After Only 1,000 Years, Jousting Competitions Open to Female Knights

Illustration for article titled After Only 1,000 Years, Jousting Competitions Open to Female Knights

Yas, knights! Lance your way straight through that glass ceiling!

Thanks to Game of Thrones popularizing the idea of the Strong Female Knight, and also Knights in general, the United Kingdom will now allow women knights to compete in grand medieval joust competitions at Bolsover, Kenilworth, Pendennis and Carisbrooke castles.


(For the uninitiated, jousting, a sport which dates back to 1066, involves two knights riding horses at each other and attempting to knock the other off or break their shield with a many-feet-long rod, or “lance.”)

“Historically, the knights who took part in jousting tournaments were an elite band, the best of the best,” said English Heritage’s head of events Emily Sewell in an interview with the BBC. “No women were amongst that group.”


“Now they are, and in order to bring our visitors the opportunity to witness some of the most accomplished knights on the circuit, it made complete sense to invite the leading female jousters to join us this summer.”

Namely, this allows for two expert jousters, Nicky Willis and Alix van Zijl, to compete.

In response to a question about why it took 1,000 years, an English Heritage spokesperson told the Guardian, “In everything we do we strive to be historically accurate, and of course women wouldn’t have participated in jousts in the past. However, the jousts were for the best of the best, and now the best includes women.”

What will we be allowed to do in 1,000 more years? Vote?!

Image via AP.

Senior Editor, Jezebel

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