Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Armor of Contradictions

I've been meaning to post about this for a while but I kept side tracking it. But finding this video today reminded me so I'll do it now while I'm thinking about it.

Okay in the world of fantasy you have characters that wear armor for protection from damage in combat. Speaking of combat supposedly women are weak frail creatures who can't stand up to the hard rigors of physical combat and thus need protection. Based on that one would think that women would get heavy full armor to make up for their frailty. But anyone with experience in the world of fantasy (be it games, literature, or art) knows that is not the case.

When you get down to wouldn't putting the person that you deem to be fragile upfront be counter productive when talking about fighter type classes? Take the woman in the video below. Does it really make sense, whether you think of them as frail or not, to equip a fighter with armor that barely "covers the essentials"? Of course not. Isn't it more sensible to give your fighters the best quality armor possible since as a melee role they will literally be in the enemy's face (and I think protecting the body is a part of the armor's quality).

So folks the next time you want to dress a female warrior up in some armor it might be worth it to take a moment to think about how effective she will be in that armor. Or else you'll probably try to blame her "weakness" for getting wiped*. Or else you're basically saying she's weak but she shouldn't wear any actual protective armor. What kind of sexist mixed message bullshit is that?

* - Wiped. If you don't know wipe its shorthand for wipeout. As in your party went into an encounter/fight/battle/instance and the entire party was wiped out by the enemy. As in if she had some real armor she might have been able to survive that hail of orc arrows that took her out thus possibly saving the party from getting wiped.

(Yes I know that this was not the full on breakdown of why that armor was offensive to her but that was not my point and I bet most of you reading this know that. My point was to relate to those in the various realms of fantasy in a manner they can understand. No its not perfect but if you come at them from the outside just berating them and attacking them for the way they think you won't likely get much in the way of good conversation going.)