Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Strong, Assertive Women With Swords (And Bows)

I recently shocked one of our sons' girlfriends when I told her I hated female movie and TV characters who engage in medieval combat. The topic came up while discussing Game of Thrones. It would have been equally applicable to the Hunger Games films or the new Star Wars movie.

I read recently that the reason the French, when fighting the English in the 1400s, didn't come up with longbow units was that they couldn't find anyone strong enough to pull the darn things. Welsh boys were brought up being trained to fire the longbow. It's such a difficult weapon and requires so much upper body strength that you can't just pick it up and start using it.

Similarly, women in armor with swords or axes fighting men is stupid. They'd last about one hit and then they'd be dead. Imagine any woman taking on an NFL linebacker. Knights were the professional athletes of their day. Heck, women can't even compete at the professional level at golf, much less MMA (Medieval Martial Arts).

In any case, the young lady was aghast. No one she knew talked like that. It was just assumed that it was perfectly normal for women to be shown physically beating up on men. I think I sprained her brain as she realized I was an unapologetic chauvinist.

But to me, it prompts the question, why are we at this point? Why is it that popular culture is full of women besting athletic men when they'd be lucky to take down an average guy? It's particularly egregious when a woman of classic beauty, slender and lovely, punches out a guy who looks like an enforcer for the mob. And yet, we see that all the time. Why?

How about this. Popular culture is trying to advance the myth that women don't need men. Equality requires replacement, maybe? It's certainly defiance of the thought that men and women are complimentary.

Something to ponder.

I'm just sure that one of these guys could have been replaced by a woman.
(Sorry for the lousy video quality. It was all I could find from El Cid.)


lee said...

I see your point. You're right. However...

I don't really have a problem with the girl in the first Hunger Games (the only one of those films I've seen) as an "ace archer."

As someone who has done some archery with a recurve bow, she could use one and hit a squirrel. Thirty to forty yards accuracy for a good person with good muscles. A strong male would probably be accurate at a greater distance. A female could be accurate at a greater distance with a compound bow. She could probably shoot the eye out of the squirrel with a compound bow at a greater distance. All this pulleys can be great equalizers.

A long bow, however... That's a weapon/tool for a very strong person. I know they are more accurate at a greater distance than is a recurve bow, but I don't know enough to tell you how they might compare. And I don't know how they compare to compound bows.

I've never seen Game of Thrones.

(BTW, I frequently comment as "Anonymous" because I am too lazy to log in on my phone.)

tim eisele said...

You're absolutely right, KT. Hollywood has a really bad habit of throwing their characters into fights where they are hopelessly outclassed physically (and usually outnumbered and up against superior weaponry, to boot), and having then not only avoid getting immediately killed, but actually win their fights, often without any injuries worse than a bloody nose.

So, I eagerly await your next diatribe about the complete implausibility of James Bond, Indiana Jones, John McClane, Batman, and actually pretty much every movie action hero since at least Douglas Fairbanks.

K T Cat said...

Thanks for the comments, but you've missed the point. Women in close combat isn't even remotely reasonable. See also: Cologne, mass sexual abuse of women in.

Culturally, Chuck Heston defeats the black knight with lance and sword to save the girl because the girl needs to be saved as she doesn't have a prayer of winning the fight herself. It reinforces the notion that a man's strength should serve to protect women. When the fight scene has a female knight defeating a man, it's telling us that she doesn't need protection. Men are relieved of that responsibility. If a chick is getting abused, well, she ought to be able to deal with that herself. Why should a guy risk harm and get involved?

So why peddle this? To me it's dangerous nonsense as European women are discovering now.

K T Cat said...

One more thing. Our son is 6' 2" and rowed in college. He is a stud. His girlfriend is a lovely, little wisp of a thing. Her generation is so indoctrinated that she's aghast at the suggestion a woman needs the protection of a man even though she's reminded of the disparity in physical strength every time he holds her. How we got here is obvious. You see it all the time in the media. Why we got here is what I'm wondering.