You are either not logged in or not registered with our community. Click here to register.
 
December 09, 2016, 05:49:04 AM

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length

Click here if you are having problems.
Default Wide Screen Beige Lilac Rainbow Black & Blue October Send us your theme!

Hark!  The Herald!
Holiday Issue 2016

Wiki Blogs Dicebot

Author Topic: Female knights and warriors  (Read 938 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Nachtmahr

  • Glorious Fiend.
  • Liege
  • Enchanter
  • *
  • Join Date: Oct 2009
  • Location: Always out of sight, never out of mind.
  • The curse of life is the curse of want.
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 1
Re: Female knights and warriors
« Reply #25 on: August 26, 2014, 04:08:10 PM »
Armor is made for men.

Well, if we can drag ourselves out of trying to show off our diplomas - Allow me to point out that this sentence really means nothing. While I definitely agree that some armor is made for men, claiming something like this is just madness. 'Armor' is a lot of things, and even if we go as far as to discuss suits of armor, and various types of body armor there are literally thousands of different kinds and concepts. It's like saying 'Shields a heavy' - The Zulus used a wet cow skin stretched over some sticks and there you go: A bulletproof shield that weight 1,5-3 kilos.

There are so many kinds of armor in the world that we'd never make it through them all - And I strongly doubt that most women practicing front line medieval combat would be D-cups, as you mention the issues of growths in those areas. And even then, staying on just European armor, breasts are a non-issue when dealing with leather, mail or scale-based armor. Even a suit of armor is usually tailored to the wearer, and not just some general 'standard issue'-deal. Blacksmiths back then didn't really have a whole lot of machinery to work with.

Offline Steampunkette

Re: Female knights and warriors
« Reply #26 on: August 26, 2014, 04:32:27 PM »
To be clear: I'm speaking about Full Plate and similar armors worn by knights. That was the premise of the discussion and I'm running with it. I'm not trying to get into discussions of o-yoroi or zulu shields.

Leather armor isn't soft or flexible. It's layers of hardened leather that has been boiled in oil and shaped so that it retains it's shape even when taken off of a human form. If you were to try and wear leather armor sized for someone different than yourself you would find yourself chafed quite a bit, have issues of mobility, and might have difficulty breathing. At least until you get used to moving in it.

Though while I was talking about breasts I was also talking about the difference in width and depth of a human torso. Testosterone heavy individuals during puberty wind up with broader shoulders and narrower hips. A suit of tailored full plate armor for such a person would be more difficult for a person with narrower shoulders and wider hips to maneuver within, such as someone with a higher estrogen level during puberty. That's where the training comes in.

As for chain and scale: You're right and you're wrong at the same time! Both chain and scale rely on distribution of force to increase the surface area of an attack to avoid those 4 pounds per square inch from hitting flat. For someone with breasts the distribution of force is placed differently due to the shape of the torso, unless the breasts are strapped down/bound which can cause a lot of discomfort, pain, or even the destruction of breast tissue. Look into "Improper Breast Binding" and you'll see what I mean.

As for breast size: What does that have to do with anything? I'm 6'2" tall with a 38DD chest. On me they look like they're moderate C-cups because of my size and the width of my chest. Meanwhile a 5'2" person with C cups can look completely topheavy because of their relative size. The size of one's breasts has no more impact on whether they're likely to be a knight than the size of their balls. Knighthood was based on familial rank, binding contracts and oaths, and a person's ability to impress a Lord or Monarch with their strength, daring, cunning, fighting skill, asskissing, or whatever.

And yes. For a knight armor would be tailored to their body type and built for them. However most modern recreators of period fighting don't have the cash to put into a tailor-fitted suit of armor and instead opt to use something they can get their hands on within their price range: Usually either poorly fabricated factory-line armors or hand me down sets from previous recreators who are selling off their old gear.

Offline Nachtmahr

  • Glorious Fiend.
  • Liege
  • Enchanter
  • *
  • Join Date: Oct 2009
  • Location: Always out of sight, never out of mind.
  • The curse of life is the curse of want.
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 1
Re: Female knights and warriors
« Reply #27 on: August 26, 2014, 04:49:28 PM »
Knights and warriors - So we're dealing with a rather wide selection of roles here, even if we take an RP approach to the whole thing. And you ask what breasts have to do with it? Well, as you then go on to explain how distributing force across the human body works, you again mention the breasts being factor. And you were to one who brought them into the equation to begin with - But I'll say it again: Assuming that everyone had large breasts isn't really a thing. And I know how breast-binding works, thank you. Intense physical training and such will also decrease the amount of fatty tissue in your breasts, thereby making them smaller. That's why we have very few world-class female athletes with C's, D's, and anything beyond. If you want to maintain your body at post-peak physical conditions required for this kind of combat, you're most likely going to have more muscle than breast tissue at that point.

That aside - I'm also aware that wearing armor tailored for someone else is generally a bad idea, and rather uncomfortable - In fact that's why we have shoe-sizes I do believe. Because we're not all the same. I might not have the knowledge of psychology or experience in wearing iron plates for clothing to back that up, but I have reason to believe I'm right. The whole point of having anything tailored to you is to make it as easy for you to wear as possible, I do believe.

So, if we're still going to go with the classical, rather narrow idea of what a 'Knight' is, which is a rather futile exercise, then no - There would most likely not have been very many females in full body-plating, on horseback with a lance and a greatshield. You're right.
But the definition of a 'knight' is not that straightforward, and even if you go ahead and link to Wikipedia that's just not a good enough source. Knights are very different things in different cultures, even inside the same country. And that's without even mentioning the 'Warrior'-bit of the topic. A warrior is literally anything in any age.

Up until the iron age if you will, it wasn't a common thing for anyone to wear full body-armor of any type. Most soldiers serving in the different war-bands were given nothing other than what they inherited, this often being a tabard with the family or clan crest on it, a weapon - Sword or axe usually, and a helmet. Some had shields too of course. But that was about it. When looking on a timeline of war-history, armor as we know it and discuss it here is a fairly recent thing, and whom it fits isn't really all that relevant - But just to finish off this post: It's very possible for a woman to wear it and be as effective as a man.

Offline Neysha

Re: Female knights and warriors
« Reply #28 on: August 26, 2014, 05:08:10 PM »
Deadliest Warrior did a thing with St. Joan vs. William the Conqueror.  Strategy figured heavily into the mix.

http://www.spike.com/episodes/uixarz/deadliest-warrior-joan-of-arc-vs-william-the-conqueror-season-5-ep-302

The duel between the two does seem peculiar.  By her own admission IIRC, she never personally shed English blood,  except indirectly through guiding her armies.

Her value as a military commander and leader cannot be discounted however.

Quote from: Marguerite de la Touroulde
...everyone marveled at this, that she acted so wisely and clearly in waging war, as if she was a captain who had the experience of twenty or thirty years; and especially in the setting up of artillery, for in that she held herself magnificently.

But she did train, and showed some aptitude as veterans would attest too.

Quote from: Duke of Alencon
And after a meal [at Chinon Castle], the king [and he went] for a walk in the fields, and there Joan ran with the lance [jousted], and seeing Joan conduct herself in the wielding and running with the lance so, [Alencon] gave her a horse.

Offline Oniya

  • StoreHouse of Useless Trivia
  • Oracle
  • Carnite
  • *
  • Join Date: Sep 2008
  • Location: Just bouncing through. Hi! City of Roses, Pennsylvania
  • Gender: Female
  • One bad Motokifuka. Also cute and FLUFFY!
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 3
Re: Female knights and warriors
« Reply #29 on: August 26, 2014, 06:46:10 PM »
The duel between the two does seem peculiar.  By her own admission IIRC, she never personally shed English blood,  except indirectly through guiding her armies.

Pretty sure that none of the duels on DW ever had much chance of actually occurring.  XD

Offline sluggerjackson

  • Frequent Villain, Lover of Pulp, Destroyer of Bacon
  • Lord
  • Enchanted
  • *
  • Join Date: Jan 2012
  • Location: New England
  • Gender: Male
  • Take what you want, then pay for it.
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 0
Re: Female knights and warriors
« Reply #30 on: August 27, 2014, 09:29:05 AM »
I teach renaissance long sword (bastard sword, hand and a half sword, long sword. Whatever you'd like to call it.)

I've found, first hand that students of either gender can be excellent.

Also if no ones mentioned it: go Google Samantha Swords, she's a international  long sword champion. 

As for armor, you don't wear something inefficient to battle. Plate armor allowed you to maneuverable. There's no reason a woman couldn't train to do it.
« Last Edit: August 27, 2014, 10:14:36 AM by sluggerjackson »

Offline Zakharra

Re: Female knights and warriors
« Reply #31 on: August 27, 2014, 10:30:30 AM »
Pretty sure that none of the duels on DW ever had much chance of actually occurring.  XD

 Especially since there's about 400 years between them. Armor and weapons had changed and fighting styles had changed somewhat too.

Offline sluggerjackson

  • Frequent Villain, Lover of Pulp, Destroyer of Bacon
  • Lord
  • Enchanted
  • *
  • Join Date: Jan 2012
  • Location: New England
  • Gender: Male
  • Take what you want, then pay for it.
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 0
Re: Female knights and warriors
« Reply #32 on: August 27, 2014, 11:07:32 AM »
DW is entertaining,  but really,  I wouldn't put much srock in it.

Offline Slywyn

Re: Female knights and warriors
« Reply #33 on: August 27, 2014, 01:11:38 PM »
DW is entertaining,  but really,  I wouldn't put much srock in it.

It can be useful as a sort of very general comparison between the two subjects they're showing.

But the 'experts' they use are often so bias you can't really take what they say or do for granted. They're going to try to leverage what they say and do to make their side look as good as possible.

Offline BeorningTopic starter

Re: Female knights and warriors
« Reply #34 on: August 27, 2014, 04:39:19 PM »
So, to summarize the personal experiences presented in this thread...

You say that a woman can swing a sword effectively and move around in armour - and she doesn't need to have some kind of blatantly masculine built for it?

Great, I'm very glad it's that way :)

Offline Kuroneko

Re: Female knights and warriors
« Reply #35 on: August 27, 2014, 11:46:23 PM »

Ah! Thank you for saying that. A first-hand experience, I like that.

You're welcome :-)

Quote
I'm definitely not saying that a woman cannot have great spatial awareness. I personally know women who have it. In turn, my spatial awareness is pretty weak  :-) I'm simply talking about averages.

No worries, I didn't think you were. I was just speaking for myself and my own experience ;).

Quote
Thank you! That sounds extremely interesting.

You're welcome. I hope it's useful for you.




Offline Neysha

Re: Female knights and warriors
« Reply #36 on: August 28, 2014, 07:36:13 PM »
Pretty sure that none of the duels on DW ever had much chance of actually occurring.  XD

I meant more in regards to the concept that Joan of Arc actually did any fighting, while most of the DW characters did fit some definition of warrior and involved themselves in combat.

Offline Chris Brady

Re: Female knights and warriors
« Reply #37 on: August 28, 2014, 08:05:26 PM »
Women have always been too precious to waste on a battlefield.  Let men kill and murder each other by the hundreds or the thousands, they are not as important as the women are.  Keep them home, where they are more likely to be safe and out of the 'enemy's' hands.

That was the most common, and still is, the most common 'reason' for keeping women out of war.  This is why any society that actually values their women (in some way) are exceedingly leery of letting them join the military.  Oh, we (humans) think up of some REALLY stupid excuses as to why they 'can't', but it's not that they cannot, it's that we don't like the idea of it.  A woman getting hurt is considered a failure by many, something to be prevented at best, fixed at worse.  A man getting hurt is considered par for the course, and we rarely think about it.

Offline Vekseid

Re: Female knights and warriors
« Reply #38 on: August 28, 2014, 08:56:08 PM »
I considered posting it in my, uh, sexism thread, but I decided to make a separate topic about it.

I was looking at this excellent thread and I noticed all those female warriors and iron-clad female knights. And, as great as they looked, my stupid doubts started kicking in... Basically, is the idea of a female knight believeable?

The female honorific equivalent to knight is dame. Thus the badge names : )

Women are depicted in 12th century English training manuals (and this is with the increased sexism the Norman invasion brought). Women actually participated in battle fairly often before the advent of metallic armor, especially when defending their homeland. In tribal cultures, culling the women of a rival tribe was occasionally used as a means to limit their future population, or even wipe them out. With the rise of armor, women seemed to take to battle somewhat less, but I'm beginning to suspect this is not because they fought less, but simply had an easier time not being noticed as women. Upper body strength does help with penetrating armor, though, so that may also have been a factor.

Women did occasionally don plate and throw themselves into battle even in offensive campaigns. Joan of Arc was not an exception because she was a female, or because she was a female leading armies. She was an exception because she was a stark raving mad common girl who arrived when the French had given up all hope and they didn't know that the English were keeping most of their garrisons seriously undermanned. She'd be a legend no matter her gender.

Women in plate looked much like... women wearing men's plate armor, really, since making armor for women was not really A Thing, so they just wore men's. There is some debate about how effective boob plates are, but women in the SCA who use them don't seem to worry much about falling down, and some men had very exaggerated codpieces. Some noblewoman, in some fantasy society, is probably going to be very proud of her breasts and want to display them, and the most vulnerable spot in fully armored melee is the shoulders (or your legs, should you forgo armoring them).




Offline Oniya

  • StoreHouse of Useless Trivia
  • Oracle
  • Carnite
  • *
  • Join Date: Sep 2008
  • Location: Just bouncing through. Hi! City of Roses, Pennsylvania
  • Gender: Female
  • One bad Motokifuka. Also cute and FLUFFY!
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 3
Re: Female knights and warriors
« Reply #39 on: August 28, 2014, 09:29:32 PM »
When I took fencing in college (foil), there were round metal plates that fit into a pocket inside the gambeson for a little extra protection. 

Yes, Wagnerian opera jokes were made.  >_>

Offline Steampunkette

Re: Female knights and warriors
« Reply #40 on: August 30, 2014, 03:03:13 AM »
The Average White American Man is 30 pounds overweight and has never lifted a sword to defend himself in mortal combat.

Ergo it is unbelieveable that White Guys played by Americans can be Fighters/Warriors/Knights.

Am I doing it right?

Offline Warlock

Re: Female knights and warriors
« Reply #41 on: August 30, 2014, 10:03:24 AM »
Women in plate looked much like... women wearing men's plate armor, really, since making armor for women was not really A Thing, so they just wore men's. There is some debate about how effective boob plates are, but women in the SCA who use them don't seem to worry much about falling down, and some men had very exaggerated codpieces. Some noblewoman, in some fantasy society, is probably going to be very proud of her breasts and want to display them, and the most vulnerable spot in fully armored melee is the shoulders (or your legs, should you forgo armoring them).

Plate armor's purpose was too redirect blows instead of taking them head-on (a reason it faded with the advent of gunpowder) and as such I could imagine boob plates to be actually functional, similar to a bascinet visor. Though since you'd have the chance of redirecting the blow inwards (and the body) it'd be less useful than normal designs and potentially harmful. Instead of the two circular outgrowths having a single oval, covering both breast, could perhaps be the way to go in avoiding some of the problems while still retaining the ''boob feel''. My thoughts on the subject.

The vikings had some myths surrounding the Valkyries as shieldmaidens and collectors of brave warrior souls, guessing the first part have some historical context with women as warriors. On wikipedia there's also a reference to battle including vangarians vikings in Byzantines where armed women laid among the defeated vikings, further supporting that conclusion along with other mentions in various sagas.

Another female general that we should mention is Boudica, who (unsuccessfully) lead a celtic uprising against the romans in some very bloody battles. Alink to horrible histories, giving a short overview in song.

 

Offline Steampunkette

Re: Female knights and warriors
« Reply #42 on: August 30, 2014, 07:33:00 PM »
There is a problem with the boobplate (Individual boob covering armor cones/domes/etc). When a hit lands directly on the armor the armor is pressed against the body, often against padding meant to help distribute the force of the blow. But with individual sup boob plate you're going to channel that blow into a narrow semi-circle across the lower chest and up into the sternum area, with a very narrow point of contact.

The single-cover boob plate is more useful, but it if cuts in under the breasts you're going to wind up with the same issue at the joint along the underboob area.

The best boob plate is, really, just a slightly larger forward shape in the chest with a declination towards the belly and waist. A Curved shape, rather than a sharp joint of metal.

Broken Sternum
Far more Reasonable

(Though she's gonna need a gorget with her helmet, no doubt!)

Offline BeorningTopic starter

Re: Female knights and warriors
« Reply #43 on: August 30, 2014, 07:45:08 PM »
Yeah, I don't really understand why boobs would have to be so pronounced in the female armour...

Offline Slywyn

Re: Female knights and warriors
« Reply #44 on: August 30, 2014, 08:08:18 PM »
Yeah, I don't really understand why boobs would have to be so pronounced in the female armour...

The following is a very generalized statement:

Guys like to see boobs.

The vast majority of fantasty artwork and games are marketed toward guys.

Ergo, boobs are pronounced even in armor.

Offline BeorningTopic starter

Re: Female knights and warriors
« Reply #45 on: August 30, 2014, 08:20:30 PM »
I figured it was something like that. Still, it's really a bit silly...

Offline ImaginedScenes

Re: Female knights and warriors
« Reply #46 on: September 01, 2014, 09:04:50 PM »
If the TV series "The Quest" gets to the point that the contestants are fighting in armor, you'll have a visual example.

Steampunkette's post was great. :)

Offline Oniya

  • StoreHouse of Useless Trivia
  • Oracle
  • Carnite
  • *
  • Join Date: Sep 2008
  • Location: Just bouncing through. Hi! City of Roses, Pennsylvania
  • Gender: Female
  • One bad Motokifuka. Also cute and FLUFFY!
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 3
Re: Female knights and warriors
« Reply #47 on: September 02, 2014, 10:36:42 PM »
Ooh, hey!

Invasion of the Viking women unearthed.

I have to say, skeletal data is a bit more accurate a determination of sex than grave goods.