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There's a valid discussion about feminism and objectification of women to be had. This is not the place for it, nor do I attempt to make it one.

I noticed that in Fire Emblem: Fates (and probably other games and media, but I couldn't name any off-hand), several of the female characters have the seat of their pants exposed, though it depends on their class (combat role), which can be changed. This is not the case for male characters, who can take on virtually all of the same classes and still be fully clothed. For example, female archers and sages are fully decent. Female cavaliers and knights are not.

This question is not about why the illustrators design the characters this way. My question is this: Is there anything resembling an advantage to having the sun shine on your seat (while being otherwise armored) in a fantasy-setting battle? If so, how would your combat role and sex affect these benefits?

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    $\begingroup$ Have you seen this: new model army? - caution, may be NSFW. $\endgroup$ – Mołot Sep 7 '16 at 20:55
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    $\begingroup$ @Mołot this is better oglaf.com/matter do not mess with the fantasy $\endgroup$ – MolbOrg Sep 7 '16 at 23:34
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    $\begingroup$ If the question had been about exposing the abdomen, Stjepan Šejić has provided an answer (not a serious answer but an answer). $\endgroup$ – Paul A. Clayton Sep 8 '16 at 17:22
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    $\begingroup$ Obligatory OOTS on "women's leather armor" $\endgroup$ – Mason Wheeler Sep 8 '16 at 20:09
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    $\begingroup$ From what I see walking around at lunch time, I get a strong impression that a lot of women enjoy displaying their bodies. There's a lot of historical precedent for military uniforms optimized for display; in fact, before the mid 19th century, eye-catching display was the norm with military uniforms. A Napoleonic Hussar would have a different idea of an impressive military display than a future girl warrior, but both want to look good. $\endgroup$ – Ed Plunkett Sep 9 '16 at 13:56

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Hmm... in a culture that equates femininity with cowardice (regardless of whether the females actually are more cowardly than the males), it could be a way to get them to fight to the death, instead of retreating. After all, if your front is covered but your back isn't, you're going to want to keep your front to your enemies so they can't exploit your armour's built-in weakpoint.

This sounds misogynist, but it's entirely possible that a given world's military leaders could actually think like that. It could be contrasted with other cultures or military leaders in the same world, who give everyone the same armour, to make the audience dislike the leader(s) responsible for the ass-baring armour; it'd actually be kinda interesting to see a mild culture clash about armour. If this is done, males in that military should be given normal armour, and talk made of females being able to "earn" the standard male armour based on their combat records.

This could easily be able to say a lot about a culture. The first thing that comes to mind, for example, is that they recently started a shift from being heavily patriarchal towards gender equality, and a lot of their leaders still have the culture's old mindset. It could also indicate that they still are patriarchal, but willing to use talented fighters regardless of gender. I imagine such a culture would also push female combatants towards support roles (mages, healers, recon, etc.), which they would likely feel are better suited to women.

[There could also be the more sinister implication that this culture considers female warriors more expendable than male warriors. This could be used to justify a female protagonist or antagonist defecting to the opposing side, once they realise this.]


Alternatively, if females are more inclined to magic, giving them more exposing armour might imply that armour interferes with magic. Since the average female combatant in this world would be either a mage (including healers) or a magic swordswoman (including combat medics), female armour would logically contain as little actual armour as was necessary to protect the wearer; female combatants would likely wear either robes or cloth armour (for pure mages), or light armour designed to only cover essential areas (for magic swordswomen). There's also the possibility that casting magic requires a lot of motion, or may also be a martial artist, either of which would warrant lighter, less-restricting armour. Alternatively, the solution may be as mundane as most female warriors using defensive magic to protect themselves, rendering armour redundant (in which case only minimal armour would be worn, as a backup in case the warrior ran out of MP).

If this is the situation, it would be interesting to see how this affects purely physical female combatants. Would a female combatant that can't use magic still get the same armour as her more magically-inclined counterparts, or would she get something more akin to normal armour? If the former, how would this disadvantage her, if at all? If the latter, would she have to take up a slower, less mobile combat style than she's used to?


And, of course, a third elephant-in-the-room possibility is that the armour's in-universe designer is a pervert, and has a thing for ladies in exposing armour. If this is the in-universe reason, it would most likely be played for laughs.

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    $\begingroup$ Is it considered acceptable to downvote based on the presence of TVTropes links? I have homework I need to finish. $\endgroup$ – JesseTG Sep 7 '16 at 23:51
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    $\begingroup$ I have seen militarized magical girl uniforms justified on exactly this principle -- the defense the uniforms gave was predominantly magical in nature, so during an upgrade the functional appearance was discarded for aesthetic appeal, so as to make the team look less like stormtroopers and more like personable champions of the realm. $\endgroup$ – user2781 Sep 7 '16 at 23:57
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    $\begingroup$ Alternatively, it could be a self-fulfilling prophecy that women are unloyal and likely to switch sides. They are made to wear humiliating armor in hopes to combat this (which obviously does not help) $\endgroup$ – One Normal Night Sep 8 '16 at 1:44
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    $\begingroup$ your magic idea seemed far-fetched until i considered magical mounted women. in which case, perhaps armor interferes with their magical bond to their steed. $\endgroup$ – james turner Sep 8 '16 at 17:18
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    $\begingroup$ @jamesturner It would also make sense in a world where cold iron affects all magical beings, not just fae, or where commonly-used metals outright have anti-magical properties. This would likely prove detrimental for spellcasters of all sorts, leading to them trying to minimise the amount of metal armour they wore. If their combat style required them to fight at close range (such as a magic swordswoman, for example), they wouldn't be able to eschew armour entirely, and would likely wear armour designed only to cover key areas, to be used in conjunction with magical defenses. $\endgroup$ – Justin Time 2 Reinstate Monica Sep 8 '16 at 23:48
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Most authors and artists claim that practically nude armor on women has two advantages:

  1. It makes her faster and less encumbered.
  2. It distracts male soldiers.

But this is a stupid argument, in reality neither of these will work or have any practical effect and there is no benefit to the so called bare ass-armor

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    $\begingroup$ if you need to be fast armor won't be a problem at all... the heaviest armors don't weight more than 15 kilograms, which is literally nothing. $\endgroup$ – five more beats Sep 7 '16 at 21:07
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    $\begingroup$ @JesseTG it is, he means modern armor $\endgroup$ – TrEs-2b Sep 7 '16 at 21:12
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    $\begingroup$ @AsiHauge that isn't true at all. Kinghts armor weighed anywhere from 50-80 kilograms (or 110-170 pounds); sciencemag.org/news/2011/07/heavy-armor-gave-knights-workout Even if it was true, 15 kilograms is 30 pounds, which would effect endurence $\endgroup$ – TrEs-2b Sep 7 '16 at 21:13
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    $\begingroup$ 3. If the female warrior is Kryptonian, the extra exposure to the yellow sunlight will make her stronger ;) $\endgroup$ – Doktor J Sep 7 '16 at 21:55
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    $\begingroup$ @JDługosz Technically, if you did it often enough it would effect endurance. $\endgroup$ – JesseTG Sep 9 '16 at 1:03
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In a matriarchal society it might very well be, that a womans body is a symbol of power and so it's common for women to show it off (think of it as a equivalent of a men wearing sleeveless clothes to show off his muscles).

This would lead to a "priviledge of nudity" in different grades, depending on the importance of this custom.

If it is important enough, it might even be that it would be incorporated while designing armor or uniforms.

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It would make no sense at all.

The point of armour is to protect and bondage chic hardly does that. There's materials that flatter and protect but generally the typical fantasy female armour is designed for looks rather than practicality.

You'd get bitten in the ass by bugs, get wedgies in combat. Sometimes people shit due to stress, so the sexiness factor is overrated.Splinters and thorns happen in the wild, and imagine having to pull out thorns from your own buttcheeks. Hell sitting down might end up being a ordeal, especially in the hot sun - Ever burnt your feet barefoot? Blisters?. Also sepsis. Puss coming out of random body parts is unsexy.

I can't think of any purpose outside embarassment, punishment, and looking good on the cover of a magazine or book aimed at teenagers who think with ... the wrong part of the body.

Others have talked about distraction (but clothes can cover and flatter) and unencumbered movement (which you can do with more practical clothes). There's a reason that most military uniforms, no matter how flashy tend to revolve around comfort and protection.

If you want a sexy uniform, hire a fashion designer, and make them wear it everywhere for a week in the field. If you're a petty medieval despot, stuff like this is exactly what encourages your harem to kill you in your sleep.

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A quote from Words of Radiance

“So yes, I, Adolin Kholin—cousin to the king, heir to the Kholin princedom—have shat myself in my Shardplate. Three times, all on purpose.” He downed the rest of his wine. “You are a very strange woman.”

This is a real thing. If you are battling for hours, you are pushed to extremes. No time to drink water, eat snacks, or poop.

Exposing the rear end makes mid-battle poop a breeze!

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    $\begingroup$ This is genius, but why would it only apply to females? $\endgroup$ – One Normal Night Sep 9 '16 at 18:50
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    $\begingroup$ @One: Sexist society makes it socially acceptable for women to wear revealing clothing, or even expected/required. In our society, it's more accepted for women to wear thongs at the beach than for men, and basically show off their boobs in more situations than it's accepted for men to show off their chest muscles. Imagine a guy wearing a rock-star wide open shirt on a formal-dress occasional where women are wearing low-cut but formal dresses and guys in tuxes. Plus, specific to this case: men's external genitalia would be more likely to show in ass-less armour. plus: hairy asses aren't popular $\endgroup$ – Peter Cordes Sep 9 '16 at 23:20
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    $\begingroup$ @OneNormalNight how about all women in this universe are born without sphincters $\endgroup$ – Amoeba Jan 15 '18 at 16:12
  • $\begingroup$ This apples to men also, and was one of the notable advantages that the Black Watch regiment had in battle. $\endgroup$ – Columbia says Reinstate Monica Jan 26 '18 at 15:56
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If you look like a sex kitten I'll underestimate you giving you the chance to tear my throat out.

If you're hot a lot of the blood rushes out of my thinking equipment into... other equipment. Rendering me stupid and predictable.

If I'm looking at your tits I'm not looking at the point of your sword, allowing you to thrust said point though my eye.

As I'm winding up for the killing strike I might take a moment to peek up your skirt granting you the half second you need to put an armored boot on my throat. (which is also kinda hot, by the way)

Oh and I think the Kurds are sending women into combat because ISIS thinks if you get killed by a woman you don't go to whatever magical warrior heaven they all want. Don't quote me on that, I heard it on the internet.

These are all stupid reasons though. You gotta cover up or people will poke holes in your skin.

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    $\begingroup$ Downvotes denying basic biology? Try working with a naked dancer in the room. Try doing anything with a sexy half-naked chick jumping around close to you. It does affect men's decision making capabilities. $\endgroup$ – vacip Sep 8 '16 at 8:53
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    $\begingroup$ @vacip Downvotes because of the rambling off-topicness and general style. $\endgroup$ – pipe Sep 8 '16 at 10:56
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    $\begingroup$ Not every human culture in the world sexualizes the female nudity, so an army of naked women would not be effective in any way against such cultures. Sexualizing nudity isn't biology, it is only a cultural thing. $\endgroup$ – user24999 Sep 8 '16 at 15:01
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    $\begingroup$ Just trying to capture the mock-serious spirit of the question by presenting some rationalized straw man answers. The straight faced answer is "No" but I think everyone already knows that. $\endgroup$ – jorfus Sep 8 '16 at 16:55
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    $\begingroup$ "not every human culture in the world" is not necessarily relevant. Historically, armies are optimized for the specific enemies they expect to fight, which are typically considered well-known. Napoleon's army was optimized to fight other Europeans, not e.g. Apaches. $\endgroup$ – Spike0xff Sep 9 '16 at 15:14
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A quite simple but reasonable example might be tropic, Mediterranean or at least in any aspects hot climate. Consider amazons, for example: in such a culture, there's no problem with a lot of exposed skin.

In general, in these settings, it needs for comfort.


Also consider agility: certain clothings decrease the speed of moving legs. Of course, certain military units are not heavily relying on it, but if you want to create agile and quick units (ninja/assassin/scout archetypes are the most obvious IMHO), then you may gain advantage from it.

I mean, whatever you wear below the waist, that might be beneficial is it's tight, because it's harder to tear down, and might provide effective protection, compared to some loose dress. However, it also slows you down because it can constrict you, by obvious reason. Try running with huge steps in jeans.


These were my main considerations while exploring the topic; of course, society is also a defining factor in it. Certain cultures (such as the "general European culture and mentality", if I can define such) find exposed thighs and buttocks (especially buttocks) suggestive and strongly attractive. Okay, some may argue about it but at the very least, one's for sure in general: in said cultures, people are always paying attention to it, rather than finding it "natural".

If this pressure is present, then exposed bottom won't (or less likely will) be present, especially among war-related workers (=fighters/warrior/soldiers/etc)


This is why I started my answer with hot climate. Exposed skin is less of a "taboo" in these cultures. In ancient Egypt, for instance, women often left their breasts exposed - and it's still not uncommon in jungle tribal civilizations. It's, on the other hand, less likely e.g. in Europe.


TL;DR - to justify exposed bottom, three main considerations can be taken: climate, agility and society.

Also notice that two of these make it possible, if not naturally expected for men to have less clothing below the waist. Of course, if males and females are equal in this question, then the latter has no significant advantage from it.


In the end, however, it's kind of an instinct in males to be pleased by the view of female buttocks.

I'd suggest trying to explore this very simple fact, if you want significant advantages for females.

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Well, this is a refreshingly fun take on the gender-so-very-not-neutral combat fashion issue :-)

We can't help but note, however, that the OP seems to be asking whether there are any combat advantages to exposing the buttocks specifically...and if so, why that advantage might accrue solely to women.

'james turner' is the only one so far to make a good case for a genuine buttocks advantage (i.e., "...magical mounted women. in which case, perhaps armor interferes with their magical bond to their steed.")

Sadly, I must counter that the saddle itself, in that case, would interfere just as much, and for magical mounted men and women alike. And if one eliminates the saddle, any gain in magical bonding is likely nullified by loss of concentration owing to ensuing pain. There's some pretty severe chafing in the future of those who combine bareback riding and bareass armor.

Our research indicates 'james turner' is nonetheless on the right track in positing a magic-related rationale, as there IS a theoretically plausible, gender-specific combat advantage which might compel an open-ended design in female armor.

In numerous species of primate, a change in female buttocks color is an indicator of an actual underlying biological change. Note this hormally-induced alteration does not typically occur in the male of the species. In a world where magic is a reality, it is more than possible that hormonal changes would produce quite different physiological effects, alterations in external coloration among them. In addition, given the complexity of human intelligence and emotion, a noticeable different in buttocks hue might signal more than one meaning depending on mental state, physiological stress, and external conditions.

Ergo, while in peacetime the reddening of a woman's buttocks might denote fertility or sexual arousal (as is common in many Earth primates), in a time of war, when men and women become partners in combat rather than reproduction, hormonal changes fueled by magic and adrenalin may alter both its genesis and significance. Add to this that women may well be more sensitive than men to the nearness of a threat, since in peacetime they are the primary and fiercest protectors of their young.

Consequently, during wartime, the sudden switch to bright red buttocks becomes an indication not of approaching fecundity but approaching danger. Clearly, women would then leave their buttocks bare as an early warning system for their comrades. For during combat the reddening of the female rear no longer beckons, "come hither," but flashes a sudden crimson signal of, "Beware! Danger Approaching!" The male rear, on the other hand, signals nothing, and so is covered to prevent confusion, as well as to protect the more sensitive bits of reproductive equipment needed by a post-war society to replenish its population.

[We have recently submitted a fuller explication of our theory for peer review by the Journal of Magical and Cellular Biology, and will be happy to provide any interested commenters a copy of the final article upon publication.]

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    $\begingroup$ Oh snap! Orcs are approaching! $\endgroup$ – Mazura Sep 9 '16 at 2:08
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Berserkers:

Subbies may be on to something, but I think we can take this further: I have an army of men who can send their adrenal glands into overdrive. They can fight through wounds that should kill them 6 times over. They have the strength of ten bears and the reflexes of a stalking cat. They can see more clearly, aim more truly, and think more quickly than any possible enemy.

There's a problem, though. That costs a lot of energy. I need a way to trigger them at the right time so that my enemies can't leave my troops exhausted by the time the fighting starts. I need to be able to hold some in reserve, so that a small ambush doesn't set off my whole battalion.

Enter the warrior priestesses. They have magically altered pheromones which simply expand upon the natural link between adrenaline and the three F's. They have been trained not only to fight, but also to turn on their troops at just the right moment. A small cadre accompanies each unit of berserkers, divided such that several women can set off selected members. I key my troops to these women by means of a small magical item, say a fetish. I just have to make sure that I have the right women near the right men. No one woman can crank up the whole army, but no group is bound to a single priestess's scent. The priestesses have magical defenses, as stated elsewhere, so real armor isn't an issue.

The goddesses these women serve (collectively known as the Ladies of Night) are are associated with both fertility and war. They are generally depicted in rather immodest attire. Facing enemies nearly nude (as the goddess would) is a sacrament to Viagras: Tender of Fields Fertilized By the Blood of her Enemies, Ciali: Who Waters the Fields and Drowns the Wicked, and Levitras: Who Guides New Souls to the Womb and Purges the Impure. That means that restricting airflow to or visibility of these women's nether regions hinders both the dispersal of pheromones and the ability to manifest the power of their chosen goddess to trigger their compatriots' fetishes.

To sum up: if an idea is so patently ludicrous that "because magic" isn't enough to justify it, you may need to add a dash of religion.

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In the Doctor Who universe, the Sontarans are known for never retreating. This is because the weak spot in their armor is behind them. So long as they face the enemy, they are invulnerable. If they were to turn their backs, it exposes the weak point in the back of their necks. From that perspective, exposed buttocks would make sense so long as the armor in front was good.

In general, there is a tradeoff between armor/clothing being protective and easy to move in. The more comprehensive the armor, the less agile the warrior wearing it. Obviously most warriors seem to prefer armor to agility, but perhaps some are in different circumstances.

It's not just female warriors. Schwarzenegger's Conan the Barbarian wore primitive shorts into battle a lot of the time. Similarly, Superman and Spiderman both wear form-fitting tights.

Armor is mainly good in melee combat. If you are inside a structure and shooting missiles (arrows, bolts, etc.), the structure is your armor. You may prefer unencumbered legs for maximum mobility.

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taunting

it seems common for soldiers to expose their butt or genitals prior to a battle as a way of taunting the enemy (e.g. the pissing champion of meereen). if this tradition became so common as to be expected, then you might have soldiers simply leaving their butt exposed as a show of bravery (cf. the red barron painting a bright red target on his plane).

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They operate like the Landsknecht

In real history, we do have the example of the ancient Greek Hoplites. They became so proficient in the use of the Hoplon (hence the name) shield that they did away with any other armor (and even clothes) except on their legs and head in order to maximize mobility. They could get away with this because the Hoplites were extremely well trained for years to work together as a unit and each man would cover the one next to him as they moved as a team.

So, given the real history of basically naked warriors, we can extrapolate some things about a society that puts female warriors in metal bikinis. The Hoplites did NOT armor the parts of their body covered by the shield. These females do not cover their butts and thighs (usually). That implies that there is some other form of protection available to them in combat. Obviously, since they usually don't carry massive shields, but some other parts of their bodies ARE covered in pretty good armor, the protection must come from a combination of weapon and body position.

This makes me think of Pikemen. The revolution of firearms was preceded by a very similar revolution thanks to the perfection of the pike by the Swiss and others during the late Medieval period. Pikemen could do away with armor because the pike itself would keep enemies at a considerable distance, making shorter melee weapons useless. Developing a considerable esprit de corps, the pikemen would don very flashy cloth uniforms. The "landsknecht" developed as these specialized warriors showed off how brave they were by wading into battle with basically no armor at all. The thing that kept them alive was the pike itself and the fact that they moved as a very close block of men (somewhat like the Hoplites) and worked together to form a "hedge" of pikes.

What these two historical examples have in common is that they were infantry units who worked closely together in tight formations and protected one another. They were specialized, and used long weapons to keep enemies away (spears and pikes). Neither unit was the fastest on the field, but both would form an impassible wall of men that could block off an enemy force and could be decisive in a battle.

Here is why the women wear metal bikinis: They don't run as fast as men (this is a physiological fact) nor can they carry as much weight (again: biology, not my opinion, that is why there are male and female Olympic events). Culturally, these women come from a class of priestess-warrior types (I'd imagine something like a Buddhist monastery where it would be common for unmarried youths to spend a certain amount of time dedicating themselves to religious ideals before moving on to start a family or whatever). Like a Greek Gymnasium, they spend a lot of time training together, so they can operate as a tightly-knit unit of women. Since women are not as fast or strong as the men, in battle, their position has become standardized as a "blocking force" -a slower moving phalanx that stays together and at a critical moment forms a wall of spears to block in the enemy and force them to come to battle at the right place, while the men move around to flank them or attack from the rear. The way this works is the women will march together in tight formation like a Greek Phalanx and when they get to the right spot, they will kneel like the pikemen, their armored shins protecting their mostly naked stomachs, their armored forearms protecting their chests, and their spears forcing the enemy to stay at a distance. This creates a bristling wall of spikes that can stop a cavalry charge if executed properly. As with Hoplites and Pikemen, it is considered extremely brave to stand and face the enemy this way (for obvious reasons), so, like the Landsknecht, female armor types have become increasingly showy and decorative to show how little they need their armor, and to rub in the faces of everyone that these virgin monk-warrior women are untouchable but desirable.

Properly employed, a phalanx of metal bikini-wearing warrior women can stop an enemy force in it's tracks, allowing the men to flank and rout them.

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Perhaps the advantage of this sort of armor is not aimed to the women wearing it, but to their male companions. I mean, image yourself as one of them.

You're preparing to fight your enemies alongside these sexy female knights wearing what sometimes amounts to a chain-mail bikini, you get hot and bothered by the sight of their splendidly toned backsides. Your heart starts to race, adrenaline and testosterone start pumping into your blood due to your sexual frustration.

Triggered by these primal animalistic urges, and thrown into battle, you will fight harder and more aggressively to relieve this pent up desire and prove subconsciously that YOU are the alpha male around these parts.

If you were a commander, wouldn't you want a unit of heavily armored, sexually frustrated, aggressive young males to set upon the enemy?

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    $\begingroup$ knights be them male or female weren't anything like sexy, they smelled like pee and rotten meat and were incredibly hairy and their hair was dirty with mud. $\endgroup$ – user24999 Sep 11 '16 at 11:39
  • $\begingroup$ That's irrelevant, since these female knights in bikini armor are more akin to cheer leaders than fighters. Their purpose would be to dope the testosterone levels of your male fighters before combat, so they can be as clean as you like. $\endgroup$ – Subbies Jan 5 '17 at 13:31
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Seduction. If you desire something it controls you. A female warrior doesn't rely only on a single skill set to best her enemy. Male physical strength is offset by female charms. Female always charms the group she's in often having alpha male of the group acting as a protector. I'd say dressing seductively is a necessity, in a group of bland looking fighters the weakest one is the first to go.

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The bare-bottomed female warriors are being driven into combat by Enforcers. The Enforcers, hand selected for their cruelty and courage in battle, wield long bull whips which they use to sting the exposed buttocks of any hesitant warriors.

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  • $\begingroup$ Points for creativity. It kind of makes sense, actually. Especially if the women are sort of slaves trained to fight for their overlords. $\endgroup$ – JBiggs Dec 28 '16 at 15:46

protected by TrEs-2b Sep 10 '16 at 19:54

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