Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Hell Hath No Fury Like a Woman with a Sword

An article on the historical swordplay group that meets in Worcester's Higginson Armory Museum had this interesting and gender-busting bit.
The sword guild isn't just about boys and their toys. Female fighters, while rare, can be found in the earliest surviving fight manual, the ''Walpurgis Fechtbuch,' which was written primarily in Latin in central Germany roughly 700 years ago. In that manual, a swordswoman named Walpurgis is depicted fighting a male opponent, and references in subsequent texts show women participating in judicial duels against men, Forgeng points out.

In fact, there's nothing in fencing ''that inherently favors the male over the female,' Pugliese says. ''It helps to be stronger, but I can find you any number of women who are stronger than I am.'

''I can't tell you how many times I've been at events where people say, Well, women didn't use swords,' and here we have evidence just blowing that out of the water,' says Holly Hunt, a Shrewsbury resident who is among the Guild's four long-term women members among its 20 regulars. She says that women historically studied fencing to defend themselves."
Makes sense to me.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Found this while web surfing :)
Thanks for posting about it! I wish people didn't treat women who use swords as so unusual!
-Holly Hunt