|Women's Tourneys are a controversial subject,
one about which I have many strong opinions and have had many heated conversations.
My standing on Women's Tourneys has always been this: They are not fair,
but they are an important tool in encouraging women fighters.
Women's Tourneys are not fair because they exclude the majority of Amtgardians from participation. Obviously, if someone were to start a Men's Tourney, we would be outraged. However, Women's Tourneys are justified because they provide an encouragement for women fighters and their participation in tourneys and other aspects of Amtgard combat. This ultimately benefits all of Amtgard. Women's Tourneys provide beginning women fighters with tourney experience and show them role models in the more experienced fighting women. They are also exposed to the enthusiasm and skill of our fighting women. Hopefully they will be encouraged to hone their fighting skills and participate in battles and tourneys of all kinds.
However, Women's Tourneys should not exist to determine who is the best woman fighter. They should not be a showplace for vanity and the competition should be friendly, rather than ruthless. A woman who wishes to prove that she is the best should do so in an open tourney, in competition with both men and women. A desperate competition for first defeats our purpose, because it makes the tourney less accessible to the newer, less battle-hardened women.
Not that we should not at all times fight our best, but we should do so in the knowledge that a Women's Tourney does not exist to prove our skill. That we can do in any tourney. A Women's Tourney exists to influence and provide experience to beginning fighters, to establish a sense of community among us, and to celebrate our status as women fighters in Amtgard.
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