The Steampunk Forum at Brass Goggles
October 17, 2017, 03:10:23 am *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length
News: Brassgoggles.co.uk - The Lighter Side Of Steampunk, follow @brasstech for forum technical problems & updates.
 
   Home   Blog Help Rules Login Register  
Pages: [1] 2   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Females in the military?  (Read 1289 times)
Dwarva
Deck Hand
*
Scotland Scotland


« on: June 22, 2014, 07:06:50 pm »

I'm keen to write a story that involves a female air marshall but I'm not sure how 'gender equal' steampunk would be. I admit most of the stories I've read had involved traditional Victorian gender roles but wondered if more equality would be accepted? My general idea is that a woman discovered something in engineering which pushed forward the woman's lib, causing women to be allowed into more traditionally male roles.

Obviously the story is in it's very early stages but before I go any further id hoped for some feedback as to whether it's in any way realistic or if it would just be rejected right off the bat?
Logged
CPT_J_Percell
Board Moderator
Zeppelin Captain
**
England England


The werewolf Airship Captain.


WWW
« Reply #1 on: June 22, 2014, 07:32:31 pm »

I'm keen to write a story that involves a female air marshall but I'm not sure how 'gender equal' steampunk would be. I admit most of the stories I've read had involved traditional Victorian gender roles but wondered if more equality would be accepted? My general idea is that a woman discovered something in engineering which pushed forward the woman's lib, causing women to be allowed into more traditionally male roles.

Obviously the story is in it's very early stages but before I go any further id hoped for some feedback as to whether it's in any way realistic or if it would just be rejected right off the bat?

It's your story, do whatever you want

In one of my books i mention that that sailors thought women on ships brought bad luck (very old superstition) but the ship has 2, one becomes the ships captain and the other get to be the captain of her own ship.
Logged

I suffer from a random misfiring synapse and a bad case of wolfen the turns me into a seven-foot-tall werewolf or a seven-foot great wolf!
https://dragon-rehoming-centre.myshopify.com/
http://purbry.wordpress.com
Dwarva
Deck Hand
*
Scotland Scotland


« Reply #2 on: June 22, 2014, 08:11:59 pm »

Thanks so much for your quick reply. Clearly I've not been reading the right books. Wink
Logged
CPT_J_Percell
Board Moderator
Zeppelin Captain
**
England England


The werewolf Airship Captain.


WWW
« Reply #3 on: June 22, 2014, 08:59:19 pm »

Thanks so much for your quick reply. Clearly I've not been reading the right books. Wink
Look into Halcyon: The Burning Sky by Joseph Robert Lewis or the Ruby Celeste for female pirate airship captain.
Logged
Madasasteamfish
A clanger waiting to be dropped......
Board Moderator
Rogue Ætherlord
**
United Kingdom United Kingdom


09madasafish
« Reply #4 on: June 22, 2014, 10:34:09 pm »

Thanks so much for your quick reply. Clearly I've not been reading the right books. Wink
Look into Halcyon: The Burning Sky by Joseph Robert Lewis or the Ruby Celeste for female pirate airship captain.

Or even Chris Wooding's Tales of the Ketty Jay series as the protagonist's nemesis is his former fiancée who has become captain of a particularly dangerous vessel, along with swearing revenge for leaving her at the altar (the 2nd in particular since that one deals with the specific characters more closely than the others I've read so far).

But, getting back to the question at hand, as Cpt. Percell said, it's your story and your world, feel free to do what you want with it, in my own novel the Women's Suffrage movement is far more advanced than it was in reality, and as a result women are far more commonly seen working in 'atypical' roles.
Logged

I made a note in my diary on the way over here. Simply says; "Bugger!"

"DON'T THINK OF IT AS DYING, JUST THINK OF IT AS LEAVING EARLY TO AVOID THE RUSH."
creagmor
Zeppelin Captain
*****
South Africa South Africa



« Reply #5 on: June 22, 2014, 11:18:33 pm »

As for real life check out Anne Bony (sp?) there was another one but i cannot remember her name. On film there is always Gena Davis's character in Cutthroat Island. 
Logged

“Love is an emotional thing, and whatever is emotional is opposed to that cold true reason which I place above all things.” Sherlock Holmes, in The Sign of Four.
Kieranfoy
Zeppelin Captain
*****
Australia Australia


Wot's a personal text?


« Reply #6 on: June 23, 2014, 03:30:38 am »

Mary Reed, you're thinking of.

There was, earlier, Granuaile O'Malley and Jeanne de Clisson, the Lioness of Brittany. China gave us the ruthless Madame Chang.

Lots of woman pirates, really.
Logged

Toll the Great Bell Once!
Pull the Lever forward to engage the
Piston and Pump...

Toll the Great Bell Twice!
With push of Button fire the Engine
And spark Turbine into life...

Toll the Great Bell Thrice!
Sing Praise to the
God of All Machines!
creagmor
Zeppelin Captain
*****
South Africa South Africa



« Reply #7 on: June 23, 2014, 07:19:20 am »

In an entirely difference context there was Bodacia (sp?) a monarch warrior in Britain, not unlike King Arthur; and perhaps somewhat more historical than her male counterpart.   
Logged
pakled05
Officer
***
United States United States



« Reply #8 on: June 23, 2014, 06:10:08 pm »

I would imagine they would use one rank for the job, regardless of gender. Gad, we'd soon have 'sub-commandress aviatrices...Wink Don't know if they'd go as far as Star Trek and call women 'sir'...but hey, it's your story, you can call 'em George if you want...Wink
Logged
Prof Marvel
Zeppelin Captain
*****
United States United States


learn from history, or be doomed to repeat it


« Reply #9 on: June 24, 2014, 05:48:22 am »

Greetings My Dear Dwarva -
as has been related, "it is your story" ...

however ....
You might care to take examples from more recent history, such as the female prescence in the Soviet Army during WWII.

yhs
prof marvel
Logged

Your Humble Servant
~~~~~Professor Algernon Horatio Ubiquitous Marvel The First~~~~~~
President, CEO, Chairman,  and Chief Bottle Washer of
Professor Marvel's Traveling Apothecary and Fortune Telling Emporium

Acclaimed By The Crowned Heads of Europe
Purveyor of Patent Remedies, Snake Oil, Cleaning Supplies, Dry Goods, and Picture Postcards
Offering Unwanted Advice for All Occasions and Providing Useless Items to the Gentry
Since 1822
pakled05
Officer
***
United States United States



« Reply #10 on: June 24, 2014, 05:01:42 pm »

the 'battlefield marriages'?...Wink (men, women, impending death, connect the dots vedanya...Wink
Rank hath it's privileges, regardless of gender...
Logged
Prof Marvel
Zeppelin Captain
*****
United States United States


learn from history, or be doomed to repeat it


« Reply #11 on: June 25, 2014, 04:29:47 am »

For your edification - During WWII Soviet Women served as pilots,  in the ground forces, as "partisans" and most famously as snipers, esp during the Siege of Stalingrad
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soviet_women_in_World_War_II

hope this helps
prof marvel
Logged
D.Oakes
Zeppelin Admiral
******
United States United States



« Reply #12 on: June 25, 2014, 08:43:16 am »

For your edification - During WWII Soviet Women served as pilots,  in the ground forces, as "partisans" and most famously as snipers, esp during the Siege of Stalingrad
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soviet_women_in_World_War_II

hope this helps
prof marvel


If somebody does an amazing steampunking of the "Night Witches" who flew SUCCESSFULLY CONVERTED BIPLANE CROP DUSTERS against the Germans!!!!  (they would shut off the engines and come out of nowhere)  I would be eternally in your debt. 

During World War I and the Russian Civil War there was a "Women's Battalion of Death" (yes...their actual name) set up to try and raise the moral of the men.  Essentially, "hey guys these women are fighting, stop deserting, retreating, and mutinying!" 
Logged

"I'm very drunk and I intend on getting still drunker before this evening's over." -Rhett Butler
Damnd of Hell
Gunner
**
United States United States



« Reply #13 on: June 26, 2014, 01:14:51 am »

I'm working on a combined genre including Steam punk, and my officers and NCO's are female and command rank throughout out.  So, it's all up to you Cheesy
Logged

Your Hell, is my paradise.
Dwarva
Deck Hand
*
Scotland Scotland


« Reply #14 on: July 01, 2014, 01:39:57 pm »

Wow - thank you all so much for your suggestions and feedback. I'm working on with my story Smiley
Logged
GCCC
Zeppelin Admiral
******
United States United States


« Reply #15 on: July 01, 2014, 05:22:32 pm »

As with others who have provided historical examples, allow me to offer the following for your consideration:

During WWII in the U.S.A., the women pilots of the W.A.S.P.s (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Women_Airforce_Service_Pilots) were frequently considered to be better natural pilots than men because of their sex. They were noted, in general, to have quicker reflexes and better eye-to-hand coordination, believed to be a result of their normal (at the time) domestic duties, such as hand-sewing, needlepoint, etc. There was one newer plane (I don't have the information of which one to hand at the moment) that the male pilots were refusing to fly, so the instructors used the women, who had no problems with the machine, to shame the men (as with the Soviet women mentioned by D.Oakes above) into the cockpit. The women were frequently the test pilots, then the instructors, and a normal part of their duties was to "ferry" planes just off the assembly line to the theaters of operation.
On a related note, the "Rosie the Riveter"s (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rosie_the_Riveter) on the assembly lines were noted by some supervisors to produce finer, stronger welds than their male counterparts, again credited to their "domestic" skill sets.

The historic examples show that women have no "natural" detriments to performing, and in many cases out-performing men in the same fields. What you might wish to explore in your fiction, however, is how having women performing "men's" work impacts the cultural status quo in your world. Will your protagonist experience discrimination, shunning, and become a social pariah for her choices? Will she be considered "manly" (i.e., a lesbian or at least unsuitable marriage material), or even a whore? Will a patriarchal culture express concerns regarding a woman who should be staying at home, raising the children and running the household, willfully placing herself in harm's way?

How you choose to address (or ignore, which can be equally edifying) these concerns can only enrich your fiction. And remember, as stated more than once by previous commenters, it's your world; do what you want to, and hang the rest.

Good luck, and keep us posted!
« Last Edit: August 21, 2014, 07:13:25 am by GCCC » Logged
Dr Fidelius
Zeppelin Admiral
******
United States United States


Professor of Applied Paleontology, Miskatonic U.


« Reply #16 on: July 03, 2014, 01:21:15 pm »

Remember, Steampunk stories are modern stories, with modern sensibilities about gender and racial equality, albeit dressed up in pseudo-Victorian garb.

Unless you want to use Victorian attitudes to contrast with the "real world" your readers know. But I should hope your characters learn better by the end of the tale.
Logged

The opinions expressed here are my own, and do not represent any other persons, organizations, spirits, thinking machines, hive minds or other sentient beings on this world or any adjacent dimensions in the multiverse.
MWBailey
Rogue Ætherlord
*
United States United States


"This is the sort of thing no-one ever believes"

rtafStElmo
« Reply #17 on: July 03, 2014, 02:25:33 pm »

Obviously the story is in it's very early stages but before I go any further id hoped for some feedback as to whether it's in any way realistic or if it would just be rejected right off the bat?




"Realistic" is as does, to paraphrase a certain fictional fisherman/'Nam vet. Writing realistically need not be completely factual, and in any case we're talking about what basically amounts to Science Fantasy or just Fantasy. Some people get all bent out of shape if the fictional world doesn't nearly exactly dovetail with their view of actual reality, while some don't need such supports for the story to be believeable. It's all basically down to how convincingly one writes, in my view. Not that I manage it every time, or even more than once in a while. It's still true, however.

Whether or not the story's rejected depends more on your ability to achieve suspension of [i/]disbelief than on actual RL history or social mores, be those mores present or historical. rejected out of hand? Probably not, I'd think.
Logged

Walk softly and carry a big banjo...

""quid statis aspicientes in infernum"
Atterton
Time Traveler
****

Only The Shadow knows


« Reply #18 on: July 05, 2014, 07:20:33 pm »

Remember, Steampunk stories are modern stories, with modern sensibilities about gender and racial equality, albeit dressed up in pseudo-Victorian garb.

Actually that is something that would put me off a steampunk or historical fiction story. The impression that it is no more than contemporary people, playing historical dress-up.
Logged

Resurrectionist and freelance surgeon.
Thalesia Turnblood
Snr. Officer
****
United States United States


One bathtub scene, coming right up!


WWW
« Reply #19 on: July 05, 2014, 08:12:23 pm »

Meljean Brook has a terrific Steampunk romance series called "The Iron Seas." The heroine of one of the stories is an airship captain/pirate called Lady Corsair - I think that's the book called "Heart of Steel." The heroine of "The Iron Duke" is a Detective Inspector in the police force.

Lots of very strong female characters!
« Last Edit: July 05, 2014, 08:13:59 pm by Thalesia Turnblood » Logged

Reality is messing with my fiction.
Have Coffee, Will Write
Never mind the Cogs
Snr. Officer
****
England England


Chin Chin !


« Reply #20 on: July 12, 2014, 07:13:29 pm »

They  should be confined to the galley or maybe aero steamstresses lets not get carried away with 20th century nonsense.... Roll Eyes
Logged

If it wasn't for the last minute, nothing at all would ever get done!
gaslampfantasy
Deck Hand
*
United Kingdom United Kingdom



WWW
« Reply #21 on: July 16, 2014, 01:47:32 pm »

The late nineteenth century was the beginning of the fight for gender equality, with countries beginning to give women the vote, an improvement in inheritance rights, and so on. In Britain women did not get the vote, but you did see the first woman doctor. Other countries were not quite so restrictive.
   In Dahomey, for example, there was an all-female regiment who terrified the French would-be conquerors. But as to a woman becoming a captain? not in reality, in the English-speaking world. But this is fiction, and there is absolutely no reason why your character should not be the first of her kind, a trailblazer for other women to follow.
Logged
Argus Fairbrass
Rogue Ætherlord
*
England England


So English even the English don't get it!


« Reply #22 on: July 16, 2014, 02:33:57 pm »

They  should be confined to the galley or maybe aero steamstresses lets not get carried away with 20th century nonsense.... Roll Eyes

Absolutely agree, there's been far too much of that going on as it is.  I'd also much prefer the people of colour were always depicted as servants and slaves as well, otherwise it's just contemporary folks playing historical dress up! and ye gads where will that end! If we can ensure the majority of young children are accurately portrayed as poor slave labourers or child prostitutes as well that will also be just splendid.

Logged

Have her steamed and brought to my tent!
Clym Angus
Zeppelin Admiral
******
United Kingdom United Kingdom


Lord of Misrule


WWW
« Reply #23 on: July 16, 2014, 03:02:57 pm »

For your edification - During WWII Soviet Women served as pilots,  in the ground forces, as "partisans" and most famously as snipers, esp during the Siege of Stalingrad
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soviet_women_in_World_War_II

hope this helps
prof marvel


If somebody does an amazing steampunking of the "Night Witches" who flew SUCCESSFULLY CONVERTED BIPLANE CROP DUSTERS against the Germans!!!!  (they would shut off the engines and come out of nowhere)  I would be eternally in your debt.  

During World War I and the Russian Civil War there was a "Women's Battalion of Death" (yes...their actual name) set up to try and raise the moral of the men.  Essentially, "hey guys these women are fighting, stop deserting, retreating, and mutinying!"  



Ah yes, the night witches;

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Night_Witches

Now that's what I call a steampunk pinup. Of course if you tried to pin her anywhere she'd take off your hand at the wrist. Unless you ask nicely of course.

The military tend to start a conflict by appointing the best people they think should be in charge. As the conflict goes on, this quickly changes to those that show an aptitude for getting the job done. You don't win wars by employing your mates to positions they have no innate skill for. The longer the conflict, the more plausible a lady in any position becomes (if you have a patriarchal system).  

Also, let us not forget they had a tactical advantage. The Polikarpov Po-2 had a top speed below the stall speed of your average Messerschmitt. If you can't make your plane slow enough to fight it, you can't dog fight it, as they'll always be able to out turn you. In short you can only kill the lady if you ask her nicely to fly in a straight line whilst you strafe her. What do you mean you don't know the Russian for sitting duck? Well Herr, I guess your **** out of luck then!
« Last Edit: July 16, 2014, 03:12:49 pm by Clym Angus » Logged

Argus Fairbrass
Rogue Ætherlord
*
England England


So English even the English don't get it!


« Reply #24 on: July 17, 2014, 12:37:01 am »

Whoah, well I'm just gonna hope everyone realised I was being sarcastic (perhaps y'all know me too well to take the bait at this point hehe).

Steampunk is not viewed as re enactment by many Steampunks. There are some good reasons for that, which I think a thread such as this. Or a recent article such as this about the Chap Olympics, demonstrate quite nicely.

It's that difficult grey area between dress up, satire and a genuine desire not to be seen as either celebrating or whitewashing the grim realities of the past that causes the problems. Perhaps that deliberate disconnect is one of the differentiators between Steampunk and close cousins such as Neo Victoriana.

But yes if you're going for a sense of gritty realism in a story, then to my mind it does make sense to reflect historical attitudes. One way around this, would be exactly what Clym is illustrating. Imagine for example, if World War 1 or 2, had continued on. Fact is, as has often been the case, women were being bought closer and closer to the front lines for one simple reason, we were running out of men. The desire to protect women and children is a historical one. But what is also historical, is when there are few men left to fight, well who else is left to take up that fight?
Logged
Pages: [1] 2   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.20 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.28 seconds with 16 queries.