Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Sex Appeal and the Warrior Woman

This is a twin post to one from my Musings page.  I've been collecting images and stories of strong women from both history and fantasy.  I do love the idea of a strong, powerful woman.  Anyone from Tank Girl to Cleopatra.  While I was digging around the 'net for some pretty pics of various beautiful fierce ladies, I clicked on one of the links the pic came from.  It was another blog depicting women and weapons and other fun things.  There was one post that rubbed my fur a bit.  One of the photos in the montage was of Guinevere from the newest King Arthur movie, there was Kiera Knightly in her leather and woad, the caption was "this one is a little too tomboyish for me".  Ummm.  Ok.  Well let's see here son, if I was in the middle ages and wielding a bow and arrow, I wouldn't be traipsing around in strategically placed bits of chain mail and lace.

Who ever said that a bad ass woman had to be half nekkid to be effective?  Yes I know, in the strict realm of fantasy and fiction, the image of a powerful woman who could cut your head off needs to have a sexy balance to it.  Otherwise, folks would mistake a woman as someone who could simply cut your head off.  We have this base need to keep the female figure a feminine one.  The images he found less tomboyish (and more appealing) were, of course, the ones with much larger bust sizes, straining though bits of leather and mail.  Poor little Guinny here with her small and bound breasts didn't stand a chance. 



Now historically speaking, yes a level of nakedness was part of a Celtic woman's approach.  These women would go into battle much like their male compatriots, naked, covered in woad, hair streaked with pig fat, and scary as all hell.  They were effective warriors, but they were also effective wives and mothers.  There's a point even in the King Arthur movie where they clothe Guinevere and push her back into the ultra feminine.  This wasn't the image of her in the beginning of the movie, she was wild, Pict, and very much the warrior.  Why then, by the end of the movie is she in a flowing, flattering gown of blue?  What is so offensive or frightening about a woman who is as fierce as she is feminine?  Why do women need to be unclothed or feminized to be attractive?  Why can't the idea of feminine power be the attraction?  There is a certain sex appeal about that idea. 

There are men who love those "tomboyish" women, the ones who fish, hunt, fight, and do it all in camouflage or ball caps.  They aren't the makeup wearing type of girls.  Yet, there is a sex appeal about them, there is something in them that particular men find attractive.  We assume that a woman has to be curvy, and leggy, and polished to be sexy.  Most times along with all the frou frou however they seem to be, or maybe are, less capable of taking care of themselves.  Then you have the middle ground chicks.  We wear the make up, the clothes, and still manage to climb a tree or shoot a gun.  I'm a firm believer, sexy is as sexy does.  The men who believe sex appeal begins in the mind are the ones I wish permeated the Earth.

The ideas that I have issues with are these:  the only thing sexy about a woman is how meek she can be standing under a mans shadow; or, strong, independent women are dangerous and must be kept in their place.

Hell yes we're dangerous.  And a woman takes her power from something far far more deep within than the double D's she's toting around.  Btw, they ain't for you sugar britches, they're for the babies.  Just saying.  Women have more endurance and higher thresh holds for pain than men do.  We are wired for tedious tasks and stressful situations.  We just happen to have it encased in a beautiful package.  So I do suppose if we haaave to have the accoutrement, we might as well use every advantage we have.  If running out at the enemy naked and screaming made them stop and think for half a second, well, don't fix it if it ain't broke.  Feminine wiles are good for lots of things, and we have learned to hone and utilize every aspect of our power.  There's a fine line between weak and smart. 
There's a great line from a FireFly episode, Wash asks one of the crew members, "have you ever been with a warrior woman??" his wife is Zoe, one of the soldiers from the war against the alliance.  Warrior women are fierce in every aspect of their lives, the men who have a privilege of being with one is a deserving, lucky fellow. 

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