Against Tiny Kung Fu Women: A Polemic
Verisimilitude and the Woman Warrior, With Some Relevance to Fantasy Tropes
Me, when I put a woman in battle, she's either a wizard or a cringing little thing who thereby lures the other guy into dropping his guard and then stabs him.
But I notice that in the discussion of fighting, no one mentions the real reason why the women weren't fighting.
Because they were either pregnant or nursing, neither of which mix well with war. On average, a woman in medieval Europe was pregnant ten times. This resulted in, on average, two children who lived to adulthood. Took up a good chunk of her adulthood that way.
Sure, you can finesse it, most pseudo-medieval settings do have some kind of healing, but then, as long as it's pastoral, they are going to want more children. More hands to work. Your only form of old-age insurance. etc.
Besides, childbirth is hazardous to the health. Why should women have risk their lives on the battlefield, too?