Saturday, July 25, 2015

Strange notion of the significance of women in medieval war

There's a small subsection of modern feminism that has got into their heads an extremely strange and outright incomprehensible idea. They are pushing for the notion that women had a much larger role in medieval warfare than they really had. I can't really understand what the idea or goal is here.

They will resort to the same tactics as conspiracy theorists do. In other words, they will (most usually) take medieval paintings and other art, isolate them from their context, and cherry pick them in order to support their narrative. This narrative being that women had a large role in medieval war (during the entirety of the Middle Ages), there were significant amounts of female warriors, etc.

They will take, for example, a medieval drawing depicting a woman fighting with a sword, or a drawing of an entire army of women, and will present this as "evidence" that women soldiers and warriors were prevalent.

If you ask an actual historian, however, you often get the actual context of those pictures, because they know better who made them and what they are actually depicting. Often these pictures are actually depicting ancient mythology, but since the artists in the Middle Ages customarily drew people of ancient myths in armor and clothing contemporary to the Middle Ages (often because they had no idea how they should draw them otherwise, or simply because it was the artistic custom of the time) it may look to the layperson that they are depicting contemporary events. Sometimes the picture is actually a satire or an insult, depicting the enemy soldiers as women. Sometimes the pictures are actually humorous and are not, in fact, depicting an actual war (they are often essentially a joke or a parody, which context you have to know to "get" it, as with most jokes.)

There are many other examples that they love to use, and which they are taking out of context and giving a completely different meaning than they really have. And like all good conspiracy theorists, they ignore the word of actual experts

The point is, however, that I don't have the faintest idea why they are doing this. Mind you, these exact same feminists (indeed, the exact same individuals who make these arguments) also argue that "patriarchy" was rampant during the Middle Ages, which is why women were so oppressed and limited... (And I don't mean that they might have said one thing two years ago and another today. I'm talking about making both arguments in the same video, for instance.) It's like they are arguing for two completely contradictory things.

The "patriarchy" thing is obviously understandable (from a feminist point of view.) The other thing, however... I'm drawing a blank here. I have no idea why they are doing that, or what their point is. I have never seen or heard an explanation of what their point is.

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