If I get shit for any of what I post today it’s probably gonna be this one.
… There are no real-world model for armor?
Hello, has this person heard of Kevlar? And you know, the fucking armed services? Hello?????????????
… This is inaccurate.
Armor as people probably imagine it- plate or some kind of mail with a surcoat over it- was not widely available for women, but it wasn’t unheard of.
In addition, other forms of armor, like viking lamellar, were widely available to female warriors depending on need.
In the period and place most fantasy is loosely based on, full armor was rarely worn during warfare except by officers and cavalry anyway. It was too heavy to use outside of ceremony or off a horse. Instead, mail was used, and mail is NOT tailored, if anything more than sturdy leathers was worn.
Feudal warfare was not at all like warfare in more recent time. Most of the people fighting weren’t conscripted from any nation’s male workforce or population, they were peasants or knights in the employ of individual lords. Knights pledged to serve said lords, whereas peasants were largely tied to the land. Actual wars fought between lords or families, especially those who were royal, were fought with very little armor. Archers needed mobility, so they wore mail and surcoats. Foot soldiers also wore mail and surcoats, usually using a pike or sword to fight. Plate armor was reserved almost exclusively for mounted cavalry, which was nearly entirely composed of knights, who volunteered their service to advance their family’s wealth in a way women could only do via marriage. Female knights were incredibly rare because being able to produce children- heirs to legitimate feudal estates- forced them into the marriage arena as opposed to battle. It is incredibly difficult to carry a child to term while riding a horse and wielding a broadsword, so men (largely a non-pregnant group) were pretty much alone on the cavalry front. Foot soldiers were more often male than female, but peasant fighters often had females among their ranks, especially those where female peasants weren’t left behind to attend the higher-ranking ladies.
Were women common in suits of armor on the battlefields of western Europe in the middle ages? No, they weren’t. Still, they were active and wearing armor in other areas, and adequate armor survives in contemporary sources to depict their armor far more accurately than this complete bullshit:
I am by no means a medieval military historian and I am not a medievalist, but in studying folklore of the periods referenced in fantasy and earlier military history for fun, I can without a doubt make the statements I have above. Oh, and if you really want to get into a spitting contest of what “staying home” by the “warm fireplace” was for women and how the majority of men and women in the medieval period that fantasy is- again incredibly loosely- based on had all-around shitty lives by modern standards but women were still the oppressed sex, let me know, I’m always up for friendly conversation.