History Analysis / ActionGirl

11th Jun '17 8:21:57 PM nombretomado
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Especially if she's the main character, an Action Girl's relationships with her (actual or surrogate) family will be an important part of her character ({{Xena}} and Gabrielle, [[Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer Buffy]] and the Scoobies, etc.). Jennifer K. Stuller's ''Ink-Stained Amazons and Cinematic Warriors: Superwomen in Modern Mythology'' contains some detailed analysis of this.

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Especially if she's the main character, an Action Girl's relationships with her (actual or surrogate) family will be an important part of her character ({{Xena}} (Series/{{Xena|Warrior Princess}} and Gabrielle, [[Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer Buffy]] and the Scoobies, etc.). Jennifer K. Stuller's ''Ink-Stained Amazons and Cinematic Warriors: Superwomen in Modern Mythology'' contains some detailed analysis of this.
19th May '17 5:58:58 PM Laevatein
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* One way a woman can compensate for sexual differences in musculature is by fighting on horseback. If the horse is moving, most of the power behind the strike will come from the ''horse'', not the rider. This is one of the reasons many historical examples of warrior women were Asiatic horse nomads.

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* One way a woman can compensate for sexual differences in musculature is by fighting on horseback. If the horse is moving, most of the power behind the strike will come from the ''horse'', not the rider.rider, and a horse, especially one bred for battle, has far more weight and power than any human. This is one of the reasons many historical examples of warrior women were Asiatic horse nomads.
19th May '17 5:57:08 PM Laevatein
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* Of course, in fiction, there are even more ways to get around this. In a {{Superhero}} universe, who's to say a woman cannot have SuperStrength equal to or greater than any man? And if the series revolves around HumongousMecha, the physical strength of the pilots is mostly irrelevant.

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* One way a woman can compensate for sexual differences in musculature is by fighting on horseback. If the horse is moving, most of the power behind the strike will come from the ''horse'', not the rider. This is one of the reasons many historical examples of warrior women were Asiatic horse nomads.

* Of course, in fiction, there are even more ways to get around this.the differences in musculature between men and women. In a {{Superhero}} universe, who's to say a woman cannot have SuperStrength equal to or greater than any man? And if the series revolves around HumongousMecha, the physical strength of the pilots is mostly irrelevant.
19th May '17 5:18:49 PM Laevatein
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* It's also been said that the more rules a fight has, the greater the advantage the man has. A woman has much less of a chance to win a formal boxing match against a man than a street fight where she can do things like {{Groin Attack}}s, eye gouging, and grabbing items to use as weapons.

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* It's also been said that the more rules a fight has, the greater the advantage the man has. A woman has much less of a chance to win a formal boxing match against a man than if the same man and woman were in a street fight where she can do things like {{Groin Attack}}s, eye gouging, and grabbing items to use as weapons.
19th May '17 3:44:25 PM Laevatein
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Added DiffLines:


* It's also been said that the more rules a fight has, the greater the advantage the man has. A woman has much less of a chance to win a formal boxing match against a man than a street fight where she can do things like {{Groin Attack}}s, eye gouging, and grabbing items to use as weapons.

* Of course, in fiction, there are even more ways to get around this. In a {{Superhero}} universe, who's to say a woman cannot have SuperStrength equal to or greater than any man? And if the series revolves around HumongousMecha, the physical strength of the pilots is mostly irrelevant.
16th Oct '16 11:15:04 AM Monolaf317
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* In combat, size difference has the greatest effect in unarmed and unarmored martial arts such as boxing and wrestling. For example, it is harder for a small opponent to throw a larger one, and it is more difficult for a short person to hit a tall person's head. Bigger people might also be able to absorb more hits due to their extra muscle and fat. Even in unarmed combat, however, these differences can potentially be overcome. Even in times when martial arts were almost exclusively a male activity, masters spoke of how technique could enable the WeakButSkilled to defeat the UnskilledButStrong. In a contest of evenly matched skill, a difference in strength could potentially decide the outcome, but this is relatively rare. As long as the rules of engagement allow the smaller part to use the techniques that would be advantageous to them, and as long as the difference in height or weight is not too outrageous, skill is usually the deciding factor in a contest between two martial artists. Armed martial arts, in comparison, are even more of an equalizer. If both parties have weapons with similar weight and reach, then the differences in their capabilities will be vastly leveled. It does not take much strength at all to kill someone with a sword, dagger, or spear, and any attempt to use brute strength to overwhelm the opponent can easily be thwarted and turned against the attacker using the most basic of techniques. The most equal of all is a contest with firearms, since the strength of the user is irrelevant to the power of the bullet, and in fact a larger individual will have the disadvantage of presenting a bigger target. Granted, a stronger individual might be able to carry a heavier weapon, or wear heavier armor than the weaker, but this could potentially be compensated for by the smaller one's agility. As long as you are physically fit enough to use the weapons and fighting style that you are trained in, then you can potentially be a match one-on-one for any opponent of similar skill.

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* In combat, size difference has the greatest effect in unarmed and unarmored martial arts such as boxing and wrestling. For example, it is harder for a small opponent to throw a larger one, and it is more difficult for a short person to hit a tall person's head. Bigger people might also be able to absorb more hits due to their extra muscle and fat. Even in unarmed combat, however, these differences can potentially be overcome. Even in times when martial arts were almost exclusively a male activity, masters spoke of how technique could enable the WeakButSkilled to defeat the UnskilledButStrong. In a contest of evenly matched skill, a difference in strength could potentially decide the outcome, but this is relatively rare. As long as the rules of engagement allow the smaller part to use the techniques that would be advantageous to them, and as long as the difference in height or weight is not too outrageous, skill is usually the deciding factor in a contest between two martial artists. Armed martial arts, in comparison, are even more of an equalizer. If both parties have weapons with similar weight and reach, then the differences in their capabilities will be vastly leveled. It does not take much strength at all to kill someone with a sword, dagger, or spear, and any attempt to use brute strength to overwhelm the opponent can easily be thwarted and turned against the attacker using the most basic of techniques. The most equal of all is a contest with firearms, since the strength of the user is irrelevant to the power of the bullet, and in fact a larger individual will have the disadvantage of presenting a bigger target. Granted, a stronger individual might be able to carry a heavier weapon, or wear heavier armor than the weaker, but this could potentially be compensated for by the smaller one's agility. As long as you are physically fit enough to use the weapons and fighting style that you are trained in, then you can potentially be a match one-on-one for any opponent of similar skill.skill.
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11th Jun '16 4:49:48 PM Doug86
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* Another reason, of course, is the DoubleStandard in the society being depicted. Many otherwise potential ActionGirl works take place in places and times where women were not intentionally sent, eg, the combat forces of the vast majority of armies until very recent history. Even now when they are free to join for example, the Canadian infantry, SWAT officers, etc. they still tend to be male-dominated professions (e.g., in the Canadian military, more than 2 decades after integration, women only make up [[http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2013/02/09/canada-women-in-combat/1904683/ 2.4% of combat troops]]). So all things being equal, of course there will be far more depictions of men then women fighting when men are more likely to fight in RealLife. The only ways around are either to intentionally focus on women as in Mulan or to go into PoliticallyCorrectHistory. A better done example of the latter (despite its many other flaws) is the 2004 film KingArthur, wherein Guinevere is changed from the older and traditional depictions of a Roman to a so-called "Woad" in order for her have a reason for taking the field (Pictic women unlike Roman ones, did go to battle certain times).

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* Another reason, of course, is the DoubleStandard in the society being depicted. Many otherwise potential ActionGirl works take place in places and times where women were not intentionally sent, eg, the combat forces of the vast majority of armies until very recent history. Even now when they are free to join for example, the Canadian infantry, SWAT officers, etc. they still tend to be male-dominated professions (e.g., in the Canadian military, more than 2 decades after integration, women only make up [[http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2013/02/09/canada-women-in-combat/1904683/ 2.4% of combat troops]]). So all things being equal, of course there will be far more depictions of men then women fighting when men are more likely to fight in RealLife. The only ways around are either to intentionally focus on women as in Mulan or to go into PoliticallyCorrectHistory. A better done example of the latter (despite its many other flaws) is the 2004 film KingArthur, Film/KingArthur, wherein Guinevere is changed from the older and traditional depictions of a Roman to a so-called "Woad" in order for her have a reason for taking the field (Pictic women unlike Roman ones, did go to battle certain times).
31st Jan '16 3:16:38 PM TheBigBopper
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* In combat, size difference has the greatest effect in unarmed and unarmored martial arts such as boxing and wrestling. For example, it is harder for a small opponent to throw a larger one, and it is more difficult for a short person to hit a tall person's head. Even in unarmed combat, however, these differences can potentially be overcome. Even in times when martial arts were almost exclusively a male activity, masters spoke of how technique could enable the WeakButSkilled to defeat the UnskilledButStrong. In a contest of evenly matched skill, a difference in strength could potentially decide the outcome, but this is relatively rare. Skill is usually the deciding factor in a contest between two martial artists once a certain minimum of physical competence is reached in both parties, as long as the difference in height or weight is not too outrageous. Armed martial arts, in comparison, are even more of an equalizer. If both parties have weapons with similar weight and reach, then the differences in their capabilities will be vastly leveled. It does not take much strength at all to kill someone with a sword, dagger, or spear, and any attempt to use brute strength to overwhelm the opponent can easily be thwarted and turned against the attacker using basic technique. The most equal of all is a contest with firearms, since the strength of the user is irrelevant to the power of the bullet, and in fact a larger individual will have the disadvantage of presenting a bigger target. Granted, a stronger individual might be able to carry a heavier weapon, or wear heavier armor than the weaker, but this could potentially be compensated for by the smaller one's agility. As long as you are physically fit enough to use the weapons and fighting style that you are trained in, then you can potentially be a match one-on-one for any opponent of similar skill.

to:

* In combat, size difference has the greatest effect in unarmed and unarmored martial arts such as boxing and wrestling. For example, it is harder for a small opponent to throw a larger one, and it is more difficult for a short person to hit a tall person's head. Bigger people might also be able to absorb more hits due to their extra muscle and fat. Even in unarmed combat, however, these differences can potentially be overcome. Even in times when martial arts were almost exclusively a male activity, masters spoke of how technique could enable the WeakButSkilled to defeat the UnskilledButStrong. In a contest of evenly matched skill, a difference in strength could potentially decide the outcome, but this is relatively rare. Skill As long as the rules of engagement allow the smaller part to use the techniques that would be advantageous to them, and as long as the difference in height or weight is not too outrageous, skill is usually the deciding factor in a contest between two martial artists once a certain minimum of physical competence is reached in both parties, as long as the difference in height or weight is not too outrageous.artists. Armed martial arts, in comparison, are even more of an equalizer. If both parties have weapons with similar weight and reach, then the differences in their capabilities will be vastly leveled. It does not take much strength at all to kill someone with a sword, dagger, or spear, and any attempt to use brute strength to overwhelm the opponent can easily be thwarted and turned against the attacker using the most basic technique.of techniques. The most equal of all is a contest with firearms, since the strength of the user is irrelevant to the power of the bullet, and in fact a larger individual will have the disadvantage of presenting a bigger target. Granted, a stronger individual might be able to carry a heavier weapon, or wear heavier armor than the weaker, but this could potentially be compensated for by the smaller one's agility. As long as you are physically fit enough to use the weapons and fighting style that you are trained in, then you can potentially be a match one-on-one for any opponent of similar skill.
31st Jan '16 3:11:21 PM TheBigBopper
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* There's a biological basis behind this social dynamic. Testosterone builds muscle mass and bone density, both of which are necessary for physical prowess. It's why they have weight classes in boxing and separate men's and women's sports. Technique can make up for some degree of power differential, but not to the point that someone who weighs 90 lbs will take on someone who weighs 220. Men have much higher testosterone levels, 30x higher or more, than women, which is why virtually any strength measurement of any sampling of males and females will find the males to be [[http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9569979/ physically stronger]], even with [[http://www.stumptuous.com/ebben.html strength training]]. That's why men tend to take on social roles involving physical dominance, whatever those roles may be in whatever culture. The butt-kicking pixies of Hollywood and video games might make profits, but they're unrealistic.

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* There's a biological basis behind this social dynamic. Testosterone builds muscle mass and bone density, both of which are necessary for physical prowess. It's why they have weight classes in boxing and separate men's and women's sports. Technique can make up for some degree of power differential, but not to the point that someone who weighs 90 lbs will take on someone who weighs 220. Men have much higher testosterone levels, 30x higher or more, than women, which is why virtually any strength measurement of any sampling of males and females will find the males to be [[http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9569979/ physically stronger]], even with [[http://www.stumptuous.com/ebben.html strength training]]. That's why men tend to take on social roles involving physical dominance, whatever those roles may be in whatever culture. The butt-kicking pixies of Hollywood and video games might make profits, but they're unrealistic.unrealistic.

* While the above is true, it is also not the whole story. One should not mistake things that are true on average to mean that the same is also true in every particular instance. There is considerable variation in relevant genes and levels of hormones in individual men and individual women, such that some individuals will be stronger or weaker (or taller, or faster) than the average for their sex, and may in fact be equal to or better than average individuals of the opposite sex at a certain task. An individual might also have a unique combination of traits that are considered masculine or feminine, such as spatial reasoning or empathy, depending on their exposure to various hormones during different stages of development in the womb. Therefore you may have a macho male boxer who is unusually good at recognizing subtle emotions in faces, or a woman who is better at mechanical tasks or crane games than most men. It is also important not to underestimate the role of training in reaching one's potential. An individual cannot change the size of their skeleton through training[[note]]Kids with a growth deficiency can be given artificial hormones to induce a growth spurt[[/note]], but it is possible for women with the right build to put on large amounts of muscle through exercise. There are enough female powerlifters, bodybuilders, and MMA fighters to show that this can be done. Therefore, what is unrealistic about said videogames and movies is not that they depict females who are as capable at such traditionally masculine activities as men, but rather that they show them being able to do those things while having the kind of waif-like bodies typical for supermodels instead of what female athletes actually look like. This is compounded by having them wear impractical outfits like CombatStilettos or {{Stripperific}} armor, and SheFu fighting styles that would not hold up in real combat, instead of sensible gear and fighting styles that prioritize function over appearance.

* In combat, size difference has the greatest effect in unarmed and unarmored martial arts such as boxing and wrestling. For example, it is harder for a small opponent to throw a larger one, and it is more difficult for a short person to hit a tall person's head. Even in unarmed combat, however, these differences can potentially be overcome. Even in times when martial arts were almost exclusively a male activity, masters spoke of how technique could enable the WeakButSkilled to defeat the UnskilledButStrong. In a contest of evenly matched skill, a difference in strength could potentially decide the outcome, but this is relatively rare. Skill is usually the deciding factor in a contest between two martial artists once a certain minimum of physical competence is reached in both parties, as long as the difference in height or weight is not too outrageous. Armed martial arts, in comparison, are even more of an equalizer. If both parties have weapons with similar weight and reach, then the differences in their capabilities will be vastly leveled. It does not take much strength at all to kill someone with a sword, dagger, or spear, and any attempt to use brute strength to overwhelm the opponent can easily be thwarted and turned against the attacker using basic technique. The most equal of all is a contest with firearms, since the strength of the user is irrelevant to the power of the bullet, and in fact a larger individual will have the disadvantage of presenting a bigger target. Granted, a stronger individual might be able to carry a heavier weapon, or wear heavier armor than the weaker, but this could potentially be compensated for by the smaller one's agility. As long as you are physically fit enough to use the weapons and fighting style that you are trained in, then you can potentially be a match one-on-one for any opponent of similar skill.
31st Mar '14 11:34:18 PM Gregzilla
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* This troper is familiar enough with gender dynamics to posit that some of these gender issues are, in part, from the female demographic rather than the males. Ultimately, women and men have distinct biological niches regardless of legality, regulation, or medication (though surgery is a valid 'remedy'). Those facets where women hold a monopoly (i.e. motherhood) or genetic imperative (physical attractiveness/health) are exclusive points for weighing a woman as a woman (rather than as a person in general). Those facets where a man typically holds a biological advantage (physical strength) or a biological imperative (i.e. accumulation of wealth) are areas where Action Girls and related tropes tend to tread. When a girl or woman treads on a man's territory, she's an Action Girl. Keep in mind, "Guy Stuff" generally includes risky behavior or such activities that place the man as 'disposable.' Only those action roles falling on archetypal female ground (i.e. The Matriarch/Mother) and non-disposability will generally see an Action Girl measured as a woman.

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* This troper is familiar enough with gender dynamics to posit that some Some of these gender issues are, in part, from the female demographic rather than the males. Ultimately, women and men have distinct biological niches regardless of legality, regulation, or medication (though surgery is a valid 'remedy'). Those facets where women hold a monopoly (i.e. motherhood) or genetic imperative (physical attractiveness/health) are exclusive points for weighing a woman as a woman (rather than as a person in general). Those facets where a man typically holds a biological advantage (physical strength) or a biological imperative (i.e. accumulation of wealth) are areas where Action Girls and related tropes tend to tread. When a girl or woman treads on a man's territory, she's an Action Girl. Keep in mind, "Guy Stuff" generally includes risky behavior or such activities that place the man as 'disposable.' Only those action roles falling on archetypal female ground (i.e. The Matriarch/Mother) and non-disposability will generally see an Action Girl measured as a woman.
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