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Dwarven Women & their Facial Hair
Posted: Posted April 18th, 2018 by chiarizio

In Dungeons-&-Dragons -related settings —- and maybe to some degree also in Tolkienesque and maybe some other settings — facial hair (beards and mustaches etc.) is worn by adult members of the “Dwarven Race”; not only their men, but also their women.

(Maybe this post is somewhat “Canon Critique”? But I think it mostly belongs here.)

I have been thinking about this. (If you want to know why, see *below.)

I think Dwarven girls should be smooth-faced until puberty.
Between pubescence and full young-womanhood they should grow a mustache that gets gradually more luxurious.
When they’re mature enough to be sexually active and conceive and bear children, the lusher their mustaches the more attractive they should be.

But they should still be beardless during their youth. Their cheeks and chins and necks should stay smooth, at least until they are old enough to be grandmothers, and maybe until menopause.

As menopause approaches their beards should start to “come in”.
A post-menopausal Dwarven woman’s beard should be (almost?) as “good” as a man’s. Perhaps without the grey of a silverback male’s, at least at first.

Depending on the story’s author or the game’s creator, either sex, or neither, or both, may fall victim to a “cult of youth” — an idea that in order to be beautiful and/or attractive one must appear young.
If and when and where Dwarven women are so victimized, I expect a woman who is pre-menopausal to shave and/or lighten her beard —- if she has one —- to emphasize that she’s still young enough to have children. (Maybe if she’s black she’d darken it instead of lightening it.)

OTOH post-menopausal women should be, on average, more industrious and productive than the average Dwarven man or young woman.

They should be crackerjack miners, armorers, jewelers, and smiths of all sorts— blacksmiths, coppersmiths, tinsmiths, goldsmiths, silversmiths, etc.

If they have any handicap at all, relative to male Dwarves their age, it should only be that some of those male Dwarves were busy practicing their crafts during the years the women were busy with their children.

So Dwarven women d’un certain age should be proud of their beards.

If the young adult Dwarf men were mostly busy fighting and/or adventuring during those years, I think they would have thus surrendered their advantage over the women by middle-age.

I don’t expect Dwarf women would like to fight, while they could count on a male Dwarf to fight for them.
But consider a widow who has just become a grandmother. Suppose her son or son-in-law is unavailable (imprisoned or dead or injured or just away on a long journey), and her grandchild’s other grandfather is likewise unable to fight for her children and grandchildren. And similarly (or whatever) no uncles can be counted on.

I expect she would consider herself competent to take up the mantle and fight for her family’s benefit.
Especially if the other grandmother could also help.

What say all of you?

———————————

*. I have been reading the graphic novel series “Rat Queens”.
One of the self-styled “Queens” is a young Dwarven fighter-chick-in-chainmail (NOT a chain mail bikini, thank the gods!) who is red-haired and allegedly “a hipster”. In the first two TPBs she is smooth-faced, something her twin brother disapproves of. In the 3rd & 4th TPBs she re-grows her beard, because “it used to be shaving was making a statement; now it’s just something all the kids are doing. Besides, I’m way hotter with the beard.”.

But she never does grow a mustache.

I think she still looks quite feminine in a beard short enough to reveal the shape of her face — maybe up to one or two inches? I don’t know; I’m guessing.
But with a longer beard — four to six inches or longer? Still guessing— she doesn’t look feminine to me (YMMV) in spite of having a THICC, well-muscled, fighting-fit, “young-motherly” figure.

That’s what inspired me to think about this.

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I think this is a good look at it. There's still room for gender/sex difference (although I'm sure as in all things in nature, there would be some overlap, such as dwarven women who get their beards early, or men who get them late or very lightly), but not in a human manner.

Posted April 19th, 2018 by bloodb4roses

I think this is a good look at it. There's still room for gender/sex difference (although I'm sure as in all things in nature, there would be some overlap, such as dwarven women who get their beards early, or men who get them late or very lightly), but not in a human manner.

Yes. Thanks.
I didn’t say anything about the Dwarven men nor boys.
I did imply that the boys started beard-like facial down at puberty (progressing to full beards at maturity);
and that senior men had grey in their beards (the older the greyer).

I thought about what happens to Dwarvesses (?) who stay single or childless or have no grandchildren. Also to widowed mothers; and to young grandmothers. And I thought a bit about great-grandmothers.

But I didn’t write any of that in the post.

Posted April 20th, 2018 by chiarizio

Hey;
Does anyone think I ought to make a conworld in which there is a “race” of Dwarves, who aren’t simply a variety of the Human species?
Maybe a different species in genus Homo, like Homo floresiensis?
Or a subspecies, like H. sapiens neandertalensis?
Or a race, like Pygmies or Andaman islanders?

My feeling is that it would have to be more sword-and-sorcery fantasy, and less science-fiction.

Whaddaya think?

Posted April 24th, 2018 by chiarizio

Hey;
Does anyone think I ought to make a conworld in which there is a “race” of Dwarves, who aren’t simply a variety of the Human species?
Maybe a different species in genus Homo, like Homo floresiensis?
Or a subspecies, like H. sapiens neandertalensis?
Or a race, like Pygmies or Andaman islanders?

My feeling is that it would have to be more sword-and-sorcery fantasy, and less science-fiction.

Whaddaya think?


Any time is a good time for a sophont species that ìsn't just humans wearing a funny hat. Or in this case, beard. You know the drill! Where ever you like to take inspiration from is great. It's what you do with them that counts!

Hm. Dwarves in space could be interesting, mind. Probably make grand engineers! I mean, when they aren't getting rowdy and drunk with the Scots engineers!

Posted April 24th, 2018 by elemtilas


Hm. Dwarves in space could be interesting, mind. Probably make grand engineers! I mean, when they aren't getting rowdy and drunk with the Scots engineers!


Mining meteors :wink:

Posted April 24th, 2018 by bloodb4roses


Hm. Dwarves in space could be interesting, mind. Probably make grand engineers! I mean, when they aren't getting rowdy and drunk with the Scots engineers!


Mining meteors :wink:


Well, comets, asteroids, and moons, more like, I’m thinking.
Would they engineer instead of smith?

I wonder if they would make good physicians, or good paramedics?

Posted April 25th, 2018 by chiarizio

Would they engineer instead of smith?

I wonder if they would make good physicians, or good paramedics?


I don't see why not! In The World, at least one Dwarrow has made a profitable gig of hair dressing to the quality of the imperial City! That and reading the fortunes of the more gullible in the strands and twists of their hair!

Posted April 25th, 2018 by elemtilas

I’d like to hear more about Dwarrows in The World.

————————

I’m not-obsessed-exactly with two or three ideas regarding smiths, in a world where moderns meet ancients.

1. Smiths break chains. So smiths are foes of slavery and allies of abolitionists.

2. Dragons are not natural creatures, but they do exist; they are artificial organisms forged and engineered by smiths. They’re some of them also artificially intelligent.

3. Most of the local natives of the ancient culture come from a tradition wherein rich people eat meat and tasty fine food, and it’s a point of pride not to eat the kind of food poor people eat. But smiths’ guild founder (right term?) was a modern and knew about cholesterol and saturated fat and complex carbohydrates and four major food groups and vitamins and fiber and so forth and so on; and smiths eat for strength and health, not for snobbery. Since so many of the second generation of smiths were her/his freedmen, they emulated him/her out of gratitude; so anyone a smith is taking care of is probably going to eat healthy. An occasional upper class patient will regard that as part of their suffering, and be glad to escape it when they’re cured or ransomed or whatever. OTOH others will learn new habits.

—————

If we combine those ideas with the notions that most smiths either are Dwarves or adopt many dwarven customs, and that smithing is one of the biggest occupations among Dwarves, we get to Dwarven engineers and Dwarven paramedics.
Also Dwarven abolitionist activists!

Posted April 26th, 2018 by chiarizio


I was rereading the Subterranean Sight thread and it has inspired me to decide that one of the reasons all adult dwarves —— not just males —— have facial hair, is to aid in echolocation.
It should also serve as vibrissae.
Perhaps pre-pubescent dwarves should also have vibrissae, though I suppose they won’t be much until they’re old enough to learn to walk, or to be weaned, or some such age.
Maybe they should start coming in about the time the youngster starts cutting teeth; be at least minimally useful around the rugrat age; be useful beginning about the walking age; and well-established around the time the youngster masters toilet-training, or at least before “early childhood amnesia” starts (around 4y/o for RL humans).

Posted February 13th by chiarizio

If Dwarves are hairy in part so they can “hear with their skin” and thereby navigate in caves and mines without light, maybe Dwarven women should have hair other places that only males have hair among RL humans.
My Dwarves ought to have hairy feet and hairy toes, like Tolkien’s Hobbits.
About the time a Dwarf girl starts growing her mustache, maybe she ought to start growing the hair on her back, too.
By the time her beard starts coming in, her back ought to be as hairy as a young adult male Dwarf’s.
Well after menopause and her climacteric, maybe she should start growing hair on her chest? I expect they won’t enjoy that.

Some very old RL men grow hair in (and/or on) their ears. The gene for that is on the Y chromosome, so RL women don’t do it.
Maybe this should apply to all older old male Dwarves. And maybe some of the really old female Dwarves, too.


Edited February 20th by chiarizio


Any comments?

Posted February 26th by chiarizio

An interesting, and scientifical!, explanation for Dwarvish hirsutism!

Begs the question, though: standard average Dwarves are depicted as wearing huge boots, armour, helmets and multiple layers of iron studded leather britches, belts, pantaloons, jerkins, bodkins, tunics, cloaks and hoods. Especially in the dark recesses of deep mines, do your Dwarves wear clothing at all?

It would seem that if their hairs, whiskers and vibrissae are functionally necessary for spelunclocation and fodinagation, then clothing would pose a hindrance. Clothes would essentially "blind" them.

Posted February 27th by elemtilas

You’re right, of course.
I think the kids might wear more than the adults, and the females might wear more than the males.
And they all might wear a lot more out under the open sky, perhaps excepting cloudy moonless nights, than they’d wear in the mines.
Perhaps in the mines they’d just protect the orifices and dangly bits and parts that might jiggle.
And of course any kids they might be carrying.

In the caves etc. the kids should at least have their faces uncovered, but they might go for footie pjs or something otherwise —— maybe even hoodies.
Maybe they’d let toilet-trained kids past the age of “early childhood amnesia” run around as close to naked as if they were adults.
But an unweaned infant with no teeth and no words and not yet walking would probably need protection on their knees, at least.

Whaddya think?

And what the hell is fodinagation? I got spelunclocation, but not that other word!

Posted February 27th by chiarizio
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