I have something to ask you: Would you consider this an oversized sword? f you’ve played enough video games you might recognise it. It’s the greatsword of Artorias from dark souls. if you decide to wield it the sword is rather clumsy and awkward to use- not to mention that it eats up your stamina and punishes missed blows like no tomorrow.
But what about for Artorias- the person it was made for?
Despite using it in his non dominant hand, he uses it quite effortlessly. All of a sudden the oversized sword is anything but. “wha ching!” I hope you brought some green moss and a greatshield. 🙂 Anyway, Let’s move on.
A few years back I got really interested in plate armor, martial arts and whatnot and ran across a news article about the US Military starting to introduce female variants of the various pieces of body armor. Anyway, there were people commenting that women should be able to wear the same thing as men, and That they were too ‘weak, and so on. That was the tamer stuff, mind you. I’m sure you can imagine the rest. I personally find this attitude rather perplexing, mainly because they seemed to completely misunderstand what was going on. Vanity? Looking good? Special treatment? What? No! That’s not it at all.
Women are simply shaped differently than men. wider hips, narrower ribs, smaller shoulders and often just plain smaller? Ill fitting clothing is not about looking fashionable. I’ve had to put up with clothing that doesn’t fit properly lately. Trust me, it isn’t fun. It makes it rather hard to move freely. So if You are stuck in some boxy piece of equipment made for a broad-shouldered, boxy physique when you have a completely different shape I assure you there are genuine practical reasons to address this.
To give an example from a video game, Fallout 4 has suits of power armor which are supposedly unisex/fits everyone but that’s simply not the case. Somebody explains it in a post here. Link
The funny thing is that according to the lore from previous games each suit must be
custom-made and tailored to the wearer. No 2 suits would be the same. (Historically this is also the case) As No 2 people’s bodies are the same. It isn’t just a gender issue. Strangely enough, not everybody is built like a broad-shouldered tank. I’ve had a similar frustration when digging holes at times. Most of the time the shovels are far too heavy and long so
I struggle to maneuver them about. I’m not exactly weak, It’s just that most of my strength is in my lower body. I can do a shoulder stand pretty easily.This is where I got thinking about relative size. Cookie cutter mentality: X amount of Y equals Z result. or “one size fits all” sure, that’s great if you fit the range that the supposed “universal” size actually works for, but it sucks for everyone else.
Did it ever occur to the people full of ego and pride that maybe the reason that the people who they say can’t compete with them are failing is because everything is tailored to match their strengths and feels awkward and clumsy for everyone else? to give a personal example: I went to visit some family for easter and was drafted to help pick oranges and I spotted a wonderfully light and maneuverable shovel sitting in the dirt. It felt so good try it out! I feel like wool has been cleared from over my eyes. Maybe gardening won’t feel like pulling teeth after I get one for myself?
So with that explanation, I’d like to move on to the subject of archery and warfare. Truth be told, I rather like martial arts and what not but I’m told that I’m far to effeminate and weak. I’d challenge that. Let me explain. if you apply the same idea I just mentioned, You might discover that the mentally or the idea that women/slender men are unsuited to fighting is simply untrue.
Maybe you fight on horseback and use the momentum the horse grants you to close the power gap. Maybe you use a pole-arm to generate extra force and gain reach. Maybe you use a bow with a strong curve so that it mechanically generates more force without having to pull as hard. Much like using a trolley, wheelbarrow or any other kind of mechanical aid. A weapon is a mechanical aid, like any other tool. Why not make sure they aid us the best that they can?
This is what I find so interesting. There is such a sense of pride in these matters that I find rather perplexing. To go back to the archery example, Many of the greek city states looked down on archery as “cowardly and effeminate”. As far as I understand it this had more to do with the majority of the heavy infantry being nobility (each soldier had to supply/purchase his own equipment) than any legitimate reason.
Everyone loves to hear the story of the battle of Thermopylae (300 spartans), but they seem to forget the part where the Spartans specifically chose that location because it played to the strength of the greek hoplites and the phalanx they employed. With cliff on one side and the ocean on the other, their flanks were rather nicely protected-the main weakness of the formation. it’s no wonder they did rather well, seeing as they deliberately played to their strengths.
What people often seem to forget is that the persian army was used to the open plains and wide open spaces (contrasting with the rather hilly terrain of Greece where missile weapons were hard to use) the Persians on an open fiel would be free to out-maneuver and whittle down the slow and clumsy greek formation. Suddenly the Persians don’t seem so weak. This brings me to another funny point, perhaps most aptly put by our friendly swashbuckling pirate Captain Jack sparrow:
To be perfectly honest, what is a fair fight? Say fair constituted the Persians being forced to fight hand to hand, head on with the Spartans where they are at a great disadvantage? How is that “Honorable” or “fighting fair”? Is fair according to the people that it suits best?
You can apply this concept to pretty much any area, and see this problem. Something that works for one person won’t for another. Maybe it’s time we got our pride out of the way and reminded ourselves that things like wheelbarrows are wonderful devices? Why would you try to move a fridge inside without a trolley? I have no idea. Anyway, I hope you found this interesting. Thanks for reading.