will Durant

This dichotomy is one of the reasons she remains an historical enigma and interesting, and I don't discount the possibility that she was sent from God to help the French given her lack of warrior and military training but the positive effect she had on the French.

Anonymous Samuel Scott May 07, 2013 5:27 PM  

In terms of fiction, is it also worth mentioning that Buffy and other assorted female characters on the show were essentially useless in physical fights whenever they were not "powered" by supernatural means?

Anonymous Sigyn May 07, 2013 5:38 PM  

You can choose to disagree and that's your right as we have no conclusive proof of Joan of Arc's sanity, but I find it hard to believe that an insane girl managed to convince the Dauphin, the clergy, the council, battle hardened generals, and battle hardened soldiers to follow her lead. I find it more likely that they truly believed in this girl and God to lead them to victory against English.

Or they thought she'd make a truly inspiring figurehead, considering that they'd pretty much squandered all their own credibility thus far. "Cute girl who's getting messages from God? Good deal, let's stick her in some armor and run her around with us."

Now, if it weren't for the other folks posting actual information about her here, I'd just crack wise about her. But I'll acknowledge that maybe she was unusually sharp and tough for a woman.

Further I am not a spunky woman internet warrior, I am a 181 lb. 5'11 male, and if you think you can fling me around like a rag doll online or otherwise, you're in for a rude surprise.

Now, where did I say I would do that? I'm not a spunky Internet warrior woman, either. I'm just a pregnant housewife with a Skillet of Doom. This is ILKLAND, though. Getting ragdolled is a typical experience.

Anonymous stg58/Animal Mother May 07, 2013 5:45 PM  

Off topic:

Just picked up my 1911. Fresh two tone dura coat pattern has been applied. Matte black and Steyr AUG Green. Oh yes. Also had my custom made USMC grips put on them.

O. O. O. O.

Anonymous VD May 07, 2013 5:48 PM  

The first time it happens to you - a serious attack - it's jarring. Mentally, most people are not prepared.

Most people go into a mild form of shock the first time they are hit in the face. That's why so many go down even when they really shouldn't.

Anonymous Clay May 07, 2013 5:51 PM  

Now, Zena: The Princess Warrior, could certainly swing a mean bustier. And, that little blonde sidekick of hers probably came in handy on those cold nights up on Mt. Olympus.

Anonymous jay c May 07, 2013 5:53 PM  

Off topic:

Just picked up my 1911. Fresh two tone dura coat pattern has been applied. Matte black and Steyr AUG Green. Oh yes. Also had my custom made USMC grips put on them.


How is that off topic?

I've heard several times that women are naturally better shooters. Is there any truth to that? I know my wife picked up the idea pretty quickly. But then you don't see a lot of women in shooting competitions. It sounds like another example of men dominating the extremes while women cluster in the middle.

Anonymous JartStar May 07, 2013 5:55 PM  

"Cute girl who's getting messages from God? Good deal, let's stick her in some armor and run her around with us."

Funny thing about that...

"Dunois, in Orleans, had assured the garrison that God would soon send someone to their aid. Hearing of Joan, he half believed his hopes, and pleaded with the court to send her to him at once. They consented, gave her a black horse, clothed her in white armor, put in her hand a white banner embroidered with the fleur-de-lis of France, and dispatched her to Dunois with a numerous escort bearing provisions for the besieged."

Anonymous G.Veil May 07, 2013 5:59 PM  

@Sigyn: I apologize if you don't feel like I'm posting actual information, I've never seen the need to cite my sources because I detest citing, trauma from high school I imagine. If you don't believe what I'm saying feel free to look it up. I agree that they thought she'd make an inspiring figurehead, and in fact I'll agree that they probably planned on using her like that all along. I only stated that in my humble opinion I highly doubt she was insane, but that can no more be disproven than it can be proven. I'm as unfamiliar with getting ragdolled as I am with ILKLAND, or for that matter the Ilk. Feel free to educate I'm always looking for new things to learn

Anonymous Daniel May 07, 2013 6:00 PM  

Here's the thing about the "supernatural" out for the gals...

It's stupid.

Magic should have a root that is deeper than making something impossible possible, otherwise, it is a crappy story.

The best magic: whether Vancian cost-based, Tolkien's critique on technology, or greek elemental or alchemical, has a depth and meaning and nuance. Yes, it may turn Merlin into a comical toad, or enchant a pot, or hasten the dawn, but there is almost always a cost, a promise, and a purpose.

What is the cost of a woman who is a warrior in fiction? Does she lose her sexual identity by playing the man? No. Does she find her mind breaking at the impossible death and insecurity she has brought on other men? No. Does her female version of honor backfire? No. Not typically. In fact, I can't name a good female warrior in fiction written in quite some time.

The best one wore no clothes at all and was written during the pulps. But her supernatural gifts also made sense and indeed fulfilled a deeper purpose.

Furthermore, what is the purpose of her gift? To do - magically - something identical to a man?

As to meaning - that is naturally scrambled. Putting a woman artificially in the magic role of warrior crosses the wires: are women equal (in practice) but only due to artificial enhancement? Toss out the feminist line. Are women "better" warriors in some way? Cut the misogynist line.

If I could name a decent, semi-interesting warrior woman written since the Birthgrave, I would. That was, what, the 70s?

Anonymous MendoScot May 07, 2013 6:09 PM  

Think of her as a 15th century Jessica Lynch.

Worse, look at the postwar history of her faithful Lieutentant, Gilles de Rais.

Blogger IM2L844 May 07, 2013 6:23 PM  

Somebody should warn the women's football alliance that they are pissing off Emily Asher-Perrin.

Anonymous G.Veil May 07, 2013 6:27 PM  

@MendoScot: Your categorization of Gilles de Rais as a faithful Lieutenant is absurd, he was one of a number of French generals and marshals she fought with. He was no more important than de Boussac or Dunois which is to say that they certainly knew each other and interacted, but its not like he was some trusted confidant, or that he mentioned in casual conversation that he liked raping and killing little kids.

Anonymous Jill May 07, 2013 6:32 PM  

Jael didn't have to wear armor. She simply lured a man into her tent, soothed him to sleep, and then pounded a nail in his head.

Blogger Conan the Cimmerian, King of Aquilonia May 07, 2013 6:35 PM  

Have the ilk gone full gay?

The post is about boobs.

And there is now a lively debate over a virgin french maid (Well I suppose a french woman that is a virgin is a bit rare and all) and her combat prowess, or lack thereof?

And then someone states that guns are OT?

Boobs is the topic at hand...and guns...and boobs.

Anonymous G.Veil May 07, 2013 6:44 PM  

If Vox wishes for me to cease he need only ask, otherwise I will continue to respond to questions posed or statements ludicrously absurd, for instance Mendoscot's absurd statement above.

Anonymous MendoScot May 07, 2013 7:09 PM  

And yet, he returned home from the wars a fully fledged sexual psychopath. It beggars the imagination that two weeks of boredom after war would be sufficient to drive him to raping and killing - if indeed that was the correct order - children of his desmesne. Unless he was well accustomed to it under France's flag of war, and simply had been denied his pleasure for too long.

Anonymous MendoScot May 07, 2013 7:41 PM  

...but its not like he was some trusted confidant, or that he mentioned in casual conversation that he liked raping and killing little kids.

It comes back to leadership, GV. The Normans had legitimate claims in their old homeland. Gilles supported those claims. But he fought under the Maid, against the English. And indulged himself liberally.

To say that she saved France from abuse is naïf. She merely helped choose who were the abusers. And one of the worst of them...

Anonymous Tom May 07, 2013 7:44 PM  

Hey Vox, do you think women could have been archers? I've seen some historical depictions of them, but I'm not sure those aren't just myths. In Selenoth, I haven't seen any female soldiers except the virgin elf sorceresses. Those are an odd lot.

Then, there is the population dynamics argument that has ruled history. Even *IF* women were equivalent to male warriors, the most valuable thing a woman could do for a war-like society is have two or more sons. The duty of Spartan women was to bare as many future Spartan soldiers as possible.

Anonymous Lysander Spooner May 07, 2013 7:48 PM  

Put all the feminists on the front lines, civilization will normalize sooner for all, except the femfodder. Don't worry boys there will be plenty a handful of tender bits still around.

Anonymous VD May 07, 2013 8:04 PM  

Hey Vox, do you think women could have been archers?

No. The draw on an English longbow was from 100-150 pounds. The draw of a Mongol bow was similar.

Anonymous Jack Amok May 07, 2013 8:23 PM  

Based on the overwrought harlequin prose G.Veil uses, my bet is she's a wereseal "fantasy" authoress.

Anonymous Just Mark May 07, 2013 8:52 PM  

I think the arch typical female warrior should be someone like Judith. Seduce the other sides leader take care of his little head then after he's asleep chop of his big head with his own sword. No armor required.

Anonymous G.Veil May 07, 2013 9:06 PM  

@Mendoscot: Really, I see you conveniently failed to refute my point that Gilles de Rais was no more a confidant of Joan of Arc than any other French Marshal. She certainly knew Gilles and interacted, but the idea that she somehow unleashed a sexual deviant and serial killer is laughable. As to your point on leadership, I'm glad you bring it up. Who was Gilles answerable to? Charles VII was his monarch and Gilles was answerable to him, not Joan. Who is the leader responsible for ignoring who or what Gilles was, that's if they were even aware. You make it sound like these guys parade around the fact that they are sexual deviants, most are rather adapt at fitting in and seeming normal. Further by his own admission he didn't start killing until a year after he had retired from public life in 1432. Also how do you know that he backed Norman claims, and if so why didn't he fight for the English. Your claim that he supported English claims is a clear indication that you don't understand the Hundred Years War. The fight was never about Normandy, the French didn't dispute English claim to either Normandy or Aquitaine, they demanded homage from Edward as a vassal of Philip VI. Edward refused and declared that as the closest male heir of Charles IV he was the rightful king. It was the English invasion of Central and Southern France that was the contention and Edward and his progeny had no claim.

Anonymous G.Veil May 07, 2013 9:20 PM  

@Jack Amok: So you're losing to a girl, how very apropos for this particular thread

Anonymous Bell0c46 May 07, 2013 9:22 PM  

According to the Duke of Alecon, Joan oaf Arc was indeed a formidable tactician:

"In everything that she did, apart from the conduct of the war, Joan was young and simple; but in the conduct of war she was most skillful, both in carrying the lance herself, in drawing up the army in battle order, and in placing the artillery. And everyone was astonished that she acted with such prudence and clear-sightedness in military matters, as cleverly as some great captain with twenty or thirty years experience; and especially in the placing of artillery, for in that she acquitted herself magnificently."

http://www.stjoan-center.com/military/johnegan.html
http://nobility.org/2012/03/08/joan-of-arc-military-genius/

If she was simply a mascot, then shoe never would have turned the tide of the war as she had. They could have easily picked any random peasant and put them in armor to represent the French spirit. In fact, Yolande of Aargon tried to do as much after Joan's death with some shepard boy. He did not do as well, to say the least.

It's also interesting to see the old English slanders against her resurface, such as she did not inspire her soldiers, which clearly contradicts their view of her in the text of the rehibilitation documents:

http://www.stjoan-center.com/military/stephenr.html

Borak, neither of the quotes you gave indicate that Joan of Arc was not respected by her soldiers.

The recurring pattern is a desperate fear of rape, not a desire to wear male attire as a personal identity statement.

This is a modern interpretation, and it sounds like one being made by a feminist historian trying to force an opinion onto history.

And as far as her voices telling her to wear armor, it would have been strange for her to lead a battle in a dress, and it did protect her virginity during her capture.

Anonymous E. PERLINE May 07, 2013 9:48 PM  

I've always the breastplates of women warriors. Where did they get the money to pay for those unique creations? For that matter, no matter how primitive the technology, where did they get the money to pay for those fabulous interior palace designs?

Of course, spending it all for the top of a costume forces them to economize when they get to the lower parts.

Anonymous Sojourner May 07, 2013 9:55 PM  

If God truly did inspire Joan as some kind of miracle it would be perfectly within His established nature to send something no one was expecting. The number of times God choose for Israel to go to war weaker than any sane general would so that He could show His power is proof enough of that.

As man we can certainly get high and mighty about our strengths but God certainly likes to prove at times that that means NOTHING if He so wills it.

Blogger IM2L844 May 07, 2013 9:58 PM  

Yolande of Aargon tried to do as much after Joan's death with some shepard boy. He did not do as well, to say the least.

That doesn't, by necessity, mean that someone else wouldn't have.

Yeah, yeah, JoA was great and wonderful...blah, blah, blah...boobs!

Anonymous . May 07, 2013 10:37 PM  

@.: Quite incorrect sir. Firstly, while the English certainly had weak leadership and factional strife the French had even more cautious and feeble leadership. That was demonstrated by the fact that said French leadership cowed before as you put it a weak English monarchy. Further you lack a comprehensive understanding of Medieval siege warfare. The English had spent countless decades seizing a variety of castles and cities throughout France and it took the French a shorter amount of time to recapture them only because of the growth of the siege engines like the bombard. Closely study the 100 Years War and you'll find that the English never recovered the initiative or momentum following Joan of Arc's brief but meteoric rise and fall. That is how you measure her importance, she stopped 91 years of English growth and expansion at the expense of France and started what would be 23 years of French revival.

Nah. This is a puerile view of the war. England was not constantly expanding at the expense of France for the entire 91 years until suddenly stopped by Joan - English fortunes fluctuated, largely in accordance with the competence of the English king. Charles had a strategy that was already succeeding before Joan showed up on the scene (split the Anglo-Burgundian alliance). Charles did not even try to rescue or ransom Joan, which shows that he (rightly) did not think she was essential for French success.

Anonymous MendoScot May 07, 2013 10:40 PM  

Really, I see you conveniently failed to refute my point that Gilles de Rais was no more a confidant of Joan of Arc than any other French Marshal.

You refute it in your own words. He was a Maréchal. If they were not confidants, she was but a mascot.

She certainly knew Gilles and interacted, but the idea that she somehow unleashed a sexual deviant and serial killer is laughable

Unleashed him? How interesting that you would suggest that. My point was that either she tolerated a known child fucker on her closest staff, was incapable of knowing what was going on her in command, or was a poodle.

You make it sound like these guys parade around the fact that they are sexual deviants, most are rather adapt at fitting in and seeming normal.

The rape of a city is indeed a horrible thing. But he no more had the ability to hide his crimes froms his brothers in arms than he could continue them at home without the obedience of his retinue - who testified against him. His behaviour was known. No one condemned him. Do you think the Maid asked "Are there two witnesses?"

Further by his own admission he didn't start killing until a year after he had retired from public life in 1432.

He didn't acknowledge killing children until early 1432. But he didn't acknowledge anything of which he had not been accused in his confession. He had been accused, on the basis of evidence given by his bodyservant, Etienne Corrillaut, of having started in 1426. The court couldn't prove it, and he did not admit it.

Also how do you know that he backed Norman claims, and if so why didn't he fight for the English.

The hundred years war was a mess of counterclaims over 1066 and all that. Not relevant to a thread that has already deviated from it's origin, and certainly not to whether little Jinny was a God sent warrior queen or just a pawn in a nasty dynastic war.



Anonymous Jack Amok May 07, 2013 10:52 PM  

@Jack Amok: So you're losing to a girl, how very apropos for this particular thread

Yes, the Wereseals are just too much for me. To rebuild my fagile ego I shall now have to go rape my 6'0", 140 lbs, former swimmer/volleyball player Amazonian wife. How shall you ever live with the knowledge that her suffering is your fault?

Anonymous MendoScot May 07, 2013 10:52 PM  

Although those are not mutually exclusive possibilities.

Anonymous Jack Amok May 07, 2013 10:55 PM  

Hmm.

That was, of course, supposed to be fragile ego. I can only assume I would be better at spelling it if I actually believed it.

Plus, I have to wait until she's back from the shooting range anyway.

Anonymous AB Prosper May 07, 2013 11:11 PM  

VD< a few women probably could have managed the smaller war bows. We have a modern example of a woman who could manage an 80lb bow ,in her case using it to allegedly kill an elephant .

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1846909/posts

whether she was responsible for the termination of the pachyderm might be in question but no one doubts she managed the bows pull. Now how that pull relates to a say a longbow is another issue but the lady in question can manage a bow a great many men today could not.

she is also built a little like a dutch dock worker for what its worth.

As shown in all things, most women are about 20-30% less strong than a man of comparable size. Still I'd hate to fight a war trained Lucy Lawless in her prime beings she was a miner, is nearly 6 feet tall and pretty agile. A larger man would win handily but neither her nor Gwendolyn Christie (from Game of Thrones) who is 6"3 and a trained gymnast (that means high power to weight ratio) would be pleasant to fight

They however are exceptions and would probably not be a match for a man of comparable size. That (well and reproduction) is of course why female soldiers are not efficient or cost effective for most roles.

However an occasional "fighty" female in a fantasy setting is plausible, so long as its no overdone and as has been said here, magic (like being the daughter of the God of war if you are Xena or a the Slayer) or genetic engineering where done well makes all things, even waif fu possible.

As a note the Canadian show Continuum ,a time travel cyberpunk police procedural (its better than its sounds) handles gender very well. The females even a super cop with augments and a power suit are still not a match for heads up with comparable males, relying in stealth (in the case of a villain in one episode) or tech in the case of the hero. Even the elderly lead bad guy in his 60's with comparable tech could handle the lady cop one on one,

OpenID standingagainsttheworld May 07, 2013 11:20 PM  

You will find plenty of historical women warriors on wikipedia:

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Women_in_warfare_and_the_military_in_the_ancient_era

Anonymous The other skeptic May 07, 2013 11:48 PM  

You will find plenty of historical women warriors on wikipedia:

You mean you will find plenty of fairy tales about women warriors on Wikipedia.

A Chinese guy told me a joke about Hua Mulan.

Seems Hua Mulan was ring her horse in battle and got knocked off and injured. She was having her period at the time.

The medicine men rescued him and upon trying to attend his wounds they noticed blood in his crotch and nothing else there. "Holly shit," they said. "It's so bad his dick was chopped off!"

What this means to me is that Chinese men don't belive in fairy tales.

Blogger IM2L844 May 07, 2013 11:50 PM  

You will find plenty of historical women warriors on wikipedia

Only if you define plenty as statistically insignificant as compared to men. The occasional freak of nature does not a biologism make.

Blogger Tom Kratman May 07, 2013 11:53 PM  

Looking over wiki's list, I am struck by how absolutely clueless were the assemblers or the one assembler of the list. Just for a few examples, Sophinisba poisoned herelf rather than grace a Roman triumph. What does that prove about women and war? Queen Teuta began piracy against Rome. (She didn't really; she just refused to suppress it.) What the hell does that prove about women and war? And why didn't they tell the rest of the story, she lost, had her kingdom dismembered, and was forced to pay tribute. Forget answering; the question was rhetorical. We know why the rest of the story isn't given; it doesn't support the pravda. Artemisia of Caria? Much lauded by Xerxes for sinking a ship in his view. We ought remember the rest of the story; the ship was Persian and she sank it to save her own hide.

There are some instances that really support - to a limited degree, anyway - the prospect of women in war. Padding those few with demonstrable falsehoods and myths does not improve the case. Feminist idiots.

Anonymous Bell0c46 May 08, 2013 12:02 AM  

That doesn't, by necessity, mean that someone else wouldn't have.

It certainly deomnstrates that Joan cannot so eassily be dismissed as an enthusiastic figurehead, especially given her demonstrated aptitude.

I suggest reading whatever books you can find by Regine Pernoud on Joan of Arc. Her life is a testament to the hand of God in history.

And to chime in on the main topic of this post, I like chainmail bikinis and boob armor. As long as they go with the aesthetic and tone of the series/story and the character's personality, why not?

Blogger IM2L844 May 08, 2013 12:16 AM  

I suggest reading whatever books you can find by Regine Pernoud on Joan of Arc. Her life is a testament to the hand of God in history.

I just don't find Joan of Arc's story all that compelling or interesting. There is a plethora of historical figures that I find much more interesting as far as how their stories relate a testament to the hand of God in history.

Anonymous Ove Spell May 08, 2013 12:53 AM  

Very nice post. I really enjoy the reading .Thank you for this excellent details.

Anonymous dlcarrol May 08, 2013 1:14 AM  

Elephant executrix, just for giggles: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/wildlife/5289118/Woman-hunter-kills-elephant-with-bow-and-arrow.html

Blogger Phoenician May 08, 2013 1:45 AM  

Only if you define plenty as statistically insignificant as compared to men. The occasional freak of nature does not a biologism make.

Dipshit's actual comment:

"The amusing thing is that throughout the comments, no one even stops to realize that the entire premise of women attempting to fight with swords is physically ridiculous. "

Nusaybah bint Ka'ab.

Dipshit.

Anonymous rubberducky May 08, 2013 1:47 AM  

I'm in total agreement that female warriors are a profoundly bad idea, generally speaking, with a few exceptions. Joan of Arc is the most famous exception. I don't find arguments that she was a mere cheerleader or mascot to be persuasive at all.

Joan was once injured on a scaling ladder by a glancing blow on her helmet by a stone projectile. Odds are you don't find cheerleaders or mascots on scaling ladders, I'd say. Also, with the aid of exactly one captain, Joan struck out and together they seized an English fort. Mascots and cheerleaders don't do things like that. Furthermore, after Orleans, the unexpected and bold push to Reims happened in part as a result of her advocacy within the French command.

Mascot, cheerleader? No. Joan of Arc was an effective French commander whose actions helped turn the war for France. And she commanded at the front.

Blogger Phoenician May 08, 2013 1:48 AM  

Not to mention this - http://www.nbcnews.com/id/6661426/#.UYnlSUpYV8E

----
TEHRAN, Iran — These days, Iranian women are not even allowed to watch men compete on the soccer field, but 2,000 years ago they could have been carving the boys to pieces on the battlefield.

DNA tests on the 2,000-year-old bones of a sword-wielding Iranian warrior have revealed the broad-framed skeleton belonged to a woman, an archaeologist working in the northwestern city of Tabriz said Saturday.

“Despite earlier comments that the warrior was a man because of the metal sword, DNA tests showed the skeleton inside the tomb belonged to a female warrior,” Alireza Hojabri-Nobari told the Hambastegi newspaper.

He added that the tomb, which had all the trappings of a warrior’s final resting place, was one of 109 and that DNA tests were being carried out on the other skeletons.

Hambastegi said other ancient tombs believed to belong to women warriors have been unearthed close to the Caspian Sea.
----

Hmm - perhaps the ancient Iranians knew something women-hating dipshits don't?

Blogger LP 999/Eliza May 08, 2013 2:34 AM  

please retire the female warrior worship/genre

all anyone could her, "dear maiden. can you spar with this claymore, bastard sword or a makoto, maybe a super light, sharp 3 to 5 inch long fold away knife.?"

Anonymous stg58/Animal Mother May 08, 2013 3:29 AM  

These days, Iranian women are not even allowed to watch men compete on the soccer field, but 2,000 years ago they could have been carving the boys to pieces on the battlefield.

Makes it sound like women were regularly out there standing toe to toe with male warriors. How do they know the woman in the tomb was actually a warrior? Maybe her husband, the warrior, buried his favorite wide skeletoned wife with his favorite sword. This was mostly likely in addition to the sword he buried in her on a regular basis....

Blogger Crude May 08, 2013 5:38 AM  

These days, Iranian women are not even allowed to watch men compete on the soccer field, but 2,000 years ago they could have been carving the boys to pieces on the battlefield.

That's a great quote. I mean, you can just feel the imagination working overtime there. 'We found a woman buried with a sword.' -> 'She was a warrior woman.' -> 'Women in general could probably kick 'boy' ass in warfare!'

Yeah, I think I'm going to remain skeptical. Not that there were women warriors at some place and at some time - I'm sure an odd genetic fluke and the right cultural twist can make it happen in some cases. But there you have that explicit hope that by finding an archaeological oddity without appropriate context, it somehow... what, proves women on average are just as physically strong or as fast as men?

Anonymous Maximo Macaroni May 08, 2013 6:26 AM  

the overwhelming proportion of male soldiers in a medieval army lived a life of grueling agricultural toil, making for strength well beyond what any woman could display, even the most freakish Amazon. Why do you think men wrote tales of woman warriors? Because it would amaze and astonish readers because of its improbability. As for archery, forget it. Only a small percentage of men could even draw a longbow, much less use it in a disciplined manner. Michael Crichton's "Timeline" gives an awe-inspiring account of the power of a medieval massed-longbow attack. No women need apply.

Anonymous The other skeptic May 08, 2013 7:20 AM  

Joan was once injured on a scaling ladder by a glancing blow on her helmet by a stone projectile.

And how do you know this? Were you there?

If not, what assures the veracity of the reports you are relying on?

Anonymous Alexander May 08, 2013 8:22 AM  

Note also that all the 'proof' of Joan leading from the front deal with Englishmen filling her with arrows or punching her in the face with rocks. Yet despite her now supposedly leading from the front and fighting tooth and nail with her troops - no accounts of her actually killing anyone.

Except prostitutes, I guess...

Anonymous Sigyn May 08, 2013 8:29 AM  

Hmm - perhaps the ancient Iranians knew something women-hating dipshits don't?

Hmm. 2000 years ago...

All these corpses buried along the northwestern border of the Parthian Empire...

That sounds like the "Roman-Persian Wars", when the Romans were hassling the Parthian borders. The Romans had this thing called "slavery", and they would take prisoners and sell them. A lot of prostitutes were this.

If I were a Persian woman looking at a lifetime of forced prostitution at the hands of some red-cloaked bastards coming my way, I'd probably put on some armor and make them mistake me for a (very inept) warrior, too. Death before dishonor and all that jazz.

But I'm probably just a woman-hater, too.

Blogger Alexander May 08, 2013 8:58 AM  

Warrior-women apparently did exist among the Scythians. They are attested to in the literature of the time and have been found in archeological digs. I think this is plausible because:
1) The Scythians were mounted warriors. Even today, horse riding is one of the only competitive sports where, even at the Olympic level, men and women compete without gender differentiation.
2) The Scythians used a bow with a pull estimated at 25-50 lbs. This is within the capabilities of a fit woman with training from a young age.
3) The Scythians used poisoned arrows. This strikes me as quite an equalizer.

That said, I'd like to add that using modern men and women to estimate the abilities of our ancestors is something of a fool's game. Elite rowers today cannot sustain the average rate of speed of ancient galley rowers, for instance. Medieval English peasants had vastly different bone density in their arms than modern men, due to a lifetime of longbow training. The book "Manthropology" has lots of details on this.

Anonymous Alexander May 08, 2013 9:06 AM  

Curses, this Scythian citing Alexander is a false name bearer. Need I follow George's example and claim The Original Alexander!?

Anonymous Hunsdon May 08, 2013 9:21 AM  

Cheddarman: Good call on the Roman grunts. I would add that they also packed their engineering tools with them: picks, shovels, all that good stuff.

March march march, then stop and throw up a military camp, the same way, day after day, year after year. March twenty miles, then do a couple hours of hard, hard physical labor.

Blogger Alexander May 08, 2013 9:22 AM  

Oh, sorry - I just signed in with Google. If you're going to be the Original Alexander, I can be Alexander the Pretty Good or something.

Blogger El Borak May 08, 2013 9:42 AM  

David: Assuming it happened as this account says it happened, her rallying the troops is an act of leadership...

Ah, yes, that's the rub, no? Two nitpicks with the quote, though. The first is that "There should be no retreat" is not a quote in the original (Pernoud's "The Retrial of Joan of Arc"), and the man giving the testimony in that case merely heard she had been shot.

But be that as it may, there is no doubt she showed leadership. There's no doubt she was an extraordinary woman, perhaps even a prophetess who rallied the French and scared the English. But that's what a mascot is; it's not a person dressed as a badger or something, it's "a person, animal, or object adopted by a group as a symbolic figure especially to bring them good luck," or in the case of Joan, the blessing of God.

But what she was not was a warrior - in the words of the hyper-accurate wikipedia (quoting Paul Davis) "She raised the morale of the troops and they attacked the English Redoubts, forcing the English to lift the siege. Inspired by Joan, the French took several English strongholds on the Loire." Her purpose was to convince the French (and even the English) that God was on the side of the French. In other words, she was a mascot.

The reasons I pointed out that she wore armor to prevent rape were twofold. The first is the obvious: if she did not wear armor to protect herself in battle, then she was very likely not in battle, later stories of martial prowess notwithstanding. If she was not in battle, then she was not a commander in the sense that we use the word regarding the men who were there. The second is that if she used it to prevent rape by her own troops, then she was not as universally loved or feared as some portrayals suggest.

Bell0c46: it would have been strange for her to lead a battle in a dress, and it did protect her virginity during her capture. Really? The entire English army could not divest one teenage girl of her armor by force? No wonder Miss of Ark totally rousted out them of France.

Anonymous The other skeptic May 08, 2013 9:54 AM  

The Scythians were mounted warriors.

Mounted Scythian Warrior Women.

I see.

Anonymous Daybreaker May 08, 2013 10:50 AM  

Joan was a complete beast, one of the premier killing machines of Western Europe in her era.

But she killed with her mind, not with her muscles. She said she liked her banner forty times more than her sword, and she was wise to.

Judit Polgar, at one time a top ten chess player, is real. Red Sonja is equally ridiculous whether she's wearing a chain-mail bikini or full plate armor.

Anonymous rubberducky May 08, 2013 5:11 PM  

Joan was once injured on a scaling ladder by a glancing blow on her helmet by a stone projectile.

And how do you know this? Were you there?

If not, what assures the veracity of the reports you are relying on?


Yes, I wasn't there, but John II, Duke of Alencon was at Jargeau with Joan of Arc, and it is his testimony on which I rely.

Anonymous Bell0c46 May 08, 2013 9:38 PM  

IM2L844, if you have little interest in Joan and even less knowledge of her, don't throw around misconceptions as if they are authoratative facts.

Borak, I have already given sources showing that Joan was active in command and a valued tactician. Here is another one.

http://www.stjoan-center.com/military/stephenr.html

What proof besides crude insinuation do you have that she was not in battle? Eyewitness accounts state that she was, and in a command role.

Nowhere did she every express fear that she would be raped by her own troops, and she was clearly respected by her own troops as shown by the rehibilitation transcripts, so it's absurd to she she was motivated by fear of them. And even if she was not revered by every single one of the soldiers in her command, she clearly commanded the respect of the great majority.

The entire English army was not guarding her during her imprisonment, but the armor did detour the English guards assigned to her.

Blogger Simon Leary May 12, 2013 11:12 AM  

Jean Hachette-Displayed battle prowess at the siege of Beauvais against Charles the Bold's forces.

Julie "La Maupin" D'Agny-Outdueled and humiliated male swordfighters on a routine basis.

Running Eagle-Blackfoot tribe war chief, female.

Rani Lakhshimbi-1857 Indian rebellion leader, did just fine with a sword. Just ask the British stationed at Jhansi at the time.

Matilda of Canossa-"Now there appeared in Lombardy at the head of her numerous squadrons the young maid Matilda, armed like a warrior, and with such bravery that she made known to the world that courage and valor in mankind is not indeed a matter of sex, but of heart and spirit." Also Pope Gregory the VII's personal bodyguard.

So sorry, the fact that some modern day yuppie women who likely haven't worked out or taught how to handle a sword can't handle a sword doesn't discount that there were women who did indeed fight and did so with distinction.

Blogger Simon Leary May 12, 2013 11:15 AM  

@Wendy; Women can't use a rifle? Tell that to Lyudmila Pavlechenko. That girl racked up a triple digit confirmed kill count in World War 2. With a rifle.

Blogger black michael May 12, 2013 3:17 PM  

"girls are icky eww and I'm a boy so I'm stronger than them ha ha".

Counter-example: The women of Sparta. Kept in hard physical training, bore healthy babies, and went right back to training. The children were raised collectively, lived in barracks and were trained in military tactics from an early age. Do you really imagine these women were incapable of fighting?
What about the Amazons, who may have been based on a real group of people?
You're not allowed to touch exhibits in museums, especially not swords. A woman wouldn't know how to wield it, but neither would men. It would be a bit different if you grew up around swords and were trained in their use.
You should beware of sweeping generalizations, because someone will always dig up counter-examples to prove you wrong and make you look foolish.

Blogger El Borak May 15, 2013 1:11 AM  

Eyewitness accounts state that she was, and in a command role.

Fair enough. I'll grant you that, as it's irrelevant to my argument.

Nowhere did she every express fear that she would be raped by her own troops

She didn't need to, any more than a white guy who crosses the street any time a brother approaches needs to express a fear of Darkies. It's the acts that illustrate the attitudes, not the words. Let me illustrate.

I think we can both agree that Joan claimed to have worn armor to protect her virginity. She said it, her confidants said it, her enemies said it. Even you said that it protected her from rape by the English, which it really didn't but whatever. Joan wore armor - especially at night - not to fight to but to protect her chastity.

Now, there is really only one danger to chastity, and that is sex. And there are really only two types of sex. There's the consensual kind and the other kind, the one that feminists are so fond of. I think we can eliminate the first: Joan did not wear armor because she feared she would throw herself at the first handsome young Frenchman she saw. She wore it to prevent the other kind of sex, the kind she did not consent to. She wore it to prevent rape, no? If we are not agreed here, then there's no sense in going any further. But if we are, then there's one more issue to deal with.

She did not only wear it after her capture by the English. She also wore it, as she slept, "in the field" the records say, surrounded by no Englishmen at all. In fact, she wore it surrounded by the French. So who was she concerned could endanger her chastity while she was completely surrounded by her own troops? Well, how can it be anyone but her own troops?

No, she did not say that she feared rape by the French. Rather she wore her rape-proof body suit when she was surrounded by them. That may not mean the same thing to you, but it means the same thing to me.

Anonymous Anonymous June 10, 2013 7:47 PM  

Hua Mulan. Jeanne D'Arc. Anne Bonny. Mary Read. Grace O'Malley.

Anonymous Bell0c46 June 13, 2013 11:24 PM  

I'll grant you that, as it's irrelevant to my argument.

You attempted to argue that she was a mascot rather than a warrior, history says otherwise.

Even you said that it protected her from rape by the English, which it really didn't but whatever.

Evidently it did, since she was able to repel the guards and died a virgin.

She wore it to prevent the other kind of sex, the kind she did not consent to. She wore it to prevent rape, no? If we are not agreed here, then there's no sense in going any further. But if we are, then there's one more issue to deal with.

She wore it because she was a soldier, any other intents related to that one. I said she wore it to prevent sexual assault, but that does not mean it was always on her mind. She never testified to being afraid of any of her soldiers.

Furthermore, she did not always sleep with the armor on. When she did sleep with her armor on, it was because of her enthusiasm for the next day's battle had gotten to her.

You seem to have a pre-occupation that's vausing you to read all sorts of silly cues into history where they just don't belong. You have yet to give any evidence that Joan was simply a mascot, only the conjecture of some revisionist historian.

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