Female Space Marines
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There is no tactic more effective for enraging a diehard SPESS MEHREENS fanboy than discussing/drawing their Rule 63 companion, Female Space Marines. Not to be confused with Sisters of Battle, the canonical equivalent to Space Marines and also armed with bolters and chainswords, but Space Marine Space Marines of the Adeptus Astartes, you know, the hypermuscular ones with Pauldrons. According to Games Workshop canon, the procedures that are used to create a Space Marine only work properly on male subjects, rendering female Marines impossible; however, masturbators on the internet have not allowed this to deter them. Sometimes it is pointed out that back in the Rogue Trader days, Games Workshop did briefly produce two power-armoured female models, but they were changed to "Female Adventurers in Power Armour" and were never meant to represent female Marines. Considering this is from Games Workshop, who routinely violates their own canon in subsequent editions, fanbase be damned, take this as you will.
It's worth noting, though, that Games Workshop hasn't deterred /tg/ (or indeed, the Black Library writers) from coming up with ways to potentially allow for them, even with Space Marines being exclusively male being one of the rare things they've kept consistent. This is because, as was brought up in previous articles, little gets between a man and his fapbait.
The canon part
While for a time GW's official stance was that it was impossible to create Female Space Marines, leading to spammed complaints about gender equality and claims that male-only Space Marines are sexist. Therefore, a minor concession was made. According to new fluff the Emperor of Mankind did see fit to attempt the creation of female Space Marines, whether in the spirit of equality, for the sake of a larger recruiting pool, or because he had an incest fetish to indulge. Emphasis on tried; since he had based his Sons off of himself, and then Space Marines off of the resulting genes, it was impossible to twist that base around to reliably make a female Space Marine. The Emperor tried again and again, but could not find a way to reliably create a Female Space Marine in a reasonable time frame and soon found that if Male Space Marines were one in a million, then Female Space Marines were one in a trillion. There were many semi-successful female Space Marines that showed promise, but nearly all of them died shorty after implantation due to organ rejection and various hormonal imbalances causing their biology to shit itself. Quickly realizing that this shit was a waste of time and resources better spent conquering the galaxy, he decreed that Space Marines would be male-only, NO GIRLS ALLOWED.
TL;DR GW got tired of angry letters so they said that Female Space Marines were possible but stupidly impractical (even by 40k standards) so that's why there aren't any Female Space Marines so stop the angry letters please.
This all could have been avoided if the complainants had simply asked for (and GW gave) more focus on the real, pre-existing Female Space Marines complete with a unique, empowering flavor all their own. Naturally, this seemingly obvious solution was lost on all parties involved.
On the Black Library front, it was mentioned in one of the Horus Heresy books that Malcador the Sigillite had suggested making one or two of the Primarchs female, half-jokingly saying that it might help to defuse competition between them. The Emperor was not amused by this at all and insisted that it simply couldn't be done, thinking Malcador was joking. And really, who wants to try to argue with him about it?
What would a female Space Marine look like if they could exist?
Obviously, in the land of Rule 63 they are amazingly hot (and would totally do you), but in dark and gritty fluff-land where they would be optimised for combat rather than jacking off, they would probably have very few notable female features left following surgery and genetic fuckery; they'd have very similar musculature to males (despite what Tumblr will tell you women are not capable of being as strong as men at peak fitness levels due to fundamental anatomical differences), most likely would lack breasts (due to both the removal of sex hormones and the trimming of any "fat" that would make armor uncomfortable), their body shape would only differ very slightly to a male's because of their enhanced skeletal structure (though they would have wider hips, as women's pelvises are wider than men's), and all of this would be compounded by the fact that Space Marines are renowned for wearing fuckhuge suits of armour that obscure most of their physical features anyway. A female Space Marine with her helmet on would look like a regular Space Marine.
They'd also be completely sterile. Like, more so than the males; no sex hormones means no ovulation, assuming they even let her keep those ovaries. Progenoid glands would still play a vital role in gene-seed replication.
TL;DR they would be females modified to be as much like males as possible out of practicality, leading one to ask what sex-starved Inquisitor authorized the monumental amount of resource waste that such a project would represent. And from a meta standpoint, if female Space Marines would be exactly the same as male Space Marines, why the fuck would you even bother writing female Space Marines into the setting?
Unexpected salvation - there are indeed (99.46% possible) Female Space Marines!...in The Eye Of Terror. Well, they're possible out of it too - see, due to the nature of Chaos, mutations are often a fact of life. Some desired, some not. What if one hulked out, burning, warped Chaos Space Marine secretly wishes he was the cute little girl who got flowers? Who smiled with joy? Who was so sweet?
What if his gods are listening? If the nature of Chaos is what it is to any extent, there is a chance his deity will bestow him with what he has always wanted. Though of course, he could just as easily get an extra tentacle arm, or get mutated into that which must never be named - such is the nature of Chaos. Slaanesh especially grants this as a matter of routine, and its a safe bet to make that quite a lot of the Emperor's Children men are actually now women, or rather futas. Such is the will of Slaanesh.
This was confirmed in one of the earlier Chapter Approved articles - one that re-introduced mounted Daemonettes - in which a Governor-Militant fighting a Slaanesh warband mused that there were (apparently female) creatures that were once Space Marines, but no longer. Considering Chaos can cause that which must never be named, is anyone surprised by this?
We know that you among the fans, despite all our attempts to dissuade you, want cute FEMALE SPHESS MAHREENS! And there is good news - technically, there ARE Female Space Marines IN OFFICIAL LORE. The catch? Yes there is a catch. And this one is the worst.
Your new waifu is a bloated, twisted, undying, insane, mutated pregnant mother-slave only alive because she's in the Eye of Terror.
You see, Honsou of the Iron Warriors, in an effort to squeeze new MAHREENS into the ranks without having to pay that other sick fuck Fabius Bile for clones and because he was to lazy to do it the normal way, created a system of hideousness and sadness that pushes grimdark to a whole new level. He invented the Daemonculaba, a system whereby a woman is chained and fed stuff which will morph her and her womb into something that was never meant to be. A boy is then (yes, a child), jammed, shoved or cut INTO the vagina and stays there for a while. When his time is ready, he, now XBAWKS HUEG and STRONG, will have to rip, tear, or otherwise push his way out of his adoptive mother's womb/vagina. When he emerges, he will either be a skinless mutant abomination, or will emerge as a fully functional (albeit skinless) Chaos Space Marine in a fraction of the time, with all his growth stages and bionics and gene-seed already taken care of. How? It's fucking science.
This goes back to our Female Space Marine - you see, while she was being morphed and changed, Dark Mechanicus Biologis hereteks worked on her body, implanting gene-seed and making her physically a Female Space Marine, even if the form is rather off. Thus, her womb can turn children as well into Space Marines by having her womb 'grow' the required organs and stages directly into their bodies in a fraction of the time, days and weeks instead of years. Thankfully for the entire universe, this horror was destroyed before Honsou realized he could stick girls in there as well, and get double the recruits, and stumble upon the secret to true Female Space Marines.
RAGE is generated by the tactic in two distinct ways; either the neckbeards assume that the creator of the work in question is unaware of the Space Marine fluff, and rage about his or her ignorance; failing that, it becomes clear that they are well aware of the fluff regarding these matters and willingly chose to disregard it, sending the poor neckbeards into fits of spastic rage that anyone would dare deliberately defile the sacrosanct canon of Games Workshop's masterpiece.
A slightly more reasonable answer
The problem really is one of terminology. Women can wear power armour, certainly; the Sororitas practically make it formal wear. Women can, through steroids, incessant bodybuilding, a high protein diet, and a little genetic modding to bring it all together, be as buff and rocking as a Space Marine. But what really makes a Space Marine a Space Marine is all of the extra genetically-engineered organs and DNA and whatnot cloned from the Primarchs and implanted in the right way, which is impossible for women for reasons the Emperor himself ran afoul of. The closest thing to an exception in the fluff is any experiment involving Fabius Bile, unless the topic is Honsou of the Iron Warriors. If Fabius Bile is doing it then it's kinda more likely that he'd make you a dude with titties and a weird daemon vagina than an actual female space marine, and he will do this by rebirthing you (not reincarnation) inside a bloated woman's uterus, and it should be noted that the said woman is effectively lobotomized. Because he's a swell guy like that. And even if he did make you a female space marine for reals, she still wouldn't be a space marine, just a weird, mutilated, chaos infused thing that approximates a space marine but can never truly be one.
Worth noting, however, that given that Bile's experimented on damn-near everything (including the entire civilian populations of several planets) at some point or another for his attempts to duplicate the methods for creating new Space Marines, there's ample evidence to suggest that he's tried it at least once. Fucking Slaanesh.
Another possible reason is that all of the Primarchs are men, with male genes, thus meaning that, unless there's secretly a girl Primarch out there somewhere, female Space Marines cannot be made in the traditional sense.
Of note is the fact that despite the names and histories of the two missing Primarchs being utterly obliterated from Imperial records, they are still unambiguously referred to as sons of the Emperor.
- Golden Aquilas: /tg/ homebrew chapter, designed to cause as much RAEG and accusations of derp as possible.
- Space Marines: Rule 63 equivalent of female Space... wait.
- Sisters of Battle: The warrior nuns of the Imperium that wear power armor, often fight with bolters and chainswords, and are in a sense the real "female space marines" of Warhammer 40,000.
- Stormcast Eternals, GW's Fantasy Space Marines in Age of Sigmar, which can be any species and gender thanks to their magical origins. At least one Stormcast group was announced to be comprised of men and women and SURPRISE WARHAMMER SHADESPIRE WAS ANNOUNCED AND FEATURES A FEMALE STORMCAST MINIATURE.
- Samus: How about a female Primarch?
- Daughters of Terra A not-quite Space Marines Female Space Marines chapter.