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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room:
Not completely unique

Beren IV
Gondor


Feb 18 2007, 6:56pm


Views: 236
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Not completely unique [In reply to] Can't Post

Eowyn I don't think is truly unique even there. Galadriel fought in the Kinslaying, and she could have no doubt sat that one out, or at the very least stood behind the battlefront and not gotten into combat. Haleth rode to war once or twice as well, if I recall.

As for the reproductive value of women, there's a catch here. Women are not reproductively valuable if there are no men to fertilize them. Now, in most human societies, a single man can fertilize multiple women, but even so it works better if if every wife has a husband all to herself, just because that means better childraising and more resources for childraising. Some societies are also more monogamous than others, and the Elves in particular I get the feeling are pretty monogamous, so that will lessen the relative reproductive value of women compared to men, if a woman actually needs a husband in order to reproduce. What all of this means is that there is an ideal sex ratio for population growth, and because a single man can fertilize more than one woman, this ideal sex ratio is female-biased. However, you really don't want men to become more scarce than this optimal growth ratio, because then each man lost equates to several women lost, i.e. unfertilized! 'Family values' also complicates the issue. But the point is: if you're fighting a war, the optimal strategy is not to have the only people at risk being the men. Instead, you want men to bear the brunt of the risk, but the women to experience some risk - otherwise you'll run into problems of having too few men.

In modern warfare, of course, where the limit of how many soldiers you can field is controlled by the availability of wealth and other material resources and not by the availability of warm bodies to train into soldiers, it really doesn't matter what the sex ratio of your army is, because its such a small fraction of your total population anyway. In fact, in modern warfare, putting large numbers of women in your army as cannon fodder might actually be a good idea, because your population is already too large and is sucking up your wealth base, and you would be a more effective society if you weren't so overpopulated! Tongue

Subject User Time
Tolkien Artists, The Bros. Hildebrandt: Loose Ends and That's All Folks drogo Send a private message to drogo Feb 17 2007, 10:04pm
    Arwen Joins the Quest Reera the Red Send a private message to Reera the Red Feb 18 2007, 12:11am
        Well, that does explain Aerin Send a private message to Aerin Feb 18 2007, 12:20am
        Oh, I like that one! Ainu Laire Send a private message to Ainu Laire Feb 18 2007, 12:27am
            No story that I know of. Reera the Red Send a private message to Reera the Red Feb 18 2007, 12:38am
                Re: [Reera the Red] No story that I know of. drogo Send a private message to drogo Feb 18 2007, 12:55am
                    Re: [drogo] No story that I know of. Nerdanel Send a private message to Nerdanel Feb 18 2007, 11:58pm
                        "breathes life into Tolkien" N.E. Brigand Send a private message to N.E. Brigand Feb 23 2007, 11:23pm
                    The cover of the original Grotta bio! dernwyn Send a private message to dernwyn Feb 20 2007, 3:56pm
                        mine has two Hildebrandts on the cover a.s. Send a private message to a.s. Feb 21 2007, 1:10am
                            Yes, yours is a decade newer dernwyn Send a private message to dernwyn Feb 22 2007, 4:56am
                                mine has an Epilogue chapter a.s. Send a private message to a.s. Feb 22 2007, 12:17pm
            Tolkien the time-traveller? N.E. Brigand Send a private message to N.E. Brigand Feb 23 2007, 11:19pm
    Re: [drogo] Tolkien Artists, The Bros. Hildebrandt: Loose Ends and That's All Folks Sandicomm Send a private message to Sandicomm Feb 18 2007, 12:28am
    Re: [drogo] Tolkien Artists, The Bros. Hildebrandt: Loose Ends and That's All Folks a.s. Send a private message to a.s. Feb 18 2007, 12:31am
        dang I keep forgetting to change my subject line!! [nt] a.s. Send a private message to a.s. Feb 18 2007, 12:31am
        Alas for the loss of Mod... loved it. Cirdan the Shipwright Send a private message to Cirdan the Shipwright Feb 19 2007, 9:06pm
            thanks, originally a.s. Send a private message to a.s. Feb 19 2007, 11:29pm
    Re: [drogo] Tolkien Artists, The Bros. Hildebrandt: Loose Ends and That's All Folks Beren IV Send a private message to Beren IV Feb 18 2007, 12:47am
        This of course has been much discussed, Aerin Send a private message to Aerin Feb 18 2007, 1:17am
            Re: [Aerin] This of course has been much discussed, Beren IV Send a private message to Beren IV Feb 18 2007, 1:39am
                That's another good point, as well. Aerin Send a private message to Aerin Feb 18 2007, 6:40am
                    Not completely unique Beren IV Send a private message to Beren IV Feb 18 2007, 6:56pm
                        True, women of Haleth Aerin Send a private message to Aerin Feb 18 2007, 9:51pm
                            Another historical note Beren IV Send a private message to Beren IV Feb 18 2007, 11:51pm
                                Re: [Beren IV] Another historical note Elizabeth Send a private message to Elizabeth Feb 19 2007, 12:43am
                                See Elizabeth's note, plus Aerin Send a private message to Aerin Feb 19 2007, 6:45am
                More Arwen in the books than most readers catch. N.E. Brigand Send a private message to N.E. Brigand Feb 23 2007, 11:40pm
            Re: [Aerin] This of course has been much discussed, Sandicomm Send a private message to Sandicomm Feb 18 2007, 6:16pm
                I think the movies came close to Aerin Send a private message to Aerin Feb 18 2007, 10:09pm
    Some unexpected brilliance linkin-artelf Send a private message to linkin-artelf Feb 19 2007, 3:09am
        "Journey in the Dark" is the chapter title dernwyn Send a private message to dernwyn Feb 20 2007, 4:07pm
        Orcs did wear cloaks. N.E. Brigand Send a private message to N.E. Brigand Feb 23 2007, 11:34pm
    Unexpected Joy! Daughter of Nienna Send a private message to Daughter of Nienna Feb 19 2007, 11:19am
        "a heavy front plane" N.E. Brigand Send a private message to N.E. Brigand Feb 23 2007, 11:44pm

 
 
 

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