The Female Perspective: Lady Armor

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*All views expressed in “The Female Perspective” are those of J.L. Metcalf, not Great Stories, Inc.

Last week the folks behind the “Star Wars” Facebook page shut down an idiot commentator after they revealed a photo of the armor worn by Captain Phasma (played by Gwendoline Christie).

Any sentence that starts "I'm not a sexist but ..." usually means that the person saying that, is a sexist.
Any sentence that starts “Not to be sexist but …” usually means that the person saying that, is a sexist.

This Cody Paul fellow reminds us that there is some confusion about how women are to be portrayed in battle. The fact is, “Star Wars” is 100% right, “It’s armor. On a woman. It doesn’t have to look feminine.” You know why? Because when a woman goes into BATTLE she’s fighting for survival, she’s not trying to win “America’s Next Top Model.” Who the heck cares if you are being attacked by a  women or a man? Oh wait, that’s right, sexist people care about that. Hmmm.

The fact is, if armor was made to look “feminine” (a thought that makes me gag a bit) it would most like have “boob plates” which, when you science it all out, would actually most likely KILL YOU. Thus defeating the point of armor. Here’s the science-y part to make it all make sense.

Let’s begin by stating the simple purpose of plate armor—to deflect blows from weaponry. Assuming that you are avoiding the blow of a sword, your armor should be designed so that the blade glances off your body, away from your chest. If your armor is breast-shaped, you are in fact increasing the likelihood that a blade blow will slide inward, toward the center of your chest, the very place you are trying to keep safe.

But that’s not all! Let’s say you even fall onto your boob-conscious armor. The divet separating each breast will dig into your chest, doing you injury. It might even break your breastbone. With a strong enough blow to the chest, it could fracture your sternum entirely, destroying your heart and lungs, instantly killing you. It is literally a death trap—you are wearing armor that acts as a perpetual spear directed at some of your most vulnerable body parts. It’s just not smart. ~Tor.Com

Makes sense right? Boob plate armor, besides sounding ridiculous, IS ridiculous. When you are dressing for battle in armor, you wear all sorts of padding underneath. By the time all that padding is applied, you are rendered sexless (not to mention, well insulated) and therefore, special boob plates are completely unnecessary for armor. Women’s armor and men’s armor should have differences, sure, but the differences shouldn’t be in whether or not it has boob plates.


To put this in a context relevant to today, let’s talk about the uniforms worn by the brave men and women in service in the military. Until recent years, uniforms were made for the male form only (which makes some sense until women began to enter the mix) and now that women are a part of the military force, they should be wearing uniforms that suit their frames. Typically women are shorter in the shoulder t0 waist and smaller in other areas. An ill-fitting uniform can actually put a woman in danger if her pants are too long or too bulky, causing her to have a less range of movement and/or trip, fall or otherwise have her movements restricted when she needs to be at her most agile.

An example would be something like a flight suit. Items such as flight suits are fine for men to wear for long periods of time because they can stand up to urinate, women, however, have to almost completely disrobe in order to urinate because, you know, that pesky anatomy makes it so we can’t stand up to pee.

According to an article I found from 2011, the Army was working on making uniforms for both men and women.

The Army is well under way in developing a woman’s combat uniform that would replace the “unisex” one designed primarily for a man’s body. It is similar to combat uniforms in women’s sizes offered by the Air Force and Marines.

The goal is to give the approximately 70,000 women in the Army a better-fitting and more professional looking uniform that doesn’t stand out when they are in formation, said Maj. Sequana Robinson, assistant product manager for clothing at the Army’s Program Executive Office Soldier at Fort Belvoir, Va. ~USA Today

The simple fact is that a woman needs armor that FITS her properly so that she can fight alongside her male counterparts. And seriously, there have got to be some fella’s with smaller statures that would appreciate some of these smaller-sized uniforms too. As I said before, it would seem like wearing a uniform that doesn’t fit properly can actually cause harm for the solider wearing it. There has to be some allowances made for the female form, just not in the line of boob plates.

Ummm … Let’s add more metal and get rid of the boob plates! Seriously, who thought having bare legs in battle was a good idea?

Going back to my first paragraph, kudos to “Star Wars” for reminding us that women in armor are no different than men in armor. We would never complain that a man in his armor doesn’t look masculine enough without a penis plate or that he looks too feminine without more metal muscle. Nope, such arguments would sound ridiculous. As does the comment on the “Star Wars” Facebook page. Why do you need to know if it’s a woman underneath that armor unless you are a sexist?

For the record, all I see when I look at Captain Phasma is awesome.

Captain Phasma
Captain Phasma = Awesome

What do you think? Have you ever worn body armor? Are you a lady? Tell me about it! Sound off in the comments brave warriors and readers!



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