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David Hines [userpic]

that's one way to put it

February 11th, 2008 (04:08 pm)
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Duels between women were rare and highly irregular, but when they occurred they aroused a great deal of male interest. There is evidently a timeless appeal in the spectacle of women, usually in some degree of undress, violating intimate parts of each other's anatomy, too hot-blooded to concern themselves with modesty or propriety.


-- Paul Kirchner, DUELS WITH THE SWORD AND PISTOL: 400 YEARS OF ONE-ON-ONE COMBAT.



...um, I'll be in my bunk.

(The quote above features in the chapter on the duel between Senorita Marta Duran vs. Senorita Juana Luna, reported in the Daily Telegraph of April 4, 1900. The incident occurred in Mexico, apparently in Juarez, though the Telegraph article, which Kirchner reprints, is a little unclear on the subject. The two women quarreled over a gentleman named Rafael Riquelme, who was dating both of them; Luna challenged Duran when she saw Duran and Riquelme at a ball together. The two women fought with swords. Topless. They fought three rounds, Duran was wounded twice and became unable to continue, and then they embraced, kissed each other, and were reconciled, no doubt aided by Duran's pledge to drop Riquelme.)

Comments

Posted by: peeps wanna see peeps boink (musesfool)
Posted at: February 11th, 2008 09:35 pm (UTC)
i dig chicks with guns

AWESOME!

Posted by: David Hines (hradzka)
Posted at: February 12th, 2008 02:09 am (UTC)
wonder woman

HOT TOPLESS LATIN WOMEN WITH SWORDS. Really, those words ought to have a ".com" on the end.

(There are other very nifty tidbits in Kirchner's books; I'll have to dig the other one of his I have out of storage.)

Posted by: mendori (mendori)
Posted at: February 12th, 2008 01:00 am (UTC)

What bothers me is that if someone wrote a screenplay about that, it would win at Sundance the next year when it was filmed.

Posted by: David Hines (hradzka)
Posted at: February 12th, 2008 02:16 am (UTC)

Nah, doesn't even pass the Bechdel test. I could see some of the low-brow exploitation film types going for it, straight to DVD.

(I do have a duelist story in mind to write about, myself -- but not this one.)

Edited at 2008-02-12 02:17 am (UTC)

Posted by: amore_di_libri (amore_di_libri)
Posted at: February 12th, 2008 04:03 am (UTC)

Not to rain on anyone's hot, sexy, sweaty parade but why exactly were they topless? I just keep imagining flying breasts getting in the way of the sword swinging.

Okay. Maybe that's the point. :)

Posted by: David Hines (hradzka)
Posted at: February 12th, 2008 04:39 am (UTC)
wonder woman 2

The short answer is: BECAUSE IT'S AWESOME. More seriously, I suspect freedom of movement was part of it, but another big issue in the code duello was proving that you weren't wearing any armor. According to Kirchner, men often fought in shirtsleeves for this reason, and duels between soldiers were often fought shirtless. The armor issue was particularly of concern in duels involving firearms, as the traditional dueling pistol was a smoothbore single-shot black powder muzzle-loader, with levels of accuracy and power considerably below those modern firearms. I'd imagine that a corset would provide at least a miniscule amount of protection.

Posted by: Maire (mkcs)
Posted at: February 12th, 2008 08:51 am (UTC)

Genuinely topless or in shifts? I've noticed that some 19th or 18th Century stuff seems to draw very little division between 'naked' and 'in underwear'.

Posted by: David Hines (hradzka)
Posted at: February 12th, 2008 08:36 pm (UTC)
pointy teeth

Good question. The article says "naked to the waist," if that helps. So, yeah, topless.

Posted by: Maire (mkcs)
Posted at: February 12th, 2008 09:02 pm (UTC)

I've definitely seen stuff that seems to group 'clad only in a shift' as part of 'naked'. Mostly Victorian porn, I think.

Odd way to think of it.

Nice image, though, regardless. And probably naked to the waist by our standards.

Posted by: amore_di_libri (amore_di_libri)
Posted at: February 13th, 2008 12:09 am (UTC)

See, now I'm going to be searching the web for armored corsets and historical female armor. I love

Posted by: Katta (kattahj)
Posted at: February 12th, 2008 04:43 am (UTC)

...Wow.

See, stuff like this makes me sad YouTube wasn't invented in the 19th century.

Posted by: David Hines (hradzka)
Posted at: February 12th, 2008 08:55 pm (UTC)

Except then you know there would be a "duellists gone wild" website. ...um, not that I'd visit it out of any reason other than pure education and news value.

Posted by: Tori Morris (skywaterblue)
Posted at: February 12th, 2008 04:47 am (UTC)
art school perverts

*dies from having seen the ultimate glory*

Posted by: David Hines (hradzka)
Posted at: February 12th, 2008 09:01 pm (UTC)
sledge hammer!

You would think so! But believe it or not, as awesome as this is, *it is not the most awesome thing in the book.*

(Nor, although it is a near thing, is the account of the midget (!) who fought a pistol duel (!!) on horseback (!!!) which he won (!!!!) because his opponent couldn't see said midget over the horse's head (!!!!*&$ ...er, sorry, they ran out of exclamation points at the punctuation store because there was a RUN OF AWESOME.)

Seriously, this book is recommended.

Posted by: Tori Morris (skywaterblue)
Posted at: February 12th, 2008 09:09 pm (UTC)
dalek love

...

Should. Have. Sent. A. Poet.

Posted by: PROBE UNIVERSE (liviapenn)
Posted at: February 12th, 2008 07:17 am (UTC)
fandom lpw: harriet says piffle!


"Duels between women were rare and highly irregular, but when they occurred they aroused a great deal of male interest."

No pun intended?

Seriously, though, AWESOME. :D

Posted by: David Hines (hradzka)
Posted at: February 12th, 2008 09:04 pm (UTC)

Oh, pun TOTALLY intended.

The most surprising thing to me that is the dueling code was so arranged that it was possible for duels to be successfully concluded without death or injury to either party. The kissing and making up of the women in question here is pretty much what happened in a lot of the fights between men.

And then there was the midget who fought a pistol duel on horseback. See above. I'm totally not kidding.

Posted by: Maire (mkcs)
Posted at: February 12th, 2008 08:47 am (UTC)

Well, fencing always did leave me feeling more friendly toward my opponent than I started out. But I can't say the idea of getting topless and close up under any circumstances with any of the other young women I fenced really appealed at all, despite my being bi. Modern fencing gear just isn't that sexy.

Posted by: David Hines (hradzka)
Posted at: February 12th, 2008 09:06 pm (UTC)
pointy teeth

Modern fencing gear just isn't that sexy.

Plus, hard to take off in the heat of the moment. Though it's much more sexy than the dumb-ass goggles 19th-century German students wore during their mock duels.

("Hey, Fritz! Let's get dressed up and hack at each other with swords, but only on the head! Then we'll have scars. Chicks dig scars.")

Posted by: Maire (mkcs)
Posted at: February 12th, 2008 10:16 pm (UTC)

Depends, really. Not that hard to just undo the crotch, I'd say. But sex with someone else in a lamé jacket would get really uncomfortable. They're pretty unyielding and abrasive. You'd have to be quite kinky and also fairly uninterested in the look of the thing.

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