Female Space Marines
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There is no tactic more effective for enraging a die-hard 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, GW has made concessions to the vast hordes of unhappy women who complain about gender equality and say that male only Space Marines are sexist. Therefore, a minor concession was made. According to new fluff the Emperor of Mankind is NOT a sexist patriarchal douche bag and decided that locking out 50% of the human race from the Space Marine program based on what was between their legs was stupid. Therefore, he spent time trying to see if it was possible to create Female Space Marines and quickly ran into a wall. The problem was that since he had based his Sons off of himself, and then Space Marines off of the resulting genes, it was now impossible 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.
Therefore, the Emperor decided that trying to make Female Space Marines in large numbers was a waste of time, resources, and effort and decreed that Space Marine Legions would be a Men Only club. That said, he was able to create many semi-successful Female Space Marines, but nearly all of them died shorty after due to organ rejection and medical complications brought on by various hormonal imbalances.
TL;DR GW didn't want to be seen as sexist so they said that Female Space Marines were possible but stupidly impractical (even by wh40k standards) so that's why there aren't any Female Space Marines. And now GW claims it isn't sexist honest we swear stop the angry letters please.
So at least the Emperor tried to make female space marines, which is more than what GW did considering that GW has significantly more power over the physics of the setting than the Emperor does.
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. (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, 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 pelvis' 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, leading one to ask what sex-starved Inquisitor authorized the monumental amount of resource waste that such a project would represent.
Alternative tl;dr: The above explanation that the gene-seed program works on both women AND men, producing essentially identical results, is a far more reasonable and internally consistent answer than what Games Workshop came up with, so why not just go with it?
Unexpected salvation - there are indeed (99.46% possible) Female Space Marines!...in The Eye Of Terror. Well 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 her gods are listening? If the nature of Chaos is what it is to any extent, there is a chance her deity will bestow her with what she has always wanted. Though of course, she 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 hermaphs. 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 Governer-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 dissaude 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 FSM 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 Biologos 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 neckbeard(s) 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. Women can, through steroids, incessant bodybuilding, high protein diet, and a little genetic modding, 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 refused to explain. 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.
Interesting to note is that the names and histories of two Primarchs have been completely erased from Imperium libraries. Despite their ambiguity, they are confirmed 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 typically are actually armed with bolters and chainswords and whom might be construed to some reasonable extent as being the '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 (well, theoretically. None have yet appeared in canon)
- Samus: How about a female Primarch?
- Daughters of Terra A not-quite Space Marines Female Space Marines chapter.