Although the history of art does not show this to be the case, ancient legend claimed that the Amazon warriors—the easier to bend the bow and fling the spear—had their right breasts amputated. Indeed, popular Greek etymology explained the name “Amazon” as derived from amazos, “without breast.”
I wonder, however, if that physical mutilation did not also insinuate in the Amazons some deeper and more significant impairment, a hint, as it were, of diminished femininity. The willful loss of that breast suggests—to me, at least—that the Amazons, as women, were not quite up to the mark. I confess to a basic, inherited, and irremediable bias against women warriors. I don’t like girls getting into fights. It ain’t proper.
I especially do not approve of women fighting the way . . .
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Patrick Henry Reardon is pastor of All Saints Antiochian Orthodox Church in Chicago, Illinois. He is the author of Christ in the Psalms, Christ in His Saints, and The Trial of Job (all from Conciliar Press). He is a senior editor of Touchstone.
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