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Female armour in fantasy books/games

Discussion in 'World Building' started by ALB2012, Jan 2, 2013.

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  1. The Writer's Realms

    The Writer's Realms Minstrel

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    I think I know which one you are talking about. The title slips my mind, but the evolutionary reasoning behind why certain sexes act the way they do, was very intriguing. I am a huge documentary nerd. : P
     
  2. Legendary Sidekick

    Legendary Sidekick The HAM'ster Moderator

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    saellyssaellys & T. Allen Smith,

    I have three daughters… and I teach at a high school which has the #1 teen pregnancy rate in the state! So I'm all about teaching my kids to value themselves and not be swayed by whatever society's influence/pressure may be. They're beautiful anyway, so I don't think looks are a worry.



    Getting on-topic, I'm in the early stages of a work of fiction that stars a female barbarian. This thread is actually a great resource about how to armor women–and how not to. (Note to self: chainmail bikinis put the 'cleave' in 'cleavage.')
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 11, 2017
  3. saellys

    saellys Inkling

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    Internalized misogyny is a beautiful thing. </sarcasm>

    I mentioned that earlier. It's another symptom of a pervasive male gaze, and women are raised to accept that as normal. And it goes beyond sexualization to presenting a homogeneous image of what is acceptable in body type. Women literally don't see any alternatives in the media, any other images to emulate, and media saturation is higher now than it has ever been in history, so these ideals are only going to be come more normalized and pervasive. Hence all the discussion in this thread of how women are more concerned with their appearance and are more critical about each other's weight and sexualize themselves and each other as much as or more than men, and I really can't figure out whether people really think this stuff is natural and a product of women's attitudes, like we actually secretly want to hold ourselves to a ridiculous and unattainable standard. :rolleyes:

    Sorry for the rabbit trail, but this is actually all part of the same problem.
     
  4. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    Saellys, sure the answer to every question regarding women's own responsibility for self-image and societal perceptions can't be that they are helpless victims to the conceptions and misconceptions of men.
     
  5. Mindfire

    Mindfire Istar

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    Or that male artists don't feel comfortable sexualizing their own gender.
     
  6. saellys

    saellys Inkling

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    I never said it was. Everyone is responsible for examining the things they accept as true or not true, and living their lives accordingly, regardless of prevailing thought. The fact remains that literally every discussion I have ever witnessed or participated in that involved this topic has devolved to the following exchange, over and over:

    Participant 1: The presentation of women in media is deeply problematic.
    Participant 2: But women do Generalization A, Generalization B, and Generalization C, all of which correspond to the way they're presented in media!

    It's missing the point and it's an excuse for complacency. If women's responsibility for self-image and societal perceptions rests entirely on their own shoulders, no one needs to change anything and the status quo can persist indefinitely--hooray!
     
  7. saellys

    saellys Inkling

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    Kit likes this.
  8. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    I think it rests on the shoulders of both men and women, as member of society. It begins with the manner on which we raise our children to view such things, both sons and daughters.
     
  9. saellys

    saellys Inkling

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    I think it's just as important to work to educate people who have been steeped in this society for decades already. Otherwise our sons and daughters will grow up in an environment very hostile to their views and self-esteem.
     
  10. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    Yes, though in my experience people aren't the receptive to education in this area. We'll have better luck in the long run instilling the right ideals in our kids and then watching things evolve as they grow into adults. Of course, not everyone on the same "side" can even seem to agree what is appropriate. I remember a discussion about women who run pornography (i.e. they're not the subjects of it, but the publishers, photographers, etc.) with some professors and graduate students in Women's Studies, and there was a viewpoint expressed that since the women had taken charge of the situation and turned it to their advantage, since they were in control, it was a good thing (or at least better than the alternative). The opposing view is that it was in fact worse and they were just contributing to a serious problem resulting from male-dominated society.

    I do think we can get our children into the right mindset, though not without bumps along the way. My daughter is 17 now, and great about ignoring societal conceptions of what has to be sexy or beautiful. She does her own thing. Go back to around junior high, that wasn't the case. She was much more into how her peers thought she should look than how she thought she should look. In her case, it has helped that her mom is the first person to discount societal expectations, but has always received a lot of attention for her looks (and she doesn't want half of it, as she is a lesbian and not interested). That may sound counter-intuitive, but I think it showed that you can ignore all the media portrayals of how women are supposed to look, ignore what is in the magazines, and adopt a much more natural approach to how you look and others in society will still find that attractive. It seems to have been a good lesson at around 13 years of age or so, when what was in the magazines was starting to look more enticing to my daughter. I believe you have to reinforce the proper perceptions in both boys and girls, particularly when they start hitting around 12 and 13 years of age, and girls start to see themselves in the mirror of magazine covers and boys start to look around at media and think that's how girls are supposed to look and behave.
     
  11. Mindfire

    Mindfire Istar

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    My point is that you can't realistically expect male artists to sexualize male characters. I'd go one step further and say you can't expect male audiences to fully enjoy media in which they are sexualized for the same reason you can't expect women to do the same. For example, I liked Kim Possible, but hated the romance subplots because her crush of the week always made me cringe with his sickening perfection. I can only imagine what it's like for women to sit through Michael Bay movies.

    I think the best solution is for women to make their own counterpart media where they can sexualize men all they like, so long as I never have to see it. And in return, men should do women the courtesy of keeping male media similarly discreet. Each sex can sexualize the other without seeing themselves sexualized.

    E.g. Comic books could be printed in male and female versions: same script, different art.

    Of course this utopia will never come to pass.
     
  12. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    The problem is that the exposure of men to heavily-sexualized media can leave the realm of fantasy and impact their conceptions and expectations of women. So even if women never see the media, you still have a problem if this sort of thing isn't put in its proper perspective (such as via education).
     
    saellys likes this.
  13. Mindfire

    Mindfire Istar

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    Buried there is the implication that women's conceptions and expectations won't be impacted. Do you believe that to be the case?
     
  14. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    In your hypothetical they aren't exposed to it. Or do you mean to ask whether they'll be impacted by the lack of exposure?
     
  15. Mindfire

    Mindfire Istar

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    I meant wouldn't they be impacted by their own male-sexualizing media? Remember the crux of my idea is to be EQUAL and opposite.
     
  16. saellys

    saellys Inkling

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    My personal utopia involves everyone getting to enjoy whatever media they want without the risk of being objectified or marginalized, but your mileage may vary, and all that.
     
  17. Kit

    Kit Maester

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    :bounce::biggrin:
     
  18. Mindfire

    Mindfire Istar

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    Full disclosure: I wasn't completely serious. That post was kind of farcical.

    Being earnest now. In our current society, any and all interactions between the sexes take the form of a zero sum game in which in order for one to gain the other must lose. (I am talking about perception, not reality.) Search your feelings, you know it to be true.

    Because of this attitude, gender equality is impossible. We can only exchange the tyranny of one sex for the other. Boy vs girl is engrained in our psyche from preschool age. There can be only one. This attitude continues into adolescence and adulthood where each sex will congregate to bemoan the manifold irritating tendencies of the other. This is why men are so hostile to feminism and why all feminists are painted as part of the radical fringe weirdos. Not because of ill will towards women necessarily, but out of a misguided sense of self preservation. Likewise the "patriarchy" theory springs from this same animosity.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2013
  19. saellys

    saellys Inkling

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    I love when people say patriarchy is a theory the same way fundamentalist Christians say evolution is a theory. Six percent of United Nations member countries have female heads of government. Men literally control the world. It's not an Illuminati conspiracy theory or a male jackboot on a female face; it's an almost-total absence of women's voices in political decisions that effect every single human being on the planet.

    Gender equality is only impossible if people stop trying, and people will stop trying if they believe it's a lost cause--hence the need for education.
     
  20. Mindfire

    Mindfire Istar

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    Are you sure? Feminist blogs seem to love espousing the jackboot sentiment. After a while it strikes me as similar to the way I see other black people blame "the white man" for everything. Yes, racism exists but come on, this is absurd.

    But that's beside the point. I'm rather disappointed that you didn't address the zero sum game thing, because THAT was the heart of my comment and the issue I wished to engender discussion of. From the cradle boys and girls are taught on all sides to hold each other in contempt. And the contempt goes both ways.
     
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