Welcome to Librarium Online!
Join our community of 80,000+ members and take part in the number one resource for Warhammer and Warhammer 40K discussion!
Registering gives you full access to take part in discussions, upload pictures, contact other members and search everything!
Woah it's been a while since I posted here, alright - questions questions. I have one. I was recently in a discussion with 10th Lyran over the phone as is usual, and we started talking about this, Sisters of Battle, just how feminine are they?
It seems like a strange question, but to be more specific here are my points. They're essencially nuns, brought up religiously indoctrinated to the Imperial faith, they're pretty much the brides of the Emperor. But what are their daily activities? Is it just train and pray?
As far as their physique, are they all basically like female body builders? Or do they have a more delicate side? Is their womanhood celebrated, shunned, or inconsequential? What are the stigmas a human woman faces in the 41st Millennium and what is expected of them, especially as the Adeptus Sororitas.
Do they feel like their strength, their power is questioned or shrouded in doubt by the male dominated Segmentum Command and the Adeptus Astartes? Or is that level of sexism non-existent in the galaxy?
I don't think the Sisters are particularily butch nor particularily femenine. Judging from GW artwork (which is always a bit stylized, I must admit) they don't tend to "strike me" as anything in particular but just nuns with guns. And now, nuns themselves are rarely very femenine (unlike what Hollywood would like to tell us) as they dedicate their lives to entirely different things.
Presumably, Sisters of Battle pray, eat, pray, fight, pray, sleep, and then probably pray in their sleep. They're not left enough time to take particularily good care of their bodies apart from keeping fit and strong, nor do they have reason to.
I wouldn't say they go to any extremes (some perhaps, but then that's individuality for you), so calling them "female bodybuilders" may be a bit of an exaggaration, but you should probably expect them to have a fairly flat chest (little fat, especially considering that they probably fast for periods of time) and muscly enough to be able to carry bolters around without the assistance of their power armour (it is implied if not outright stated that only Space Marines benefit from their power armour's increased strength).
The art and models have them with athletic but feminine physiques as opposed to hunched shoulders and knotted muscles. I think they kept them feminine to further the delusion that they're not just Lady Marines. When they clearly are. Salamanders with an hourglass figure. And Girl Powah!As far as their physique, are they all basically like female body builders? Or do they have a more delicate side?Largely inconsequential, at least in terms of fluff. Their concept is based on real-life nuns, so their femininity is as inconsequential to them as it would be to their catholic counterparts; it's not about gender, it's about devotion and service.Is their womanhood celebrated, shunned, or inconsequential?I think that's two different questions. Not sure what the challenges of everyday life might be for the average woman living in a hive world or whatever, but as a Sister of Battle your lot is to train, pray, and serve the Imperium when called upon.What are the stigmas a human woman faces in the 41st Millennium and what is expected of them, especially as the Adeptus Sororitas.They're the militant wing of the Ordo Hereticus, an order of the Inquisition. Which has a lot of female agents. Is telling a woman who could have you immolated for nothing that she should get back to the kitchen really something you want to be doing?Do they feel like their strength, their power is questioned or shrouded in doubt by the male dominated Segmentum Command and the Adeptus Astartes?
As far as the Smurfs go they probably see the Sisters the same as they see every other facet of the Imperium's forces; worthy allies, but not as good as we are because we're the best. The Smurfs are basically asexual eunuchs so the sexuality thing wouldn't be an issue. Guard staffers and troopers might see them as a curiosity, but they're not going to say anything about it for the aforementioned "immolation" reason.
The other thing to remember about the Sisters of Battle is that they're not part of the Imperium's regular forces in the way that the Imperial Guard or even the Smurf chapters are. They're a branch of the Inquisition, and as such what anyone else does or doesn't think of them isn't a concern. Sexism could be rampant and it wouldn't matter a jot; they'd still have a job as long as the Ordo Hereticus needs a militant wing.
the Space Marines are seen as warrior monks, so have the Sister be the female equivilent. I do think they take care of the poor, etc like Nuns do, however they are not forbidden from fighting, in fact the opposite. They must fight and destroy evil where they see it. Evil in their eyes being Heretics, mutants, and xenos. So their feminimity is incidental as far as the Ecchiliarchy is concerened, as long as they are female, they can be the militant arm of the Ecchiliarcy.
If a Million Guardsmen die, that's a statistic. If one marine dies, that's a tragedy.
Again though, it's not so much that they have to destroy evil where they find it; they also have to destroy it when the Ordo Hereticus call them in. They're the Ordo Hereticus' chamber militant so they work in the same way as the Ordo Malleus' Grey Knights; they can start their own wars if they want to, but they usually only fight when their Ordo decides a threat is too much for their Storm Troopers and servitors to handle on their own, or at all.
Don't forget that there are more to the Adeptas Sororitas than just the Sisters of Battle. There's still the Dialogous, Famulous, etc.
Not to mention, even the SoB are divided into various orders. Its not unreasonable to think that they all differ in their exact dogma, much the same way as the Ecclesiarchy allows sectors/systems to keep their old traditions, so long as they venerate the God-Emperor.
"It takes a vast amount of self control to be this dangerous."
---Ogvai Ogvai Helmshrot, Jarl of Tra, VI Legion Astartes
There is a picture of a Sister of Battle in the Witch Hunters codex that is clearly based on Scarlett Johanson so not butch
(This isn't as odd as you think GW does this all the time, there is a picture of a Dark Angels going a bit mental clearly based on Al Pacino's scarface
As for sexisim the Imperium is made up a million worlds so there will be obviously be some cultures that are racist, sexisit agist etc etc
For the most part thought the Imperial Creed teaches that itis humanity rather than age sex race etc that is important.
So I would say Sisters of BAttle are probably treated with a similar level of repect as Space Marines.
In fact there is an argument to say they are treated with more respect. Marines are near mythical figures there are only a million of them in the galaxy. The Adeptus Soritas also include non militant orders which care for the sick thus earnign the organisation as a whole respect/support from ordinary guardsmen etc.
Finally the Sisters of Battle actually believe the same kinds of things that the ordinary guardsmen do.
If the average space marine gave his opinion on the Ecclisarchy, the Emperor and so forth he would probably be branded a heretic;
'Yes well my biological father actually beat the Emperor in a drinking contest and frankly he isn't really much of a god but he is a good lad...what these fangs? Well you know that was a flaw in the Emperors genetic master plan...).
'The Emperor didn't mind the fact his son was a mutant'
Basically the emperors plan about all conquering Legions was fatally flawed and led to half the Imperium rebelling so our founder decided to re-write the rule book a little.
Blessed be the Ommnisah!
Last edited by Visitor Q; February 24th, 2009 at 11:05.
"God is dead" Nietzsche- 1886
"Nietzsche is dead" God- 1900
Why are there scams? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q71FLDIMBc8
True enough I suppose. A couple of more questions then, since the Sisters of Battle do have different orders, would it then be possible that some orders might be more 'liberal' than others in their internal rules and regulations, such as for instance the Space Wolves are? Or an Adeptus Sororitas order reminiscent of the Black Templar and how they see the Emperor?
As for their physical aspect, there is of course the fact that GW takes care of it's only female army and makes certain some of those ladies are voluptuous for the sex-sells part of the concept. Right?
The Sisters of Battle are not a branch of the Inquisition. They are the orders militant of the Eccesiastacy (sp?). As psichotykwyrm pointed out, there are the Hospitallers, Famulous, etc... who all have roles to play. As a whole, they are utterly dedicated to the Imperial Cult above all other things.
I'm at work so I don't have my 2nd Edition Codex with me, but as I recall it: Half of the SoBs are dedicated to what is essentially permanent loan to the Ordo Hereticus, I hate that the Witch Hunters Codex followed the Ordo Hereticus slant for the SoBs to the exclusion of the other half. But this arrangement works since the Inquisition gets un-taintable troops while the Eccesiastarchy gets an army without breaking their "men-at-arms" prohibition.
As for the whole sexism thing, the Sisters are Poster Children of the Imperial Cult. Any issues that different cultures might have would be suppressed by the fact that their local Basilica is run by folks who's only militant arm is the Sisters. Powered armor would let them arm-wrestle Ogryns and flip vehicles, so who cares if the voices that sing the hymns while doing it are soprano?
From an artistic point of view, they are idealized in the art as maintaining femininity. I imagine that realistically, there is a range of builds between Seraphims and the ones carrying Heavy Flamers. But in general they don't need to be uber-bulky since that is what the power armor is for. I imagine they'd train for endurance and reflexes.
Sorry I'm all over the place, have to get back to work.
---------- Post added at 14:22 ---------- Previous post was at 14:15 ----------
Now, there are orders who's job it is to essentially guide/watch/help the rules of the Imperium. I forget the order, but they were alluded to as being somewhat like the Bene Gesserit of Frank Herbert's Dune universe. They'd certainly have a wider view of the universe, as long as they don't have to have you killed for heresy...
RecklessFable's Journey to Mediocrity (Painting an IG army)
I've been addicted to World of Tanks lately and neglecting my IG... But it is so... much... fun!
Quite right; they're a part of the Ecclesiarchy, hence all the religious imagery and whatnot, but they form the chamber militant of the Ordo Hereticus. Some of them do anyway.
As far as Orders being lenient I doubt it. Personal lapses in devotional duties are what lands a Battle Sister in the aforementioned Repentia squads, where naughty nuns go to atone for sins by getting killed in CC, so if an entire Order wasn't coming up to scratch it'd probably be declared heretical and flamethrowered en masse, or something. The Orders aren't like Smurf Chapters. Each one isn't a seperate autonomous entity within the Imperium; they're all part of the Ecclesiarchy, and the entire Adepta Sororitas have only two main bases (one on Terra and one on Ophelia VII) with detachments scattered throughout the Imperium. I reckon between the centralised nature of the Orders and their individual devotion to the Imperial Cult they'd have to be pushed pretty hard to stray from the strictures of the creed.