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Inspirational Reads


January 10, 2010

Last night, as I was working on the current manuscript, I needed to relate a story about Athena between my characters. Athena, of course, was a war goddess (among other things) in Ancient Greece, and, as such, she was typically shown garbed in the dress of a warrior. This usually involves holding a spear or a shield or a helmet or any combination thereof.

Since, of course, Athena is female, I was going to use the term "warrioress" as an epithet for her. Unfortunately, I wasn't sure if "warrioress" was a word or not, so I turned to the online dictionaries that I often frequent when I'm unsure of a word's true existence or not. Turns out, warrioress is in a dictionary and it is defined, as you might guess, as a female warrior. I then decided that I didn't actually like the word "warrioress" and just went with "warrior goddess", figuring that that covered both bases when it comes to epithets for Athena.

I couldn't leave well enough alone, however. I decided to check out images and pictures that would come up if one searched for "warrioress". I almost immediately wished that I hadn't.

My cursory study of female warriors reveals that, when a woman becomes a warrior, she no longer has need for armor. Or, any clothing at all, for that matter. Her breasts grow as big as or bigger than her head. Her hips flare, her waist shrinks, and--naturally!--she pulls on a pair of high-heeled boots or sandals in order to go running off into battle. All of this seems rather impractical--especially in the costuming department--but perhaps I'm just misguided. To my eye, it seems as though a woman's flesh would be pierced by an arrow or a sword since there is absolutely nothing there to slow the weapon's progress. Silly me, I guess, assuming armor was for protection.

Also, the Amazons, a famed tribe of warrioresses, cut one of their breasts off so that they wouldn't be hindered in drawing a bow. It does seem to be a bit of a hindrance for a female warrior's big, floppy breasts to be in the way when in the middle of battle--especially when she opts for either no bra, or one that really doesn't do anything for support. But, hey, what do I know?

Apparently, not enough about female combatants...

This is something that I have vowed never to do. Though I have no objections to scantily-clad women, writing a female character into a story simply to have her strip and/or run around naked for long periods of time for no apparent reason is something I refuse to do. Female fighters in my stories tend to follow the path initiated by Eowyn (she of Lord of the Rings fame); that is, they dress for battle just like men, they fight just as hard as men, they die just as easily as men. I might be writing stories that can be classified as "fantasies", but they certainly aren't going to be sword-and-shield erotica.

Not that it really matters for my current work, since there isn't much in the way of women on the battlefield anyway. The closest thing I have is appearances by Athena, and she's wearing a chiton whenever she shows up, anyway.

I'll end my rant now.

I'm nearly finished with the sixth chapter of the manuscript, and the main arc of the story is finally shaping up. When I finish this chapter, it will be as the hero of the story is embarking upon his quest. He just got the information for the quest...though he doesn't know it yet...and is about to do his big impulsive, hot-headed act of braggadocio that will see him on his way and the quest undertaken. Fortunately, I have the subsequent chapters already mapped out, so I don't need to pour a lot of extra research into what happens.

While I was researching ancient Greek funerary practices this week (turns out, they're not that different from our own...though we don't typically sacrifice rams on top of the fresh graves of our dead family members...much...these days), I came across one of my favorite words, and I thought I'd share it here. It is Sunday, after all (at least where I am).

threnody: n. a poem or song of mourning or lamentation.

It comes from the Greek word threnos which means "lament" or "dirge" and oide which means "song" (such as in "melody" or "ode"). A threnos was a song of lamentation sung at during the period of mourning during a funeral. The Greeks, afraid that they would offend their dead relatives, really put their all into mourning them by wailing and beating their breasts and clawing at their faces and even hiring professional singers to come and sing the songs of lament. A professionally-sung song was called a threnos.

After digging through my rant about the dress code for women on the battle field and the boring ancient Greek lesson, here's the writing updates:

6883 / 50000 words. 14% done!

25915 / 100000 words. 26% done!


JenJen said...

Personally, I do all my warrior-ing scantily clad and in 4" heels.

It helps get me to the front of the line at the grocery store.

Frank said...

*pulls up Google Image Search*

Eric said...

Ah, the good old Chiton...

I need to start a wine bar around here with serving girls in chitons...

Alex said...

Yeah, yeah...but on a different note...Think Tank just showed me that there was a remake of Clash of the Titans!

Seriously, I don't care how bad it is, it will still be good. I always wanted to be Medusa...

Elliott said...

Of course I had to whip out the Google search here too. Twice. Once to search for warrioressessesses...esses... until I found a shot of bare boobies, because when it comes to the Internet, I am a 14-year-old boy. The second time was to look up chiton, I was having a hard time picturing Athena wearing a semi-prehistoric mollusk.

The Urban Cowboy said...

I think the women warrior lack of clothing/breast implants is for distraction purposes.

Pearl said...

Oh, good for you, writing AND blogging.

I must admit that my transcripts have taken a back seat to the blog's instant gratification.

As for the warrioresses (esesessss), words fail me.


Scope said...

Glad to hear Athena has her "shit-on".

mo.stoneskin said...

You know a lot more about female combatants than I had originally thought. And if you get a bit stuck you could always consult JenJen.

adrienzgirl said...

I have to say I read this, but I was just completely distracted the whole time by the ridiculous size of the boobs on the cartoon bitch! Damn dude!

Pfangirl said...

Ah, Athena, my favourite Greek goddess. When I was in Greece I even picked up a little statue of her, as well as a little double-sided medallion - her profile on one side, her owl symbol on the other.

Nej said...

I've never, in all my years of archery hunting, ever considered chopping off a breast.


Not once.

But, then again, did the women in the Amazon wear clothing to control their mammary glands? Guessing not.

carissajaded said...

"writing a female character into a story simply to have her strip and/or run around naked for long periods of time for no apparent reason is something I refuse to do"

This shocks me... really, to the core.

Kerish said...

Dressing the less, a warriores can be powerful in a wild & savage world. Not for the sword or arrows, just for the man, more of then fighters that not fights against curvy women.
Looking at this body or those oversized boobs, they will fail for a furtive hit on the balls and a mandoble breakin' da Skull.
Sex it's a weapon, friend, and don't need an armor.