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Women Warriors: Myth Or Reality Essay

1740 words - 7 pages

Women as Warriors. This is an attempt by the author to answer the question of whether women fought in wars alongside men in the early medieval period. It was writtain from the viewpoint of animal behavior and uses some illustrations from animal behavior to argue points.The author originally wrote the piece as an article for publication in a re-enctment societies in-house journal.Thanks to a recent episode of Time Team on televison, the argument about women warriors has reared its head once more. What is below is not an argument for the banning of female members of our re-enactment society from taking the field, just my thoughts as to how realistic the idea of a female warrior fighting ...view middle of the document...

The deeper voice evolved in order to protect the males who would normally get involved in courtship battles or land disputes from harm. The bigger you are as a male the bigger the chest cavity to fit in the bigger organs etc. This means that when you shout (or, in the case of Red Deer, bellow) the sound resonates longer and is lower in pitch.The Red Deer when about to enter a battle will bellow at each other, the roars start out slowly and build in speed, the winner is the deer who can roar loudest and fastest - this is an indicator of your lung size, big lungs = big chest = big guy(deer, seal, walrus etc), the loser meanwhile walks away unharmed.If the deer decide they are evenly matched they walk toward each other and begin to walk in the same direction, many fights end here, because at this point the deer get to look closely at each other, is the opponent bigger? Older? Younger? Wounded? Look healthy? Once these questions are answered and the deer still wish to fight then they lock antlers and begin to push against each other. Body weight and footwork are the keys to victory, but the stags may get injured (remember those antlers?). It is unusual for an old stag to have both eyes, one may have been gouged out in one of his earlier fights in a previous year, and sometimes the stag may kill his opponent if one of the antlers gets broken and the sharp edge rammed in to a weak spot like the eye or throat.Some of you now are wondering where I am going and are probably saying things like 'Very interesting, but what that got to do with Time Team?'. Hold still for a moment and go get a coffee, this 'uns going to be a long 'un.Think back to school yard fights, lots of name calling (just like red deer bellowing), the louder you can shout the bigger you probably are, staring at your opponent (the parallel walk), and then the pushing and shoving (locked antlers). The fight is over when teacher grabs you or one of you falls, if both fall, the fight goes on rolling around on the floor until someone can get a punch in...Instead of antlers, humans (and primates) evolved thumbs and bigger brains, we started to use them for everything, and then we used our thumbs to help shape what our brains had thought up, this has gone from a stick picked up from the ground, to a stick with a point of flint or metal, to a sword, to a rifle to a nuclear missile. They are all the same thing.If we look at the reports of battles from history, the heralds would meet to decide if battle would take place (bellowing or shouting in the play ground), if neither side would give in the army commanders would meet and talk or maybe just stare (the parallel walk and the stare) and then the army would advance and the pushing would begin...The pushing would continue until one side or the other decided it had lost and they would run.In individual combats the threats would normally finish the fight with one person realising what he had to lose or what the other guy would do to him.Now, imagine...

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