It’s Time for a Serious Discussion About Boob Plate Armor
Women warriors tend to have it pretty rough when it comes to armor selection. If one is looking for a metal protective suit that offers more in the way of protection than the dubious security, and comfort, of the chain mail bikini, then options are limited and the available breastplates tend to be…well, pretty literal. And they may be even less safe than they seem. Tor.com blogger Emily Asher-Perrin offered a great critique of why “boob plate armor” would be an unwise order from your local blacksmith, and the matter deserves a moment of your time.
At best, Asher-Perrin notes, plate armor that lifts and separates would likely be unnecessary. Armor isn’t exactly a comfortable piece of apparel — hot in warm weather, cold in a chill, heavier than bejeezus, and prone to chafe. Plate armor on a man or woman is realistically going to involve substantial padding between breastplate and breast, rendering armor boobs ornamental at best.
To a more practical point, Asher-Perrin points out that if a warrior fell onto breast-bearing armor — or was struck by a bludgeoning weapon like a hammer or maul — the metal separating the breasts could be pushed into her chest, possibly even breaking the breastbone and damaging internal organs. I’ll let Asher-Perrin take it from here on why that’s not a desirable trait in armor:
It is literally a death trap — you are wearing armor that acts as a perpetual spear directed at some of your most vulnerable body parts. It’s just not smart.
The takeaway? Breastplates are probably one example where what’s good for the goose really is good for the gander. And let’s remember that armor is not, generally speaking, a fashion statement. It’s a way to keep pointy metal bits from going inside of you, whether you’re a man or a woman. Game of Throne‘s Brienne, one of the most un-fuck-withable combatants in the series, sports a standard breastplate and kicks ass doing it, and if I recall, the plate in Dragon Age keeps things pretty gender neutral as well. So can we cool it on the form-fitting female body armor for a bit, folks? It’s been done, and what’s more, that’s not how you do that.